Chika Okeke-Agulu: You all are very welcome to the third installment of the Nka Roundtable on the theme, contemporary African art and the museum. Let me say right away that my hope is that this occasion provides us the opportunity to examine as never before the role of museums in bringing the work of African artists to the consciousness of the contemporary world. It should be obvious that the reason I convened all of us on this distinguished panel is because of the contributions all of you have made to the field as curators in important museums with sustained engagement with modern and contemporary African art and artists. In the course of this discussion I want for us discuss the work of the curator of contemporary African in the museum, and to debate the age-old question about presenting contemporary African art in art/ethnology museums. We shall also examine questions relating to accessioning and presentation of African artists in the permanent collection. We shall also cover such topics as researching exhibitions, exhibition catalogues and the scholarship, and the place of contemporary African art, relative to the “traditional” and western contemporary. Rather than begin with these right away, I want to ask each of you to tell us about your first meaningful encounter with contemporary African art, and about your first important museum exhibition project. Perhaps this is a good way to introduce ourselves to each other, before we the get to the issues.

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