Francis Nnaggenda (Ugandan, born 1936)
Untitled (Acrobat), 1999
Signed ‘Nnaggenda 1999’ (lower middle)
Oil on canvas
39.5 x 41.7 cm
Ksh 170,000 – 310,000
(US$) 1,500 – 2,800
Provenance: Private collection

Professor Francis Nnaggenda’s masterful paintings and sculptures constitute a significant contribution to East African modernism.

Raised in Buganda, in central Uganda, Nnaggenda went into a long exile during the era of Idi Amin, spending a large part of his academic and professional life between Europe, the USA and Kenya. He studied Art at the Freibourg University in Switzerland and the Bayerische Akademie der Schonen Kunste in Germany. In 1968, he moved to Kenya where he taught at the University of Nairobi. During this time, he met Joseph Murumbi, Kenya’s second Vice President, who was an admirer of his artwork and one of his first collectors. Nnaggenda’s sculpture Mother and Child is a landmark outside Nairobi National Museum. By 1979, Nnaggenda had returned to Kampala where he became Head of Department of Sculpture at the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts and where he taught for nearly twenty years. He has been hugely influential as both an artist and teacher; his many students include George Kyeyune and Rose Kirumira.

Nnaggenda’s works are in public collections including the Zurich Museum of Art, the Kenya National Archives, the Nairobi Gallery, National Museum of Kenya and the African Heritage House. He was one of the selected artists of KLA Art 014, Kampala Contemporary Art Festival.