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ART HISTORIANS CONFERENCE (article first published : 1999-09-19)

The 15th Annual Conference of the South African Association of Art Historians, hosted by the University of Natal Pietermaritzburg’s fine art and history of art departments, takes place from September 24 and 26 in the Lecture Theatre A1, New Arts Building, Golf Road, Pietermaritzburg.

The programme is too comprehensive to mention here but among the local contributors will be Sabine Marschall of the University of Durban-Westville and Mduduzi Xakasa of the Tatham Art Gallery who will discuss Mural Art in South Africa and Vuminkosi Zulu respectively.

Natal Museum representatives include Dieter Reusch (The decorating of pots by potters from KwaMabaso, Msinga), Frans Prins (Rock art and memory) and Anne Solomon (Interdisciplinary approaches to the study of San rock art).

Among the University of Natal speakers are Theresa Giorza (Examining rural Women's Collectives), Ian Calder (A re-examination of the ceramics of the ELC Art Centre at Rorke's Drift), Juliette Leeb-du Toit (Positioning the Ndaleni Art School:) and Juliet Armstrong (Importing England and the Orient: the distinctiveness of the conflation of diverse ceramic traditions in the work of Hilda Ditchburn).

Other interesting papers will be presented by Alexander Duffey of the University of Pretoria (Memory and Oblivion: the Boers' only official war-artist) Michael Godby of the University of Cape Town (Early reactions to photography in the field of South Africa) and John Steele of Border Technikon (Precolonial ceramics in Southern Africa and Postcolonial Theory). Independent researcher Jillian Carmen traces The foundation of the Johannesburg Art Gallery while Marion Arnold from the University of Stellenbosch (Possessing botanical interest: Thomas Baines's contribution to 19th century Botany).

Artist Kiren Thathiah, former head of UDW fine art department now with Vaal Triangle Technikon, will discuss State and the Arts: South Africa. He will be accompanied by colleagues Resshma Maharajh (An inquiry into Indo-Islamic art and culture between the mid-16th to the early 19th centuries) and Louisemarie Combrink (The interdisciplinary labyrinth: comparing poetry and art).

There are some interesting titles among the papers to be delivered from Ian Marley of the Vaal Triangle Technikon (Digital doodle do!), Mark Haywood of Rhodes University (Beauty, Fast Cars, Sex, William Hogarth and Furniture) and Jeanne van Eeden of University of Pretoria (I shop therefore I am: the mall as Postmodern landscape).

Fees for the full conference are R220 (R180 for association members). Daily attendance is R75 and attendance per session R25. Attendance fees include lunch and refreshments. While students may attend free, they will be expected to pay for lunch and refreshments. All papers will be of 20 minutes duration (except the opening paper which is 30 minutes). Pre-registration with payment, will assist with organisation and catering arrangements. More detailed information, including abstracts of papers, from Fine Arts & History of Art on (0331) 260-5170.


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