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Dar to Dunoon: Modern African Art from the Argyll Collection 21 May to 13 June 2021

22 June 2021
Dar to Dunoon: Modern African Art from the Argyll Collection was an exhibition at Dunoon Burgh Hall that showcased twelve works of modern art from East and South Africa, made in the 1960s and 70s.  It was accompanied by a podcast series, available here.
The paintings and prints bought by the writer Naomi Mitchison for the Argyll Collection, a publicly funded initiative she started in 1960 to acquire art for use in rural Scottish schools. The majority of works in the collection are Scottish, but these works from Africa constitute a small but highly significant part. Until recently, the details of these works had been lost or overlooked in the years since their acquisition. Artist names and titles were missing, along with the story of how they came to be in Scotland.
Dar to Dunoon was the culmination of a research project, began in 2018 by Dr. Kate Cowcher and involving two then Art History undergraduates, Meredith Loper and Elikem Logan. The project traced the stories of these works and confirmed attributions for ten out of twelve of them. The paintings and prints, by some of Africa's most notable modernist artists, document the diversity of creativity in the early years of independence in countries such as Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya.
In addition to the exhibition, resources for schools were produced and Dar to Dunoon featured examples of creative writing and visual art produced by primary children in Argyll as part of the first pilot workshops using African modern art in the classroom. Further resources are being developed, to be released in time for Black History Month 2021.
For more information on the project or the exhibition, visit