Highly successful auction raises R1.7 million for Wits Art Museum

Highly successful auction raises R1.7 million for Wits Art Museum

An exceptional event that began as an online auction of pieces donated by 25 of the country’s most sought after artists culminated in an event that raised R1.7 million for the Wits Art Museum.

The highest bids online served as opening bids at the live event, which took place on 27 May at the museum.

The artworks included Vutlhari by Phillemon Hlungwani, which went for R450 000! Pieces by Penny Siopis and Robert Hodgins each sold for R110 000.

Lesley Cohen, Curator of Strategy and Development says that the museum was thrilled with the outcome of the auction and the enormous support from art lovers in Johannesburg and further afield.

The costs of the event were borne by Bidvest, and the auction was conducted on a pro-bono basis by Strauss & Co. All the proceeds went towards an endowment that supports the museum’s growth. Artists who donated work included Joni Brenner, Kudzanai Chiurai, Keith Dietrich, Paul Emmanuel, Dan Halter, Nandipha Mntambo, Hlungwani, Zanele Muholi, Walter Oltmann and Jo-nah Sack. Trent Read, owner of Knysna Fine Art Gallery, donated a collection of vintage sculptures by artists from Limpopo. William Kentridge’s newest film More Sweetly Play the Dance debuted on the night and was visible to guests and people travelling past the museum on the evening.

The Wits Art Museum has collections of 11 000 artworks that have been shared with art lovers in the City of Johannesburg for three years. An astonishing R20 million has been raised and invested in the endowment, which was set up in 2013 with an initial target of R25 million.

On 9 June An eye on the world, an exhibition of the work of sculptor Peter Schutz opens. WAM visitors can also look forward to an encyclopaedic South African beadwork exhibition which open on 21 July.

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