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VIXSEBOXSE, Johannes Egbertus

Born: 1863 08 31
Died: 1943 01 18


VIXSEBOXSE was born in Almelo, Netherlands, he was the sixth and youngest child of Bernardus Vixseboxse (1820 10 26), a carpenter contractor, and his wife, Janneken Lulof (1822 10 24) whom he married in Almelo on 12 May 1849.

Like his eldest brother Bernardus (1850 03 06) and the second eldest, Gerrit Willem (1856 03 10), he was probably apprenticed as a carpenter by day and at night was a pupil at a school for drawing before he could start his own business. On 9 September 1888 he left Rotterdam for the South African Republic, where he joined the PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT under the competent direction of the architect Sytze WIERDA who had come to the Transvaal the previous year at the invitation of Pres. SJP Kruger. Shortly after his arrival in the Transvaal he persuaded his brother-in-law's brother, MCA MEISCHKE, to settle in the Republic as a building contractor. According to Rex (1957:27), he joined Klaas VAN RIJSSE in partnership in Pretoria in 1889. On 10 September 1890 he was appointed Government Architect in the PWD of the Orange Free State, replacing R HALLE who had been retrenched in 1886, owing to the depression of the 1880s.

He was also permitted to do private work, the landdrost's office in Ficksburg (1892), now the JIJ Fick Museum is attributed to Vixseboxse (Schoeman 1985:77-79), and also seems to have been in association with JH MULLER in 1892. He seems to have found time, while in Bloemfontein, to conduct classes in Architectural Draughting for the public at Grey College. In 1893 he, in collaboration with DE WENTINK, won the competition for the Natural History Museum in Cape Town whereupon Vixseboxse resigned as Government Architect on 1 May 1893 and set up practice in Cape Town, leaving his assistant WENTINK to take up his position with the OFS PWD. After his departure he suffered censure by members of the Volksraad, a Mr Fischer noting that “... this official was deficient in many ways” and displeasure recorded at the supervision of contracts in outlying areas, one A J Burger commenting that “ experts ... have no practical experience and have less sense about stones than the common sense of an ordinary person” (in Roodt, 1987:154-5).

He and WENTINK were subsequently placed second in the competition for the Cape Town City Hall in 1894.

When in the Cape he is recorded (Walker, 2011: 13) as having additions to a Miss Nicholson’s home, named Muizenberg House (c/o Gill and Main Roads, Muizenberg 1897, demolished), a hotel (ibid: 14), Scowen’s Hotel, later Marine Hotel (Muizenberg, 1898), a store for Frikkie Auret (ibid: 14) (Auret Rd, Muizenberg, 1901), a home for a Mrs Volsteedt (ibid: 14) (Atlantic Road, Muizenberg, 1902)

Vixseboxse served on the committee which drafted the constitution of the South African Society of Architects in Cape Town in 1899. He left for the Netherlands during the Anglo-Boer War but returned to South Africa in 1902 to join the office of Charles BULLOCK Oudtshoorn (cf BULLOCK & VIXSEBOXSE). The practice flourished, making the most of the ostrich feather boom. [However, whether this practice actually existed is disputed by current researchers who find no evidence to support this and it remains a contentious record. (Eds, 2014)]. He was appointed architect-in-charge for WH LOUW's Dutch Reformed Church building at Calitzdorp (1910-1912) and left Oudtshoorn in 1914, owing largely to the collapse of the ostrich feather market. The General directory of United South Africa listed him as working in Port Elizabeth in 1915.

In 1925, after an absence of nearly twenty years from Muizenberg, he is recorded (Walker, 2011:14) of designing extentions to Hooten’s Garage (Main Road, Muizenberg, later Bingham’s Motor Garage, now the Masque Theatre).

He died in Johannesburg.

SASA; FCIA 1911. (Gen dir USA 1915) Publ: Italian works of art, AB&E Jan 1921:24

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Articles citing VIXSEBOXSE

Ferreira, Naas. 1983. J.E. Vixseboxse 1836 - 1943. Restorica: Journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation No 13, April

Unknown. 1978. Stukkie van Pretoria in die Kaap. Restorica: Journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation. Vol 19 No 36, August 23-24

Unknown. 1977. Stukkie van Pretoria in die Kaap. Die Burger 16 June

Unknown. 1984. Article with reference to Vixseboxse. SA Panorama 30 Nov

Books citing VIXSEBOXSE

Bakker, Karel A, Clarke, Nicholas J. 2014. Eclectic ZA Wilhelmiens : A shared Dutch built heritage in South Africa. Pretoria: Visual Books. pp 76, 77, 87, 195-196, 199-200

Brown, SM. 1969. Architects and others: an annotated list of people of South African interest appearing in the RIBA Journal 1880 1925. Johannesburg: Unpublished dissertation, University of the Witwatersrand. pp

Fransen, Hans. 2004. The old buildings of the Cape. A survey of extant architecture from before c1910 in the area of Cape Town - Calvinia - Colesberg - Uitenhage. Johannesburg & Cape Town: Jonathan Ball Publishers. pp 36, 87, 124, 498, 507, 508, 509

HSRC. 1987. Dictionary of South African Biography Volume V. Pretoria: Human Sciences Research Council. pp 849

Langham-Carter, RR. 1979. Nineteenth century architects etc. in the Western Cape. Cape Town: Unpublished MS, UCT Library. pp

Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1977. Victorian Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: AA Balkema. pp 80*, 81, 155, 159*, 161, 163*, 276, 295, 365, 367*

Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1989. Historical Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: Struikhof Publishers. pp 12, 15, 87, 129, 168

Radford, D. 1979. The architecture of the Western Cape, 1838 1901. A study of the impact of Victorian aesthetics and technology on South African architecture. Johannesburg: Unpublished Ph.D thesis. Dept of Arch. University of the Witwatersrand. pp

Roodt, Leon. 1987. The Architecture of the Orange Free State Republic 1854-1902. Bloemfontein: Unpublished Ph.D. pp 143, 145, 146, 149, 150, 152, 153, 154

Schoeman, Karel. 1980. Bloemfontein: die ontstaan van n stad. Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau. pp 121b-122a, 122b, 123a

Schoeman, Karel. 1982. Vrystaatse erfenis : Bouwerk en geboue in die 19de eeu. Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau. pp 94, 95, 98, 101-102, 105, 107 (x2), illus. 55 (portrait)

Schoeman, Karel. 1985. Boukunsskatte van die Vrystaat / Free State Heritage. Roodepoort: CUM Boeke vir Stigting NALM. pp 64, 78

Van Winter, PJ. 1938. Onder Krugers Hollanders : Geschiedenis van de Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij. Tweede Deel. Amsterdam: JH de Bussy. pp 36 n1

Walker, Michael. 2011. A Statement In Stone. Cape Town: Privately published by Michael Walker. pp 12-13

Walker, Michael. 2012. Early architects of Cape Town and their buildings (1820 - 1926) with postcard illustrations, The. St James: Michael Walker. pp 57-59

Walker, Michael. 2013. The pioneer architects of Johannesburg and their buildings (1886 - 1899) with postcard illustrations. St James: The Kalk Bay Historical Assosiation. pp 13, 20