The Lechwe Trust Art Gallery is now exhibiting “46 years of Zambia’s Fine Art Heritage”. The exhibition features early artworks acquired by Lechwe Trust representing renowned artists such as Henry Tayali, Bente Lorenz, Akwila Simpasa, Trevor Ford, Tubayi Dube, Eddie Mumba and over 70 others.
The collection was started in 1987 by founding members Cynthia Zukas and Bente Lorenz, soon after the death of their colleague Henry Tayali. They had help from Ruth Bush at Mpapa Gallery, who would call them when she thought an outstanding work had come into her gallery.
The aim was to stop exceptional pieces leaving the country, and to give support to worthy artists. The Trust has managed to save significant works created during the 1960s and 1970s and continues to seek out works by early artists.
Over the years, as artists gained experience, and with the return from overseas of Lechwe Trust’s sponsored graduates, the range and quality of works increased. Also, the Lechwe Trust committee grew into an active group with a keen eye for important new acquisitions.
Artwork donations continue to be a vital addition to the collection. Significant donations to date include works donated by art lovers, and by artists who are also collectors including Betty Wilkinson, Jodam Allingam, Diane Bouchard, and the Zukas family. The Royal Netherlands Embassy in Lusaka donated 13 outstanding Zambian artworks upon the closure of their mission to Zambia. The Royal Norwegian Embassy donated 41 artworks upon its closure. Other donations are made by artists who have been supported by Lechwe Trust, or come from Lechwe Trust-sponsored workshops.
The artworks on display are not for sale. Exhibition is open until the end of July, 2023