Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art

April 1520, 2023
Auction begins to close at 2:00 pm ET

Online Auction
LOT 38

Lot 38

Kofi Antubam (1922-1964)

Kofi Antubam (1922-1964)
Lot 38 Details
Kofi Antubam (1922-1964), Ghanaian


watercolour and ink on paper
signed and dated
sheet 15.2 x 11.1 in — 38.5 x 28.3 cm

Estimate $800-$1,200

Realised: $720
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images
Kofi Antubam (1922-1964)
  • Kofi Antubam (1922-1964)
  • Kofi Antubam (1922-1964)
  • Kofi Antubam (1922-1964)

Private Collection, Toronto, ON


Kofi Antubam’s work helped define a newly independent Ghana, influencing subsequent generations of artists. Antubam studied art at Achimota School, in Accra, and Goldsmiths College, in London. He would blend those two distinct cultural viewpoints throughout his career. Antubam believed that contemporary African artists should use European-style training and techniques to depict traditional African culture. African artists, he argued, must incorporate artistic elements from abroad, so as to enrich local styles and create a unique and elevated Afrocentric artistic identity. Antubam was proud of his country, believing that art should be an integral part of Ghana’s future, as it was an important part of the nation’s past.
Antubam also designed state regalia for the nation of Ghana, including the parliamentary mace and presidential seat commissioned by Kwame Nkrumah, the first Prime Minister and President of Ghana. Antubam also designed wooden reliefs for the facade of the parliament building in Accra, as well as murals for the United Nations building in Geneva. In 1957, after Ghana declared independence, Antubam was appointed as an official state artist by Nkrumah, and laboured to present Ghana as a fully-fledged nation. Antubam was also known for his pioneering use of adinkra in fine art: adrinkra are Ghanaian symbols which represent concepts or aphorisms and are used extensively in design, on pottery, textile, architectural features and carvings. Antubam’s work was exhibited in Ghana as well as internationally, including London, Paris, Rome, Düsseldorf, and New York.


Good overall condition.
Cockling to the sheet, adhesive tape on four edges verso, discolouration on the edge due to the adhesive, scattered handling dents and small abrasions.

LOT 38

About Condition Ratings

  • 5 Stars: Excellent - No discernable damage, flaws or imperfections
  • 4 Stars: Very Good - Minor flaws or imperfections visible only under close inspection using specialised instruments or black light
  • 3 Stars: Good - Minor flaws visible upon inspection under standard lighting
  • 2 Stars: Fair - Exhibits flaws or damage that may draw the eye under standard lighting
  • 1 Star: Poor - Flaws or damage immediately apparent under standard lighting (examples: missing components, rips, broken glass, damaged surfaces, etc.)

Note: Condition ratings and condition details are the subjective opinions of our specialists and should be used as a guide only. Waddington’s uses due care when preparing condition details, however, our staff are not professional restorers or conservators. Condition details and reports are not warranties and each lot is sold “as is” in accordance with the buyer’s terms and conditions of sale. In all cases the prospective purchaser is responsible for inspecting the property themselves prior to placing a bid.