Ghana Museums and Monuments Board has been announced as a recipient of the 2022 Bank of America Art Conservation Project, along with 19 other significant global art restoration projects.
The National Museum of Ghana will be using the grant for the urgent treatment of unique brass artworks that provide material evidence of the important cultural history of the old-age gold trade in Ghana. This grant provides the first ever funding and external conservation support for the artworks.
Bank of America’s Art Conservation Project has supported the conservation of more than 6,000 individual pieces since 2010, including paintings, sculptures, and archaeological and architectural pieces of critical importance to cultural heritage and the history of art. More than 200 projects across 39 countries have been managed by non-profit cultural institutions that receive grant funding to conserve historically or culturally significant works of art that are in danger of deterioration.
The Ghana Museums and Monuments Board will use the Art Conservation Project grant to repair its precious artwork collection of brass, comprising kuduos (ritual vessels), forowas (lidded vessels), gold weights, gold scales, sieves, spoons, blowpans (shovels), miniature brass boxes and two statues in its sculpture garden- they all require urgent treatment to salvage them from further deterioration. Conservators, including Francis Coffie Amu Ayi as the Principal Conservator, will identify the cause of the deterioration, perform mechanical and chemical removal of deterioration of the brass works and stabilise the objects with the appropriate chemicals to prevent further decay in situ at the National Museum. This 12-month project will also include documentation of conservation procedures and formulating a conservation plan for all the objects.
The National Museum of Ghana owns approximately 10,000 gold weights and hundreds of objects. The artworks, especially the forowas, kuduos, gold weights, gold scales, spoons and blowpans hold important cultural references to Ghana’s illustrious history. Though the items were made for specific, practical functions, they were also artistically designed to imitate and depict daily life, politics, occupations, and so on.
“The artworks were items employed in 15th and 19th centuries for gold merchandising. These artworks are very important to the Ghana Museum and the entire nation of Ghana because this artwork is material evidence of the old-age gold trade in the then Gold Coast, now Ghana. This grant will go a long way to preserving Ghana’s Gold heritage.” said Edmond Lowell Busumuru, Ghana Museums and Monuments Board spokesperson.
The Ghana Museums and Monuments Board is among 19 major art restoration projects selected for the 2022 Bank of America Art Conservation Project, representing a diverse range of artistic styles, media, and cultural traditions across the U.S., the U.K., Australia, Nigeria, Ireland, Spain, France and Mexico. Institutions receiving support from Bank of America this year include, National Museum Lagos, Notre-Dame de Paris, Trinity College Library Dublin, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza Madrid, and more.
“Through the Art Conservation Project, we have an opportunity to shine a light on the perpetual need for conservation and preservation. Our support helps ensure that future generations can celebrate and enjoy these historic works of art for years to come.” said Brian Siegel, global arts and heritage executive at Bank of America.
For more information, please visit the Art Conservation Project.