Louis T. Wells

Lou Wells’ interest in African art has its origins in his driving a VW Beetle from Boston to Costa Rica (and back) in 1966. His encounter there with Pre-Columbian art led him to NYC galleries, at a time when African and Pre-Columbian were often shown together. An assignment in Liberia in 1967 did it—he realised he loved African art more than Pre-Columbian. Friendship with Rene Guyot in Monrovia provided training, and access to Harvard’s Peabody Museum publications and collections led him to track material collected by Dr. George Harley, a medical missionary in Liberia from 1926 to 1960. Gradually his interest spread to the rest of West and Central Africa. He taught at Harvard Business School from 1966 until 2012, with a research focus on foreign investment and development.