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DEATH OF CARL BUCHNER (article first published : 2003-05-14)

Well-known and esteemed South African artist Carl Büchner died peacefully on April 12 in Pretoria after a long and debilitating illness.

Büchner was born in Somerset East on August 24, 1921. He received his formal art training at the Johannesburg Technical College where he obtained the National Art Teacher’s Certificate in 1947. For the next seven years, he taught at the Pretoria Art Centre where Walter Battiss praised his proficiencies as an art instructor in a testimonial dated March 16 1954, adding that “in the South African world of art, his talent is already known and his painting is praised and appreciated by art critics”.

In 1954, he was appointed art inspector for the Cape Education Department based in Grahamstown and in 1956 was appointed principal of the P L Olivier Art Centre, Stellenbosch. In 1959, he obtained the post of lecturer of drawing and painting at the Michaelis School of Art, University of Cape Town.

During the ensuing years, he participated actively in the art life of Cape Town as a member of the selection committee for the São Palo and Venice Biennales (1962), served for several years on a selection panel for the Sanlam Children’s Art Competition and was elected chairman of the National Fine Arts Committee of the South African Association of Arts (1964). In 1969, he was appointed Deputy Trustee for the South African National Gallery.

From 1962 until 1970, he was the art critic of Die Burger and The Cape Times. He retired from teaching In 1971 to paint full time.

Carl Büchner’s paintings and drawings are admired and sought after by art lovers and collectors for their exquisite qualities of colour and draughtsmanship and the sensitive feelings they portray. His well-known series of harlequins are treasured art works.




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