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Frans Oerder - South African Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Frans Oerder (1867 - 1944)

Frans Oerder was born in Rotterdam, Holland 1867 - 1944

Art Education
- 1880 to 1885 Frans Oerder studied art at Rotterdam Academy; further art tution under Ernest Blanc-Garin, Brussels.

Short Artist Biography
- Frans Oerder was the youngest of seven children of a municipal employee; his father opposed his choice of art as a career, but was persuaded to allow him to study decorating.
- 1885 Completed six year art course in five years, won King William III Gold Medal and Bursary; toured Italy; his father died leaving him a small amount of money which facilitated further art studies in Brussels.
- 1890 Frans Oerder followed his brother to South Africa; his first job was as house-painter to the firm De Wyn & Engelenburg; appointed art teacher at Girls's Secondary School Pretoria.
- 1894 Rented a studio in Pretoria; drew cartoons for newspapers; worked with Anton van Wouw; Pierneef a regular visitor to his studio.
- 1896 Painted in Zululand; exhibited in Cape Town.
- 1899 Frans Oerder joined Boer forces on outbreak of Anglo-Boer War; sketched in the field.
- 1903 After the war Frans Oerder travelled and painted along East African coast, contracted malaria.
- 1905 Elected member of South African Society of Artists.
- 1906 Back in Pretoria, he began to receive portrait and landscape commissions.
- 1908 Returned to Holland via Italy.
- 1908 to 1938 Frans Oerder settled first in Brabant later in Amsterdam.
- 1909 Won silver medal on International Exhibition, Amsterdam.
- 1910 Frans Oerder married Gerda Pitlo; retained connections with South Africa; designed cover for 'Die Brandwag'; sent work for exhibition in Johannesburg.
- 1920 Won silver medal on International Exhibition, Brussels.
- 1938 Frans Oerder returned to South Africa with his wife; exhibited in Cape Town; settled in Pretoria, tower-room of City Hall made available to him as a studio; painted several important portraits including Jan Smuts; travelled and painted in Cape Province, Natal and Northern Transvaal; severe bout of pneumonia weakened him, died in Pretoria in 1944.

Art Exhibitions
- 1896 onwards: One-man art exhibitions in South Africa and Europe.
- 1950 Memorial Exhibition, Old Pretoria Art Gallery.
- 1953 Rhodes Centenary Exhibition, Bulawayo.
- 1965 Retrospective Exhibition, Pretoria Art Museum.
- 1979 'South African Printmakers' South African National Art Gallery, Cape Town.

Public Art Collections
South African National Art Gallery, Cape Town; Pretoria Art Museum; Durban Art Gallery; William Humphreys Art Gallery; King George VI Art Gallery; Africana Museum Johannesburg; Albany Museum, Grahamstown; Bloemfontein War Museum; Rembrandt Art Foundation; University of Wits Art Gallery.

Berman, E. 1994. Art & Artists of South Africa . Southern Book Publishers.

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