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By Marizka Coetzer


Uhm, museums are ‘not out of fashion’

Pretoria’s art museum turns 60, as City of Tshwane deputy mayor pleaded with stakeholders and the public for support.

The Pretoria Art Museum celebrated its 60th year of existence last week with various exhibitions and free entrance for all.

Pretoria Art Museum curator Hannelie du Plessis said there was a good turnout from the public as part of the museum’s 60th celebration week.

She added the museum experiences busier times during exhibitions or school tours.

“Group exhibitions also draw bigger crowds versus a solo exhibition. But there’s always something going on in one of our five galleries,” she said.

Museums ‘not out of fashion’

Local artist Dani Wales said museums are not out of fashion and are more than just mere buildings to house historical artefacts and collections of artworks.

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“As an artist myself, I don’t only create work to be admired by people in the present, but I focus on the story it’ll still tell 100 years from now,” she said.

Wales is opening her own gallery next month and said both galleries and museums serve a greater purpose of educating future generations about past cultural indifferences, societal struggles and the journey South Africa’s forefathers had to take to get to where the country is today.

“It is incredibly important to preserve art pieces from different periods to give us a perspective of how our world and environment got to where it is today, and perhaps awaken a desire in all of us to shape a better future,” she added.

Support your local museum

City of Tshwane deputy mayor Nasiphi Moya visited the Pretoria Art Museum and the Melrose House Museum as part of International Museum Day on 18 May.

She pleaded with stakeholders and members of the public to continue supporting SA’s museums.

“The Pretoria Art Museum is a source of inspiration. The goal of exhibitions is to stimulate interest in diverse fields of inquiry regarding items, epochs, religions, philosophies and scientific ideas,” she said.

Why museum was closed

Moya also conducted an oversight visit at the reopening of the Melrose House Museum earlier last week following renovations.

“The museum was temporarily closed for a year because of roof renovations. Melrose House Museum is a historical treasure for the City of Tshwane,” she said.

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“The house was built in 1886 and was under private ownership for years until it was purchased by the then city council as it was envisioned to hold heritage value.”

Objects 300 years old

Moya said the Melrose House Museum offers visitors a great adventure and opportunity to explore a historical period in SA’s history.

It offers visitors a view of the architectural styles from the Victorian and Edwardian eras.

As a heritage building, it houses more than 2 000 heritage objects that are between 100 and 300 years old.

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