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Alan Donovan

Alan Donovan

Creator & Co-Founder of African Heritage

Alan Donovan arrived in Africa  on July 4 1967 with the US State Department as a relief officer during the Nigerian-Biafra war. He resigned his post in 1969, bought a Volkswagen bus in Paris, and travelled through the Sahara Desert to Nigeria.  During his African odyssey, he encountered the magnificent mud mosques of Mali and other examples of African  pre-colonial mud architecture. He then drove across the Congo to Kenya, arriving in Nairobi in March 1970. Thereafter he spent  several months with the peoples of the Northern Frontier District of Kenya. He held his first exhibition of art and material culture  from the Turkana and other peoples of Northern Kenya in October 1970. It was then he met Joseph Murumbi, the former Vice President of Kenya, and Africa’s most notable private collector. Together, with Murumbi’s wife, Sheila, they opened African Heritage, the first Pan African gallery on the African continent, in 1972.

Alan Donovan arrived in Africa on July 4, 1967 at the US Embassy in Accra (Ghana). He later co-founded the African Heritage galleries in Kenya. In 2017, GOOGLE ARTS& CULTURE brought 150 people on the train to African Heritage House to celebrate his life’s work and 4 exhibits can now be seen on GOOGLE ARTS & CULTURE AFRICAN HERITAGE HOUSE.  The month of October 2017 will be packed with celebrations with a city-wide Nigerian Festival, Exhibition of Nigerian Contemporary Art, an ‘African Heritage Night’  and an exhibition of VANISHING AFRICAN TEXTILES FROM AFRICAN HERITAGE HOUSE. | See all upcoming events

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