From the Director's Desk

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As we enter a new year we reflect on the past year as one of change, but also one that has provided great opportunities for the future. At the end of September last year, Brendan Bell retired. He had been the Manager of the Tatham Art Gallery since 1992. Brendan was trained by Lorna Ferguson, his predecessor. The current Gallery staff take this opportunity to thank them both for the solid museological foundation and legacy that they have, in turn, left behind.

At the Annual General Meeting last year the Board of Trustees for the Tatham Art Gallery Trust for 2018 – 2021 was nominated and confirmed.

Prof Ian Calder
Bryony Clark (Acting Manager)
Christopher Duigan (Vice Chair)
Heather Gourlay-Conyngham
David Gush (Chairperson)
Dr Louise Hall
Gavin John
Thulani Makhaye
Suren Naidoo
Sibusisiwe Ngcobo
Bona Nyawose
Anand Singh
Beauty Sekete

It is eighteen months since the devastating flood occurred in the Gallery basement. Numerous art works were affected by the flood, but in many ways we find ourselves better positioned as a museum now, than before the flood. Most of the Gallery’s recovery can be attributed to human endeavor and the effort that has been made, since the flood, to remedy the damage and to ensure that there is not a recurrence of the disaster.

Slowly but surely, the art works damaged in the flood are being repaired. Ekkehard Hans continues to restore paintings and DK Conservators in Cape Town are working on all works on paper. The Gallery’s collection of Persian carpets has been restored and relined and the sculpture damaged by the water has been repaired.

Through the generous financial donations received from Strauss & Co, as well as Carola and Martin Gordon, the Tatham Art Gallery now has a number of art work stands, created as platforms to keep all large art works in storage safely off floor level, and a stand-alone pump in case of water in the basement. There are new pumps in our basement plant room to keep the underground stream at bay, and an early warning alarm system that triggers if the stream rises. In addition, the Gallery now has a large generator which kicks in, in the event of a power failure. All paper works returned from Cape Town have been reframed, and a donation from Julia Meintjes Fine Art has enabled us to replace frames where necessary.

The Gallery’s technical team have rearranged the storage facility at the Gallery. We are extremely proud of their attention to detail and focus on the safety of the City’s cultural heritage. Their tireless efforts have made our storage better than ever before.

Without the efforts of many people, from those who assisted immediately after the flood to the staff and conservators who continue to care for our collection, it would not be possible to write this good news story. Thank you to each and every one who continues to maintain the highest museological standards of care for the Tatham Art Gallery collection, thus keeping the legacy left by our predecessors, alive.

Bryony Clark