This epistle begins with an apology from me and the SAVAH council for the lack of a newsletter for so long. The end of 2012 was frenetic for various reasons, and we have waited for so long this year because we wanted to publish the newsletter with the launch of our new website. This marks the ‘maiden voyage’ of our website which will now replace our old (and erratic) newsletter. Many thanks to Neil Lowe for his efforts in getting this much needed development finalised. We hope to use this in future as a platform for current news, local job opportunities, conference information and general information about the membership benefits and fees as well as Conference Proceedings.
Elizabeth Rankin is not only a founding member of SAVAH but she has been teaching for a full 50 years! To celebrate the occasion, and to thank them their support, she held a morning tea for 50 of her colleagues in Auckland. She writes: “It’s hard to believe that it was February 1963 that I was appointed Graduate Assistant at Wits. 36.5 years there and 14.5 years here – whew! The real cause for celebration though is that I still love my job!”
As they responded to the challenges of repositioning themselves after the 1994 elections, echoing the national process of institutional ‘transformation’, universities not only commissioned new works but also had to address what to do with the old to adapt them to redefined objectives and a more inclusive university community. This study provides a fascinating microcosm of the production of visual culture in post-apartheid South Africa, engaging with thorny issues that provide insights for the wider practice and reception of art.
— Elizabeth Rankin, Professor of Art History, University of Auckland
Federico Freschi has been appointed as Executive Dean for the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Johannesburg. He began his duties on 2 January 2013. He was appointed to the board of Directors of CIHA (Comité International de Histoire de l’Art) at the Nuremberg Congress in 2012 and is now also on the CAA (College Art Association) board.