Francis Musango (Ugandan, born 1931 – 2005)
Signed ’96MUSANGO’ (lower right)
Oil on canvas
68 x 55 cm
Ksh 240,000 – 350,000
(US$) 2,200 – 3,200
Provenance: Private collection
Sold Ksh 200,000
Francis Musango played a significant role in shaping what art education in Uganda is today. Originally trained as a cleric (priest), Musango joined the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts in 1954 to study for a diploma in Fine Art. At a time when there was a move towards local interpretations of the Bible, his early religious paintings were set in Ugandan everyday life and in his final year, Musango was awarded the prestigious Margaret Trowell Prize. After this diploma, he gained another in Art Education at the same institution. In 1962, he took up a post at St Henry’s College in Kitovu, where he introduced art into the curriculum. In 1970, he was appointed National Inspector of Schools for Arts and Crafts, where he developed a structured academic syllabus. He would later go on to complete a MA in Art Education at Makerere in 1977, help assemble and supervise the first MFA programme in 1978, followed by the first PhD in Art History there in the 1990s.
In addition to his work in Uganda, Musango was also involved in arts movements in the region – he was active in the Chemichemi Cultural Centre at Paa Ya Paa Gallery in Kenya, and in 1969 he was Secretary of the Society of East African Artists.