Every well-curated art collection tells a story. The Ellerman House Art Collection is no different – telling the tale of a nation with a long and rich history. An electrifying story of triumphs and tribulations all recorded by the artists of the time. Social commentary is a strong theme that runs through the collection and an art book documenting this story was an obvious progression.
The preface was written by Ellerman House owner, Paul Harris titled ‘The History of My Country’. Acting as a preamble on the history of South Africa to contextualize the collection from a historical perspective. Harris says, ‘I would like to take you on a journey through the history of South Africa. Hopefully, you will then appreciate that it is not only our country’s natural beauty, but also the richness of its history that provides such incredibly fertile ground for artistic expression’.
Part two of the book assists the reader in unlocking some of the meanings of the artworks in the Ellerman House Art Collection by briefly considering their intentions and processes. By placing the works of art in a historical context and connecting precedents and influences, one may uncover some of their hidden meanings. ‘Through the artworks, one can capture moments regarding the social and political climate of South Africa, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present’, says Margaret Gradwell, Ellerman House curator and co-author of the book.
Guests are welcome to enjoy the art book when visiting Ellerman House. If you would like a copy of ‘The Ellerman House Art Collection’ yourself, books will be gifted to those who donate to The Click Foundation. The Click Foundation currently teaches literacy to over 35,000 underprivileged primary school learners through engaging, self-paced and fun online activities at an annual cost of R500 per learner. Visit The Click Foundation website here to find out more – www.clickfoundation.co.za.
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