Elias Jengo (Tanzanian, born 1936)
African Bride, 2018
Signed ‘EJ ’18’ (lower left)
Acrylic on canvas
91.6 x 118.1 cm
Ksh 285,000 – 375,000
(US$) 2,500 – 3,300
Provenance: on loan from the artist to Alan Donovan (founder of African Heritage)

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Painter and scholar Professor Elias Jengo is one of Tanzania’s most influential artists from the post-Independence era. He trained as an art educator at Makerere University in Kampala and Kent State University in Ohio before completing his postgraduate studies at Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University), in Montreal. Jengo taught in the department of Fine and Performing Arts at the University of Dar es Salaam for many years where he has shaped a generation of young artists.

The painting, African Bride, 2018, offers a symbolic reflection on traditional wedding practices in which the bride’s father would be expected to unveil his daughter as a sign of acceptance of the marriage.

Since the 1960s, when he exhibited in Munich in 1968 and New York in 1969, Jengo’s paintings have regularly featured in exhibitions internationally. His works and commissions can be seen in public institutions and spaces across Tanzania. From 2004 – 2005 Jengo was a Fulbright scholar-in-residence at Kent State University at Stark, Ohio.