“YEAR OF SOUTH AFRICA The Collection of Violet and Les Payne and Next Generation: Emerging Photographers from South Africa”

Godwin-Ternbach Museum

poster for “YEAR OF SOUTH AFRICA The Collection of Violet and Les Payne and Next Generation: Emerging Photographers from South Africa”

This event has ended.

The Collection of Violet and Les Payne, a selection of artwork collected by Les Payne, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, during his time reporting in Johannesburg, South Africa between 1976-1985, will be on display on the first floor of the gallery. The Payne collection is focused on works on paper and paintings by artists from the black township of Soweto, Johannesburg. Payne was a journalist reporting during the 1976 Soweto Uprising, a massive and violent series of student protests. Payne returned to South Africa in 1985 to report on the changes that had taken place during the intervening years. It was during these trips that he collected artwork from Soweto artists. The artists created works that captured everyday life as well as a sense of hope despite the immense turmoil that surrounded them. Artists in the collection include Velaphi Mzimba, Hargreaves Ntukwana, David Mbele, Winston Saoli, and Percy Konqobe, many of whom have gone on to be internationally recognized.

Through a partnership with the Roger Ballen Foundation of Johannesburg, an organization dedicated to the advancement of education of photography in South Africa, the museum will display photographs on mezzanine gallery by emerging South African artists, Musa Nxumalo, Sanele Moya and Sipho Mpongo, who have come of age since the abolition of apartheid and the first democratic election in 1994. Artwork by this younger generation of artists reflects both the momentous shift to democracy twenty years ago as well as the end of an era with the death of Nelson Mandela in December 2013.

The exhibition will highlight the political and social shifts that have taken place since the Soweto Uprising in 1976 up through the death of Nelson Mandela. So much of what we know of South Africa is filtered through the often sensational news media. By looking at South Africa’s history through the lens of artwork, the audience is able to see the course of history through the eyes of the participants—artists involved in the anti-apartheid movement in the 1980s and young artists who will help shape the future of South Africa.



from February 05, 2015 to March 26, 2015

Opening Reception on 2015-02-05 from 18:00 to 20:00


Les Payne

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