Johannesburg Art Gallery

A Joubert Park visit has been on my to do list for some time and here was the perfect opportunity. A few weekends ago, the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation (JHF) offered a talk on Joubert Park by Professor Louis Grundlingh of UJ, access to the wonderful Johannesburg Art Gallery and a guided walk around the Park. I had been nervous about visiting Joubert Park on my own but with safety in numbers one felt comfortable and at ease. Actually all my anxieties were groundless as the people of today's park were caring, welcoming and ready to engage in conversation.

In 1910, Sir Hugh Lane, famous art collector, philanthropist and dominant figure in the establishment of the Johannesburg Art Gallery penned his thoughts and vision for the new gallery. Below are a few powerful passages.

It is claimed that the upgrading of the Jack Mincer Taxi facility will take 18 to 20 months to complete and that public safety issues (amongst other reasons) preclude the structure being used during building operations.  Therefore it is suggested that as a temporary measure the taxis may be relocated to Joubert Park.  This, on the face of it, would seem to be a realistic proposal, particularly in the light of the other reasons that the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) advances for this strategy.  Therefore to protest against the proposal, as some have done,

As we enter silly season I have been warned to be brief. No one has time to read long pages of diatribes against those who own wonderful old buildings and don’t maintain them. I am just back from a week in Cape Town, travelling there by train. The most disgusting views of Johannesburg came from the eastern section behind the Art Gallery where literally tons of filth are simply pushed over the side from what used to Union Grounds. This continues for some way.

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