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37

Prof Brenda Schmahmann is the

SARChI Research Chair in South African Art and Visual

Culture

. Hosted by the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture and integrated with the work of

the faculty, this prestigious position is funded by the Department of Science and Technology

(DST) and administered by the National Research Foundation (NRF). The SARChI Research

Chair serves as a forum for initiatives in research by not only Prof Schmahmann but also

postdoctoral research fellows, postgraduate students and others working with her.

Research falling under the ambit of the SARChI Research Chair in South African Art and Visual Culture is in art

history as well as disciplines and fields which are cognate to it, such as design history and fashion theory. With

particular expertise in gender, public art and the deployment of art and design in the context of community projects

in South Africa, those working under the ambit of the SARChI Chair produce research and acquire postgraduate

qualifications that have immediate social relevance and value. In a context where there is an imperative to re-write

histories and develop a richer understanding of South African identities, and where art museums are redefining

their collecting policies as well as seeking curatorial methods for visualising the past and present, there is a high

demand for the research and capacities of qualified visual theorists. Art historians and visual theorists are also vital

to the art gallery sector, where they play an immediate role in enabling markets for artists, as well as in aspects of

arts management. Programmes in art and design at South African secondary and tertiary institutions depend on

appropriately qualified and capable theorists who are able to offer instruction in histories about art, design and visual

culture, and the ways in which these potentially inform contemporary art and design practices.

In summary, then, the SARChI Research Chair in South African Art and Visual Culture provides a forum for

producing significant research with immediate social relevance and impact for the heritage, museum, gallery and

education sectors, while also developing a new generation of postgraduates with qualifications and capacities to

continue and expand this work.

DST-NRF South African Research Chair in

South African Art and Visual Culture (SARChI)

Contact Details

Professor

Brenda Schmahmann

Email:

brendas@uj.ac.za Tel: +27 11 559 7220/

1  

Physical Address

33 Twickenham Avenue

Auckland Park

Johannesburg

www.uj.ac.za/fada

Intsikizi Tapestries by The Keiskamma Art Project