Margaret Trowell’s School of Art A Case Study in Colonial Subject Formation

Margaret Trowell (1904–1985) founded one of the first schools of ‘fine art’ for Africans in the Uganda Protectorate in the 1930s. This essay argues that both Trowell’s arguments for introducing fine art into the ‘indigenous’ curriculum and accounts of her teaching methodology reveal that, despite her extensive and sophisticated knowledge of the material cultures of East Africa, and despite her emancipatory intentions, the vision that underpinned her approach to art education was one aiming at the extension of colonial governmentality into the aesthetic realm.

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