On 22 June 2016 one of the Nelson Mandela Bay’s greatest cultural treasures, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum will have inspired art lovers for 60 years. To commemorate this momentous milestone the Art Museum launched a series of exhibitions that explore the history of the Art Museum’s extensive collection while paying tribute to the community of Nelson Mandela Bay who have supported us throughout our 60 years.
The planned commemorative exhibitions will conclude with a final exhibition of highlights from the museum’s collection titled YEYETHU, SONKE (THIS BELONGS TO ALL OF US): 60 YEARS OF COLLECTING which will open on the Art Museum’s 60th anniversary on the 22 June 2016.
In 2015 the anniversary exhibitions started with a look back in time through a display of the historical photographs of the Main Hall of the Art Museum. This exhibition was followed by a tribute to early art scene and a look at the first artworks acquired by the city of Port Elizabeth before the development of the Art Museum in 1956. On display was a special tribute to Victor Jones, a prominent local architect who donated numerous artworks and bequeathed money towards the founding of the Art Museum.
The current exhibition, Building the collection, (5 November 2015 – 4 March 2016) was curated from artworks acquired by the Museum between 1956 and 1987 and reflects the early development of the Art Museum’s collection. 60 Benefactors (12 November 2015 – 26 February 2016) honours members of the community, community organisations and art collectors who donated significant works to the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum collection. Elevating the object (6 December 2015 –4 March 2016) celebrates the Art Museum’s noteworthy collection of craft with a selection of ceramics, Chinese and other textiles and Southern Nguni Beadwork.
On March 16 2016 two exhibitions will open which explore the important role that art played as the social conscience of the country during and after Apartheid. The exhibitions are titled Transforming the collection (7 March – 15 July 2016) and Cultural Boycott to Pan African Dream (16 March – 5 June 2016). Selected artworks will also reflect on how artists engaged with politics and used art as a medium for protest. The exhibitions will further explore how art continues to play a vital role in the social development of the New South Africa.
To compliment the 60th celebration exhibitions the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum will highlight an artwork a day from the Art Museum’s collection of over 6000 objects. The selected works will be profiled on the NMM Art Museum’s Facebook page.
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Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/yeyethu-sonke/61172/2016/02