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The Johannesburg Art Gallery needs restoration and renovation. As part of its centenary celebrations, a workshop open to the public will explore options for the gallery.
INTERESTED Joburg residents will get the chance to have their say on what renovations they would like to see made to the Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG) building as part of the gallery’s four-year restoration, in a workshop on 20 August.


Chief curator of the JAG, Antoneitte MurdochChief curator of the JAG, Antoneitte Murdoch“In 2015, the original Lutyens building of the original Johannesburg Art Gallery will be 100 years old,” said the deputy director of museums and galleries, Langelihle Mfuphi. “Stephen Hobbs has chosen to join the gallery on this four-year journey and aims to revise, deconstruct and re-imagine the architectonic and spatial characteristics of the Johannesburg Art Gallery.”

Hobbs is a born-and-bred Joburg artist who focuses on urban spaces through video, installation, special curated projects, photography and sculpture.

He has been involved with JAG in the past, with his last project in November 2010 comprising an installation and sequence of building projections on its north facade. Since then, he has been working on a series of etchings and linocut at the David Krut Print Workshop at Arts on Main; this now also hangs at JAG.

The need for refurbishment of the building arose not just because it was almost 100 years old. In 1986, Meyer/Pienaar Architects installed a new facade which enclosed the courtyard and increased the exhibition space below ground.

“It is apparent where the joins between the old and new sections of the museum connect from within the courtyard,” Mfuphi said. “Over the years, the building has weakened at the joins, causing water damage.”

Antoinette Murdoch, the JAG chief curator, has made it her mission to tackle these faults during her tenure.


JAg will be 100 years old in 2015JAg will be 100 years old in 2015“Hobbs and Murdoch have worked together to realise this project, starting last year in November with the celebration of 100 years of collecting,” Mfuphi explained. “Their aim, through the various projects and interventions, is to address the matter at hand by 2015.”

In addition, the gallery has been speaking to a range of architectural and engineering specialists for technical input. This will lead to a strategy to stop the water leaks as well as fix the surface and structural problems.

Funds are being raised for the restoration and rebuilding, which is necessary in parts of the structure.

The workshop will be part of this process of planning and engagement. “[The] design workshop is aimed at consolidating conceptual and architectural inputs and revising the gallery’s historical design changes in relation to future alterations,” he said.

It will take place on Saturday, 20 August from 10am to 2pm at JAG, which is located in Joubert Park on King George Street, between Wolmarans and Noord streets. Those who are interested in attending should RSVP to Tiny Malefane at

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