John Danford O.B.E. was a professionally trained artist who was for some years a British Council representative in Nigeria. The collection is an important collection of c.480 African art works and artefacts. It includes traditional works from authentic sources, valuable pieces commissioned from now-famous individual carvers and artists, such as Lamidi Fakeye, Justus Akeredolu, Bamgboye and Bandele, as well as contemporary African art. At the heart of the collection is the substantial holding of Yorùbá pieces collected by John Danford in the 1950s.
These include two magnificent èpa masks standing 4-5 feet high and featuring elaborate three- dimensional figural forms, egúngún and gèlèdé masks, ìbejì (twin) figures, intricately-carved Ifá divination bowls, and a set of carved verandah posts
The major pieces have been requested on several occasions for special exhibitions by public art galleries. The collection itself is part of the Research and Cultural Collections – www.rcc.bham.ac.uk