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Ethel Prowse - South African Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Ethel Prowse (1883 - 1967)

Ethel Ruth Prowse was born in Queenstown, South Africa 1883 - 1967

Art Education
1900: Cape Town Art School under G Crosland Robinson.
1902: Slade School, London.
1903-06: on scholarship at Royal Academy Schools under John Singer Sargent.
1907: in Paris under Colarossis and at La Palette in the Latin Quarter.

Short Artist Biography
The daughter of English immigrants. During her early years Ruth Prowse lived in a farmhouse on Devil's Peak.
1902-08: Ruth Prowse studies abroad.
1908: Ruth Prowse returned to South Africa and taught art in Cape Town.
1909: Ruth Prowse elected member of South African Society of Artists. Difficult years for artists; moved to Paarl 1912.
1915-17: Ruth Prowse served in the VAD; returned to Cape Town. Included in Roworth's essay `Land-scape Art in South Africa in Studio publication `Art of the British Empire Overseas', 1917.
1923-25: study-visit to England.
1928-56: Keeper of Michaelis Collection, Old Town House, Cape Town (GALLERIES & MUSEUMS).
1938: study-visit to Europe: research in restoration and preservation of art; Cape Town exhibited on Royal Academy. Foundation member of New Group (Chairman 1952). During ensuing years served on numerous advisory and selection committees; worked untiringly for preservation of historic buildings.
1948-57: Trustee of South African National Gallery.
1959: Cape Town awarded Cape Tercentenary Foundation Medal for work in preserving historical buildings.
1965: awarded SAAA (Cape) Medal of Honour for services to SA art. Life-member of the Simon van der
Stel Foundation.
Upon her death, in 1967, Ruth Prowse bequeathed her home, `The Retreat', in the historic Roodebloem
Estate in Woodstock, Cape Town, for use as an art centre. The gift was not accepted by the local or provincial authorities and the gesture would have come to naught but for the efforts of Cape Town artist Erik Laubscher, who, in 1970, formed a committee to undertake the project of creating the Ruth Prowse Art Centre. The RPAC opened in Jan 1971, with Laubscher as its first Director. The venture was an immediate success and the Centre continued to flourish during the ensuing decade

Art Exhibitions
1902: First Annual Exhibition of South African Society of Artists, Cape Town.
1936: Empire Exhibition, Johannesburg.
1952: Van Riebeeck Tercent Exhibition, Cape Town.
1953: Rhodes Centenary Exhibition, Bulawayo.
1956: First Quad of South African Art.
1966: Rep Fest Exhibition, Pretoria; One-man art exhibitions and retrospective shows during her lifetime.
1968: Memorial Exhibition - South African National Gallery, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Pretoria Art Museum

Public Art Collections
South African National Galleryl, Cape Town; Durban Art Gallery; William Humphreys Gallery, Kimberley; Hester Rupert Art Museum; Rembrandt Art Foundation; National War Museum, Johannesburg

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

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