Thursday, 8 July 2010

National Portrait Gallery appeal

Guardian, National Portrait Gallery launches appeal to keep freed slave's portrait, 8 Jul 2010 "A portrait of a freed African slave has gone on display for the first time at the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) as a £100,000 appeal is launched to keep it in the collection.

"The bright eyes of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo who had been a slave-owner and trader, are mesmerising gallery visitors, just as they did when he met King George II and leading intellectuals of the 1730s. Diallo translated Arabic documents and inscriptions for Sir Hans Sloane, whose collections would form the basis of the British Museum."

Also see NPG, Ayuba Suleiman Diallo - Appeal "This exceptional portrait has never been exhibited in public before. If acquired it would become a highlight of the Collection, attracting public attention as a work of aesthetic quality and historical interest. Diallo's story of personal resilience, dignity and faith when faced with enslavement, displacement and redemption at the hands of the British is richly evoked by this sensitive portrait. The portrait will offer the opportunity to explore some of the otherwise missing black and Islamic histories in the Collection and create a more sustained sense of connected British history and identity in the displays."