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Here’s to a new SA where old ideas on art are going, going, gone


Here’s to a new SA where old ideas on art are going, going, gone

Both auction houses and varsities are leading the way to change in the vacuum left by the government

Chris Thurman

Almost a year ago I wrote about the role played by auction houses in what might be described as public education in the arts. Aspire Art Auctions’ James Sey had just produced a position paper arguing that “auction houses in the SA market are more and more stepping into the gap left by the lack of resources available to our public museums and art institutions — most importantly in the areas of art education, research, publishing and promotion”.

Sey also affirmed that “the continuing lack of government funding for public art institutions means private collectors and collections have increasingly become responsible for developing a place for fine art in our national cultural identity”.

That same week Nathi Mthethwa was confirmed as the head of a newly expanded department that would combine the sport and recreation portfolio with that of arts and culture. This announcement was received with a collective “Meh” from the arts sector. ..

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