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Top Museums and Art Galleries in Nigeria

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Tourism is one of the non-major sources of cash revenue in Nigeria. It contributes a lot to the GDP and provides jobs for many Nigerians.

Nigeria is one of the most visited countries in Africa, a continent that is quickly gaining popularity among international tourists. It’s also one of the most diverse countries with different regions, cultures, and people.

In spite of its beauty, Nigeria faces many challenges that prevent it from being an attractive tourism destination: corruption levels are high and infrastructure is inadequate.

Nigeria is home to some of the most fascinating museums in Africa. The National Museum of Nigeria is the oldest museum in Nigeria and houses a wide range of Nigerian art and artifacts. The Museum belongs to the Nigerian Government and was established for Nigerians by Nigerians.

The National Museum of Nigeria is located on Aminu Kano Crescent, Nnamdi Azikiwe Avenue, Abuja with a postal address: P.O. Box 13840, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria

The Nigerian culture is rich in heritage and artefacts which can be seen in their traditional inheritance.

Nigerian culture is one of the most diverse cultures in the world. This is because Nigeria has a mixture of many different cultures, religions, languages, and traditions.

In Nigeria, you will find people who inherit from their parents and grandparents who are Christians and Muslims. In other cases, you will find people who inherit from aunts and uncles or grandparents that are traditional worshippers.

Calabar Old Residency Museum

Calabar Old Residency Museum is a historic site of the former British Colonial Administration. It is a museum that has relics and artifacts that represent the life and culture of the Niger Delta region in Nigeria.

The Calabar Old Residency Museum was built in 1883 by the British colonial administration as an official residence for its representative, Sir Ralph Moor. The original building was made up of three sections; an administrative section, a house for staff, and a residence for Moor himself.

This historic site houses relics and artifacts that represent life and culture in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

Esię Museum

The Esię Museum is a museum in Kwara state that was opened in 1945. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the museum’s most famous exhibit is its soapstone carvings.

There are around 800 fossils). One common story is the discovery of the collection in 1900 by Charles Dawson.

Esiẹ Museum is composed of both old and modern galleries with a combined number of around 2,000 artifacts. The modern gallery was built to accommodate other artifacts besides soapstone figures from different regions in Nigeria. Every April, the museum hosts a “monument festival” to celebrate its cultural history.

Nigerian National Museum

The Nigerian National Museum Onikan is a national museum in Nigeria’s capital city of Lagos, operated by the National Commission on Museums and Monuments. It is located on Onikan Drive, Lagos Island. Established in 1957, it contains exhibits about the ethnography and natural history of Nigeria and the West African region.

Benin City National Museum

The Benin City National Museum is housed in the Old Royal Palace of Benin. The museum collects and displays artifacts from the Edo peoples and their descendants.

In 1995, the museum was relocated to Benin City from Ibadan.

The museum is considered to be one of Nigeria’s most successful museums because it has been able to preserve many of its antiquities because these items were not sold abroad for profit.

Gidan Makama National museum

The Museum was established in the 15th Century and located in Emir Palace Rd, Wudilawa, Kano, The historical building has eleven galleries with arts and crafts, items of historic interest, National Treasures and an Archaeology Collection.

The museum was built as a memorial to those who died while struggling for Nigerian independence. It also provides a history lesson on the nation’s history and culture.

If you want to see art in Kano, visit the galleries which include the Zaure (traditional materials) or the main entrance hall with a full exhibition of city walls and maps of Kano land. As you approach the inside, you will see Kano’s history of statehood and details about Kano in the 19th century.

National War Museum, Umuahia

The National War Museum is a museum about the Nigerian Civil War. It has an exhibition space that it uses to display its exhibits.

The National War Museum of Nigeria is located in Umuahia, Abia State. The museum was created in 1985 by President Shehu Shagari to commemorate the soldiers who died during the Nigerian Civil War.

The Nigerian National War Museum in Umuahia showcases the military history of Nigeria with relics from the Second World War, post-independence conflicts and other wars and battles.

Nigeria has a long history of armed conflicts. The museum was opened in 1985 with the aim of preserving Nigeria’s military heritage and educating the public about the country’s past, present and future. It is one of few museums in Africa that document this topic.

Jos Museum

Jos Museum is a museum in Jos, Nigeria. The museum was established in 1952 by Bernard Fagg and was originally designed to educate the Nigerians on their natural history with the exhibition of artifacts from numerous regions.

The museum is located within an area of 16 hectares and consists of 5 galleries. The first gallery provides an overview of Nigeria’s history, culture, geography and tourism; the second gallery features archaeological remains; the third gallery displays pottery from various eras; Gallery 4 showcases Nigerian paintings from 1800 onwards, and Gallery 5 exhibits traditional Nigerian costumes.

Paintings by western artists from around 1847 are also present in this gallery.

Nike Art Gallery

Nike Art Gallery is an art gallery in Lagos was founded by Nike Davies-Okundaye. The gallery is arguably the most established contemporary art space in Lagos.

It was founded in 2015 and is co-owned by Nike Davies-Okundaye and her husband, Victor Okundaye. Nike’s inspiration for the project came from her time living in London as a student where she was able to experience different types of contemporary art. The goal of the gallery is to provide a platform for talented Nigerian artists to show their work and contribute to society.

Nike Art Gallery hosts various exhibits each year, which range from private solo shows of established artists like Uche Okeke or Gbenga Adefeso; group shows featuring young Nigerian artists like Duro Olowu offer the opportunity for audiences to experience something new while also supporting the next generation of Nigerian artists.

Kanta Museum

Nigeria is home to the Kanta Museum, the first museum in Africa. The museum was established by a group of Muslim people from Argungu – a small town near the Niger river.

It is unclear why it took so long for Africans to build their first museum. But one possible explanation is because they were not academically inclined and did not have any formal education at that time.

The historic building was named after Muhammed Kanta, he established the Kebbi Kingdom in 1515.

Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art

This museum was created by Yemisi Shyllon to promote Nigerian art and culture with the hope of making a more significant contribution to the arts.

The museums is part of the Pan-Atlantic University, for its arts-focused courses, is where the next generation of artists are trained and empowere with modern skills and equipments for their career.

The Victoria Island Campus specialises in humanities and social sciences while the main campus focuses on arts and science.

Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art, Lekki is a space where visitors can enjoy African art in all forms. The museum has two galleries, four floors and a rooftop terrace which is open to the public.

The Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art offers visitors multiple spaces for exploration and to take in the beauty of Nigerian art.

Oron Museum

The Oron Museum is home to over 800 ancient statues of the “Gurri” people. The museum was established in 1958 after locals found a large number of these figures, which are believed to be among the oldest and finest wood carvings in Africa.

The National Museum of Nigerian Arts has a plethora of historical artifacts that document history and cultural identity. These include wood carvings, pottery, textiles, masks, armor sculptures as well as ethnographic materials from across Nigeria. Visitors to this museum can also find mementos leftover from when it was damaged by looting during wartime such as bunkers used for protection or remnants of civil war artworks in its bunker displays on display.

Badagry Heritage Museum

The Badagry Heritage Museum is a small, beautiful museum in Lagos that highlights the injustices of slavery and was constructed by British colonialists. The galleries incorporate Nigeria’s rich history while also allowing you to explore how Africans were able to preserve their heritage despite immense difficulties such as slave trade and colonization.

The museum provides a space for social dialogue that is relevant to the modern African, whilst also exhibiting rich histories and cultures of Africa. The building houses eight galleries each dealing with particular themes relating to local heritage and the transatlantic slave trade – which was an injustice in itself given it denies Africans their own agency over their lives. Guided tours are available during opening hours on Mondays-Saturdays except holidays or as part of school excursions by appointment only.

Owo Museum

In 1968, the Owo Museum was founded to accommodate antiquities formerly in the Olowo Palace.

The museum exhibits archaeological artifacts and ethnographic materials discovered near Owo, Nigeria. Important discoveries include terracotta sculptures dating from the 15th century of Africa’s two most famous art centers: Ife and Benin.

Centre For Memories

The Center for Memories is a repository of the history and culture of Ndigbo, informing and empowering leaders to serve with excellence and integrity. This center has been hailed as “the living museum” by prominent Nigerian artist Onyeka Okumu who said that “The Centre enables current generations to understand their past better – what it means in order not just be there physically but also mentally”

It’s easy for us nowadays often forget our roots or have little understanding about where we come from when immersed in Western society. The Centre provides education on this topic which can help people feel more connected to themselves through knowledge of heritage they wouldn’t otherwise know existed!

The Owo Museum in Nigeria showcases artifacts from the Olowo Palace, which was formerly located at that address. The museum contains important archaeological discoveries such as terracotta sculptures dating back to the 15th century and significant ethnographic materials discovered in the Owo area.

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