More than two years ago I proposed to the Pan-African University to create a virtual museum that would show to the wider public some of the best modern and contemporary art from Nigeria. The idea was accepted and we started working on it. We called it the Pan-African University’s “VIRTUAL MUSEUM OF MODERN NIGERIAN ART”.

With the help of Akinyemi Adetunji, Patrick Enaholo and a few others, in September 2011 we launched the web site (, within the university’s site. Since then, we have continued working on it. Akinyemi, the Museum’s Assistant Director has done a great job on expanding and deepening the content. We already have more than 800 artworks online!!!

We have now prepared a 2012 REPORT that gives more information on the journey so far. You can read it here: The VMMNA 2012 Report




  1. While this sounds like a good idea, ie introducing African art to a wider audience, it would be grand to have a museum that people could visit, not sit at their pcs looking at art through screens that don’t show true colour or proper depth and scale. A museum is a tourist attraction. People travel to Paris for the Louvre. Let’s build our renowned museum that would also change our city’s status and inpire more artists.

  2. Very true, we need to see more art in museums. Museums are not charity or govt organisations the museums in Lagos are quite vibrant, can’t say that about the rest of the country. One has to raise the level of consciousness and awareness with the local populace first. If internal tourism cannot support museums then it will be a long wait till we get foreign tourists in considering the myriad of challenges the country is facing particularly security.

    In any city I visit I make a deliberate effort to visit the local museums. You would not believe that in a place like Benin city with all the rich cultural history, one can count the number of museums on the fingers of one hand. The local interest is just not there, society is at the level of feed the stomach first then you may have strength to admire the ‘scenery’.

    If it takes being online to get the awareness going, then thank God, finally. Works from Nigerian artists are already commanding respect internationally, you can see this in the prices they fetch. If a local went to a museum and was told a piece was $2000 they’d probably leave immediately and not even wait for

  3. Great job Jess. I am so proud that Nigerian art is attracting so much attention and respect not only within the country’s boundaries but amongst the international art collectors community. I would like to chip in my humble contribution to widen the audience through my newsLetter on Nigerian architecture and arts, dReview. I will appreciate your comments.

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