I’m pleased to inform my friends that this historic painting which I completed in 1992 is now going to a home that will care for it, love it and protect it from damage and misfortunes.
As the single parent of this painting, I feel a sense of loss that she is leaving me.
And, as a good parent, I know I cannot keep her forever. I must allow her to go out to the world, live a fuller life than she could ever live in the confinement of my home. She needs to be in the company of kindred paintings, sculptures and installations, to tour the world, see the interior of great museums, and share the company of royalties and people of distinction, much more than she could receive in my home.
The painting has enjoyed some fame. her first outing away from my home was at the Wisconsin Triennial in 1993.
But when I checked the website of the Wisconsin Triennial, my name was omitted from the list of artists!
You can imagine how shocked I was.
Freida High, who also participated in the show; and Henry Drewal, Cynthia Becker and Shannen Hill, who attended the opening, can testify to the fact that I participated in the show.
I quickly sent this email to the institution, and await their response:
My name is Moyo Okediji.
I participated in the Wisconsin Triennial of 1993 in which my painting, Ogunnic Exploits was exhibited.
At that time, I was a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
I was going through the list of participating artists, and discovered, to my dismay, that you have not included my name.
This omission is a gross distortion of fact.
The image of the painting that I showed in the exhibition is attached.
Please search your record and correct this error.
Moyo Okediji, MFA, Ph.D.
Professor of Art History
Department of Art and Art History
University of Texas, Austin.
I will keep you updated, my friends.
The US is efficient with these matters.
Within one hour after sending the mail today, I received this response:
Dear Professor Okediji,
Good morning and thanks for getting in touch. My apologies for the omission. I’ll send your e-mail to a colleague to fix. I checked the listing we have and it does seem rather incomplete. That being said, MOWA has never hosted the Triennial – it was either the Madison Art Center or, as it is now, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. I couldn’t find a comprehensive list of Triennial artists online.
That was a very fine painting you had in the show!
best wishes and I hope you’re doing well in this strange, difficult times.
Director of Collections and Exhibitions
Museum of Wisconsin Art
205 Veterans Avenue
West Bend, WI 53095