Susanne Wenger

Susanne Wenger
04 July 1915 – 12 January 2009
Graz, Austria- Osogbo, Nigeria

Susanne Wenger was already a celebrated Austrian artist when she moved to Nigeria in 1950.   But it was Yoruba mythology that inspired her to express her true spiritual and artistic depth.

Susanne was profoundly moved by the sanctity of the Sacred Groves and became the leading advocate to protect it.  For over 40 years, she, along with a group of local artists, built phenomenal shrines and dotted the forest of the Sacred Groves with works of art creating a new art Movement known as “New Sacred Art”.  For Susanne, “Art was an expression of the sacred” rather than a commercial undertaking.

Financial support for the building of the sculptures came mostly from the sale of her artwork. From the mid 1980’s to 2004, Susanne had many important international exhibitions. Her drawings, paintings, and batiks that she created over her 59 years in Nigeria and her early days in Austria are conserved in a purpose built gallery in Krems, Austria.


But she left her most important work to Nigeria in the Sacred Groves of Osogbo. The Adunni Olorisha Trust- Adunni Osun Foundation is dedicated to preserving this remarkable art legacy.

Sometimes we need a stranger to guide us through the chaos that reigns in our own house, Susanne Wenger is this stranger, this outsider—but in the process of guiding us, she also found herself and has not only ceased to become a stranger and an outsider but in turn has become a Yoruba soul and the Yoruba’s conscience  The late Chief Adebayo Adeleke, 1983, Patron and lifetime friend of Susanne’s

Susanne Wenger