Imago Nova Ikongalleri

PROFESSOR RICHARD PANKHURST, son of the Suffragette leader Sylvia Pankhurst (1882-1960), is a world-famous scholar of history and a central figure within the Ethiopian academic and cultural life, as well as a highly esteemed person amongst ordinary citizens of Ethiopia. He has published more than 20 books, mainly concerning Ethiopian history, and innumerable essays, not least published in The Encyclopaedia Aethiopica. As founder of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, since 1963 housed in the former villa of Emperor Haille Sellasie at the compound of Addis Ababa University, Pankhurst has made and still make a great scholarly and pragmatic contribution to the history and culture of Ethiopia. A sign of his position as the grand old man of Ethiopian Studies is the new university library at Addis Ababa University under construction, which will be named The Richard Pankhurst Institute of Ethiopian Studies Library. 

Learn more about Professor Pankhurst:

See interview with Richard and Rita Pankhurst:

PROFESSOR EM. BO OSSIAN LINDBERG works at the Department of Art History at Åbo Akademi University in Finland. He is an internationally recognised scholar of art, specialized in the pictorial world of the poet and artist William Blake (1757-1827), to whom Lindberg’s doctors’s thesis William Blake’s Illustrations to the Book of Job, published  1973, was dedicated. Since the 1980’s he has focused his research on the materials and techniques of art.Today he is considered as the foremost authority in this field in the Nordic countries with expert knowledge in the painting techniques on wall and panel of the Italian art during the middle Ages and the Renaissance.


To N.N. Publishing Firm 

I have much pleasure in recommending Mr. Lars Gerdmar's proposed publication on Ethiopian sacred art. Gerdmar is a renowned icon painter as well as a restorer of ancient wall paintings. He is also an independent scholar of Byzantine art. In 2007 he published in Sweden a major work on the history and aesthetics of Byzantine and Russian icon painting, a book, which is also proposed for international publication.

The ancient sacred art of Ethiopia constitutes an important part of African art and history, as well as of World Heritage. In his role of painting restorer and scholar Gerdmar has resided in Ethiopia on several occasions since 2002, to study the old wall paintings in the northern parts of the country as well as to assess the state of these with regard to their need for conservation.

As founder and first director of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa, dedicated to international research on Ethiopian art and culture, I have been active here for more than 40 years. I have met Lars Gerdmar and discussed with him on various occasions over a number of years, his proposed major project of restoring Ethiopian ancient sacred art and his art historical studies.

For his proposed restoration project Gerdmar has been successful in obtaining the various permits required from the Government and ecclesiastical authorities in the country to document this art photographically.

Today he has a unique collection of photographs of Ethiopian works of art, many of which have never before been seen by the international public. Gerdmar is now proposing to publish a book on a selection of these, with an introductory text on Ethiopian art and history. This book, mainly addressed to the international public interested in pictorial art and culture, should make an important contribution to the knowledge of the extensive collection of ancient murals, manuscript illuminations and icons, which form part of the Ethiopian cultural heritage.

As a way of making this part of African art and World Heritage better known to the international public I warmly recommend Lars Gerdmars proposed publication.

Addis Ababa, May 2010

Signed on behalf of Richard Pankhurst

Professor, Founder and First Director of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies,

Addis Ababa University

Lars Gerdmar 

Contact information: Professor Richard Pankhurst


Phone: +251 113712901 

Mobile: +251 911208580

To N.N. Publishing Firm

Recommendation for Lars Gerdmar, 

Icon painter and Restorer

Since 2002, Lars Gerdmar has stayed in Ethiopia on several occasions, to study the old wall paintings in Northern Ethiopia in order to assess the state of these regarding their need for conservation. In the process of this work Gerdmar has amassed a collection of photographs of the wall paintings and of other Ethiopian works of art (icons, manuscript illuminations), most of which have never been seen by the international public. Gerdmar now proposes to publish a selection of his photographs internationally, together with an introductory text on Ethiopian art and history. I trust he will successfully complete his proposal, judging from his book of 2007, on the history, theology and technique of Russian and Byzantine Icon painting, published in Swedish, but an international publication is underwork. I have known Gerdmar for about 30 years,closely followed his work as painter, restorer and historian and am convinced that he is the right man to make Ethiopian Church art, an important part of African World Heritage, known to the international public. I warmly recommend Lars Gerdmar´s proposed publication.

Bo Ossian Lindberg

Professor Emeritus

Dept. of Art History

Åbo Akademi University


FIN-20500 Åbo, Finland 

Phone: 00358 (02) 215 4337