Olowere of Ise. The foremost Yoruba sculptor

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Olowe of Ise (1875-1937), was the greatest Yoruba carver of the twentieth century. Olowere, now known as Olowe of Ise, was born in Efon-Alaiye, but in his youth, relocated southeast, to Ise, Ekiti. Under the patronage of the traditional ruler, Oba Arinjale-of Ise-Ekiti Kingdom, he began a program of architectural sculptures that established his artistic reputation. He carved hundreds of sculptures over a period of forty years as an active artist. He subsequently received comparable palace commissions from regional leaders throughout Yorubaland. During the lifetime of Olowe, his works were exhibited both in and beyond the African continent. In 1924, a pair of doors carved for the palace of the Ogoga of Ikere in Ekiti, were exhibited in London and acquired by the British Museum. The occurrence consequently launched the recognition of Olowes artistic brilliance, and his works have spread to collections throughout the world.

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