Lamidi Olonade Fakeye

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Lamidi Olonade Fakeye (1928 – December 24, 2009) was a fifth generation Nigerian sculptor and academic.


Fakeye was born in 1928 in Ila Orangun, Nigeria. He first carved a sculpture in 1938 at which point he became an apprentice to his father.[1] In 1949, he began to be an apprentice with the master sculptor George Bamidele Arowoogun.[2]


In 1955, he went to work at Holy Cross Primary School in Lagos, Nigeria as an art instructor. His first solo exhibition was in 1960 and took place at the British Council in Nigeria. In 1962, he was named the artist-in-residence at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. By 1964, he was elected president of the Society of Professional Artists of Nigeria,[3] the same year that his exhibit opened at the United States Information Service in Nigeria. In 1971, there was an exhibit that showed three generations of Fakeye woodcarvers in Ibadan, Nigeria. He was appointed to the faculty of University of Ife in 1978. In 1989, he served as the artist-in-residence at a number of universities in cities such as Cleveland and Pittsburgh. He published his autobiography in 1996 and had a retrospective exhibit at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.[2] A retrospective exhibition of his life's work was held at the Smithsonian in 1999.[1]


1989: Awarded Oyo State, Nigeria, Special Merit Award[2] 1999: Appointed Kellogg Visiting Artist for Michigan 2008: Named a UNESCO Living Human Treasure[3]


In 2011, a movie was made about Fakeye's life called Lamidi Olonade Fakeye: The Life of a Master Carver directed by Joe Reese and written by Elizabeth Heery.[4]


Fakeye died on December 25, 2009 in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. His death was due to complications following prostate-cancer surgery.[3]


  1. ^ a b c "The Carver Among Us". Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Mah, Linda S. "Master carver Lamidi Olonade Fakeye dies in Nigeria". MLIVE. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  3. ^ "Lamidi Olonade Fakeye: The Life of a Master Carver". IMDB. Retrieved May 6, 2015.

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