Association of Arts Pretoria - South African Art Gallery
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Association of Arts Pretoria
173 Mackie Str, Nieuw Muckleneuk
Pretoria 0181, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)12 346 3100,Fax: +27 (0)12 346 3125
Hours Tues - Fri: 9.30am - 5.30pm
Sat: 9.30am - 1pm
The inter-connected art galleries of the Association of Arts are situated in the peaceful, picturesque Austin Roberts Park and Sanctuary and are close to the centre of the Pretoria city centre and the University of Pretoria.
The Association of Arts Pretoria is a voluntary, non-profit association with a separate legal personality. It is governed by an executive committee, members of which include well-known artists, art teachers and academics and patrons of the arts.
The full-time staffs of the Association are Pieter van Heerden, the director, Nandi Hilliard, the gallery manager, and assistants Koni Koma and Dorah Rahlolgo. It has more than 800 members and was one of the founding members of the SA National Association for the Visual Arts, the national organisation to co-ordinate and promote the activities of the various local arts associations.
The South African Association of Arts was founded as the South African Fine Arts Association in Cape Town in 1871. The Southern Transvaal Branch was established in July 1947 and the Northern Transvaal Branch was formed in Pretoria on September 27 of the same year. The moving spirit behind the establishment of the Arts Association and its various branches was High Commissioner Charles te Water, who also became its first president. Its first chairperson was the famous artist Walter Batiss.
With Mr Justice J F Marais as chairperson in October 1959, a new era opened for the Pretoria Branch of the S A Association of Arts. He took the major step of obtaining premises for the Association in Polley's Arcade. The Association now had a gallery in the true sense of the word. When the Provincial Administration offered the Old Netherlands Bank Building to the Association in 1963 the gallery was moved. The historic banking hall became a fine gallery with a dignity and an atmosphere all of its own. In this venue the Association had three galleries, namely the large Main Gallery, the Atelier Gallery on the ground floor, and the Upper Gallery on the first floor.
Later, in 1978, the Association occupied the splendid gallery on the 36th floor of the Volkskas Building. The year 1991 heralded the move to the Associaton’s magnificent gallery in Mackie Street, Nieuw Muckleneuk