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Pretoria Arts Association

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The S A Association of Arts was founded as the S A Fine Arts Association in Cape Town in 1871. The Southern Transvaal Branch was established in July 1947 and the Northern Transvaal Branch was formed in Pretoria on September 27 of the same year. The moving spirit behind the establishment of the Arts Association and its various branches was High Commissioner Charles te Water, who also became its first president. Its first chairperson was the famous artist Walter Battiss. With Mr Justice J F Marais as chairperson in October 1959, a new era opened for the Pretoria Branch of the S A Association of Arts. He took the major step of obtaining premises for the Association in Polley's Arcade. The Association now had a gallery in the true sense of the word. When the Provincial Administration offered the Old Netherlands Bank Building to the Association in 1963 the gallery was moved. The historic banking hall became a fine gallery with a dignity and an atmosphere all of its own. In this venue the Association had three galleries, namely the large Main Gallery, the Atelier Gallery on the ground floor, and the Upper Gallery on the first floor. Later, in 1978, the Association occupied the splendid gallery on the 36th floor of the Volkskas Building. The year 1991 heralded the move to the Association’s magnificent gallery in Mackie Street, Nieuw Muckleneuk.

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