Achimota School By Woets, Rhoda
The majority of Ghana’s modern art pioneers received their art education at Achimota School on the Gold Coast, now Ghana. Achimota School contributed in an important way to the formation of modern art in Ghana. Students trained at the Achimota Teacher Training Department spread new ideas about art and art education at the schools where they later worked. The discursive fields, in which modern visual artists came to discuss their work following independence, were embedded in a colonial past where European art teachers at Achimota had positioned African tradition as both preceding and opposed to modernity. Just like the art teachers at Achimota, modern artists deeply admired “primitive art” and considered local art forms to have roots stretching into a timeless past. Modern artists were, in this regard, influenced by their education at Achimota School as well as by nationalist ideologies that fostered pride in an African cultural past. Among the school’s most notable students are Oku Ampofo (1908–1998), Ernest (Victor) Asihene (1915–2001), Amon Kotei (1915–2011), Saka Acquaye (1915–2007), Kofi Antubam (1922–1964), Theodosia Akoh (1922), and Vincent Kofi (1923–1974).