The Johannesburg Art Scene from the 60's to the 90's



Without galleries of repute, most artists would find it difficult to be recognised by a wider public, by institutions or museums. And yet, galleries have always been criticised on many fronts, certainly in South Africa, trials and tribulations notwithstanding. 




The 60's and 70's in particular were an exciting period in the Johannesburg art scene, with a number of new galleries appearing, galleries expanding, opening nights being a social event and exhibitions receiving good press coverage.


Johannesburg CBD where most leading galleries could be seen in the early 60s

Johannesburg Central Business District map from 1993 - click on image for details!





The main galleries during the 1960s to the early 1990s were in alphabetical order the:


Adler Fielding Galleries (originally Lawrence Adler Gallery)

Egon Guenther Gallery

Everard Read Gallery (originally known as the Pieter Wenning Gallery)

Gallery 101 (3 branches)

Gallery 21 (Johannesburg and London UK)

Goodman Gallery

Lidchi Gallery

Whippman's Gallery


All galleries exhibited works by both white and black artists, as well as international art, and saw visitors from all walks of life, from many parts of the World. 


In addition, there were a few private galleries owned by black artists, but generally they did not last long. These included the


Stanley Nkosi Gallery in Katlehong near Johannesburg (opened in 1982), the

Art Mart Gallery at the Colosseum near the Carlton Centre, Johannesburg, owned by Joe Maseko (1982-1983), and the

Soweto Art Gallery in Victory House, Johannesburg, owned by Peter Sibeko (opened in 1987).


Of the black owned galleries, only the first two showed works by both white and black artists from South Africa.






We trust the pictures of Johannesburg's main dealers during the 60's to the 80's will be of interest (in alphabetical order) - please follow this link!



Leading Johannesburg Collectors at the time


Amongst the best known Johannesburg collectors at the time must be mentioned:  John Schlesinger (Schlesinger Organisation), H.F. Oppenheimer and family members, Dr Albert Wessels (Toyota), Donald Gordon (Liberty), the Press brothers - Hubert and Sydney Press (Edgars), H Louis Shill (Sage), C.S. (Punch) Barlow, and many more. The gallery scene would have been that much poorer without their love for the arts of South Africa.





For further reading, please consult the Michaelis Art Reference Library, Central Library, Johannesburg; in Europe, you may use the extensive archives and art reference library held by The Haenggi Foundation Inc. in Basel, Switzerland, by prior appointment. 

To view some of the PDF files on this site, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be downloaded free of charge.



This section of the website has been put up as a research tool and for interest's sake.



The Hon. Secretary,

The Haenggi Foundation Inc.

Postfach 1539

CH-4001 BASEL / Switzerland

Tel.: +41 61 321 01 90




This page last updated 20th January, 2015

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