Women of Olifantsfontein, The - South African Studio Ceramics Exhibition


The 'Women of Olifantsfontein' were ceramic artists who worked for the Ceramic Studio which later became Linnware.

Exhibition Itinerary
Natale Labia Museum, Cape Town. 10.4.91 -12.5.91
King George VI Art Gallery, Port Elizabeth. 28.5.91 -23.6.91
Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg. 9.7.91-4.8.91
Durban Art Gallery, Durban. 20.8.91 -15.9.91
Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria. 6.11.91 -1.12.91


This exhibition is a celebration of a particular aspect of South African studio ceramics and of South African women — not only the inventive, enterprising and tenacious women of Olifantsfontein, but also those of the South African National Gallery (SANG) and the other institutions which are cooperating to make this exhibition — the first of its kind — the splendid success that it is.

The idea originated with Kim Siebert, Education Officer at the SANG. It was taken up and pursued with characteristic enthusiasm by Patty Hardy, Curator of the Natale Labia Museum. She invited Melanie Hillebrand, Director of the King George VI Art Gallery in Port Elizabeth to write the catalogue essay. Dr Hillebrand's extensive research on Natal artists (all the women of Olifantsfontein were originally from Natal), her specialised knowledge of and love for the subject of ceramics, and her keen eye, made her eminently equal to the task of selecting works for the exhibition and for producing a scholarly essay. Kathy Grundling, SANG photographer, prepared the images for publication.

The lenders have shown extraordinary goodwill towards this exhibition. Many of them still use their Linnware regularly and will miss their objects with their beautiful forms and simple glazes as the exhibition travels to Port Elizabeth, Pietermaritzburg, Durban and Pretoria until the end of the year. We recognise and pay tribute to their generosity.

Marilyn Martin
SA National Gallery

Artists who worked at Olifantsfontein:
Gladys Constance Short
Marjorie Lucy Johnstone (Mrs Reginald Cullinan)
Joan Foster Methley
Audrey Frank
Thelma Newlands (Mrs Gifford-Gayton; Mrs van Schalkwyk; Mrs Currie)
Rosamund Visick (Shephard)
Germaine Rouillard
Daphne Addison
Rhoda Baber
Ruth Baber