Margaret Trowell’s School of Art or How to Keep the Children’s Work Really African

  • Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa


This chapter concerns the work of a White British woman named Margaret Trowell (1903–1989), who founded anglophone East Africa’s first “professional” school of fine art in the Uganda Protectorate in the 1930s. Trowell is still popularly remembered in Uganda as someone who, contrary to the dominant European views of her day, genuinely believed in Africans’ creative abilities and championed their artistic expression. However, I argue that both her pedagogical theories and her teaching practice were strongly influenced by colonial government policy and that as a consequence her stated commitment to supporting the development of a “true African tradition of art” was far less emancipatory than it at first appeared.


Colonialism Art education Racism British colonialism African art Culture 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa
    • 1
  1. 1.Fakultet for kunst, musikk og design, Institutt for kunstUniversitetet i BergenBergenNorway

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