Cornelius Oyeleke Adepegba (1991-1994, 1998-2001)

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Cornelius AdepegbaA foremost African Art Historian, Cornelius Adepegba studied for his BA (Fine Arts) at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, earning a first-class degree in 1971. He later went to Indiana University, USA, for his MA (1975) and PhD (1976) in Art History.

Joining the University of Ibadan in 1972, Adepegba taught African Art at the Jos Campus of the University until 1973. He would later move to the Department of Archaeology in Ibadan. He joined the Institute of African Studies in 1980, and taught Pre-Islamic Art of Africa, Saharan Rock Art, Sub-Saharan African Art and 20th-Century African Art, in addition to the many MA, MPhil and PhD dissertations he supervised.

Adepegba's scholarly works have appeared in several local and international journals, such as The Nigerian Field, West African Journal of Archaeology, Nigerian Magazine, Journal of African Studies, and International Journal of African Historical Studies. A veteran curator, Adepegba mounted and supervised many exhibitions, ranging from those of the works of contemporary African artists to collections of traditional artefacts. From 1978, he was in charge of the collection of ethnographic and contemporary arts at the Institute of African Studies until it became a full-fledged museum in 1984. Adepegba became the honorary curator of the Institute Museum in 1986. He was Fulbright Scholar resident at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in 1993 where he curated 'A-Historical Sculpture of West Africa' for the Trout Gallery.

Cornelius Adepegba became Professor of Art History at the Institute of African Studies in 1987. He died in October, 2002 in active service while planning an academic visit to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.