[On why he collects (and you should also collect) contemporary African art]

“We collect because of the circumstances, here.

Ghana boasts very few collectors.

And, I’m aware that if we go on like this, in another 20 years, what we have will be gone.

MOTHER AND CHILD: Ablade Glover, gouache on black bond sheet, 30 x 38 cm, 1969. Signed and dated left lower corner. Private collection- purchased from the artist.

That is what happened to our traditional art.

Most of our people are so preoccupied with looking for what to eat and where to live, that art hardly crosses their minds.

Also, perhaps because they see it every day, they take things for granted.

UNTITLED: Albert O. Bartimeus, oil on board 94 x 70 cm, 1966. Signed and dated lower right. Private collection.

Our people pay no attention to art.

So, today; the best of our traditional art can only be viewed inside American and European museums.

(Our) Museums must be properly resourced to prosecute their mandate.

In most African countries, museums are not properly funded.

This is why we feel obliged to intervene”


*** “Mother and Child” is available for sale. Price on request here.

****Albert Osabu Bartimeus is one of the fathers of modern art in Ghana.

He trained at the Kumasi College of Art (now KNUST) and went on to become president of the Ghana Association of Artists.

A prestigious prize named in his honor is awarded to a young Ghanaian artist each year.

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