Initially, the Collection was informally managed, and was dominated by conventional landscapes, featuring some significant works by JH Pierneef, Maggie Laubser and Irma Stern, as well as a particularly strong work by Gerard Sekoto.

After the restructuring of the SABC following South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994, the Collection was formalised under a curator, Koulla Xinisteris, and allocated a budget towards the acquisition of artworks on a basis more befitting of our new democracy. Since then, more than 500 works have been acquired, with artworks being selected in consultation with art critics, academics and collectors.

The work of black artists was under-represented in the original Collection. However, we now have one of the most impressive assemblies of both historical and contemporary work by black South African artists. We have been fortunate to acquire significant works by the urban township painters from the 1940s (such as Ephraim Ngatane, Durant Sihlali and Andrew Motjuoadi), the graphic artists of the Rorke’s Drift Art Centre (Cyprian Shilakoe and Dan Rakgoathe), as well as the sculptures and drawings of Sydney Kumalo, Isaac Sithole and Ezrom Legae, the pathbreaking drawings of Dumile Feni and Julian Motau, and the sculpture of Jackson Hlungwane and Noria Mabasa, to name but a few.


Gladys Nomfanekiso Mgudlandlu (1917 – 1979), Landscape (detail), gouche on board, 40 x 64cm