The inaugural exhibition of a donation of Erich Mayer artworks opened at the National Art Gallery this week. The exhibition of historical drawings and paintings, some as much as 100 years old, continues until the last weekend of August.
The gallery had the privilege of receiving the valuable donation of artworks by the pioneer artist from a relative, Mr Hubert Hartl, from Berlin. Erich Mayer was a German draughtsman and painter who lived and worked in the then South West Africa and in South Africa where he worked as land surveyor at the turn of the 1900’s.
Art lovers can look forward to a unique exhibition of small yet masterful works in Mayer’s signature expressive and spontaneous style. His accurate observations not only recorded scenes of everyday life around him, but also truthfully represented his close relationships with the indigenous Namibian people. The German colonial administration of the time allowed him “to study the country, its people, and its features closely”.
The historical artworks range in age, with some 100 years and older. The artworks include the landscapes of Namibia, South Africa and sketches of some of the great historic figures such as Hendrik Witbooi and other locals of the time.
“The National Art Gallery aims to be the leading institution for celebration, collection and preservation, exhibition and researching visual art and craft as a component of our national identity, cultural heritage and human connectedness. The addition of these works to the National Gallery’s Permanent Collection moves the Gallery closer to its vision. This donation not only enriches the Collection but the exhibition gives the nation at large the opportunity to enjoy and study them” said the Gallery’s management in a statement announcing the Erich Mayer exhibition.
The National Art Gallery is situated on the corner of Robert Mugabe Avenue and John Meinert Street in Windhoek, next to the National Theatre.