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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

HIGHWOOD (article first published : 2006-02-5)

There can be no doubt that the arts play a crucial role in the life of people. Long ago, the San believed that their cave wall paintings had a ‘mystical influence on their lives and helped to ensure their continued survival’. (Desmond Tutu 1989)

And thus Else and Deneys Schreiner have been putting art on the walls, floors, tables, shelves and in the smaller recesses of their home at Highwood, Pietermaritzburg, for as long as they can remember.

The exhibition Highwood – The Schreiner Art Collection at the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg will feature a selection of the African Art as well as the western art collection of Else and Deneys Schreiner. Their collecting habit was not a deliberate attempt to make an art collection. It just grew from an intention to enjoy things which pleased the eye, made them laugh, reminded them of travels and family anniversaries and were necessary to them. ‘Fifty seven years of junk, African Art through the aged!’ jokingly quipped their son Deneys.

This is a collection made by two habitual collectors of things, avid seekers of knowledge, with impeccable taste and a healthy sense of the ridiculous. The art collected over the past 57 years tells of their lives in the second half of the Twentieth Century in South Africa.

This is a collection made by two habitual collectors of things, avid seekers of knowledge, with impeccable taste and a healthy sense of the ridiculous. The art collected over the past 57 years tells of their lives in the second half of the Twentieth Century in South Africa.

Highwood – The Schreiner Art Collection runs at the Tatham from February 19 to April 2.




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