Oliewenhuis Art Museum is an art museum which holds in trust an historical and contemporary art collection on behalf of the people of South Africa. We aim to enrich the people’s knowledge, understanding and appreciation of our cultural heritage, to reflect its full diversity, to provide a cultural and educational resource, to encourage involvement in the visual arts and nurture a culturally diverse but shared national identity.
- To exhibit the Permanent Collection and to make the knowledge thereof relevant and accessible to a diverse public, including stakeholders, scholars and educators.
- To curate, organize and/or facilitate exhibitions from other sources.
- To promote South African art locally, nationally and internationally, and to do so in a manner which is inclusive rather than exclusive.
- To redress the imbalances created by our history and by Eurocentric attitudes and approaches, and to participate in the writing and rewriting of South African history and art history.
- To promote interaction, co-operation and partnerships with colleagues from other institutions and disciplines, and with the broader community.
- To honour the recommendations of the Fifteenth General Assembly of ICOM (4/11/1986) that museums consult with members of the groups they represent and avoid using material, which may, in any way, be detrimental to that group. We are sensitive to the display of material which may be offensive to the public.
- To organize temporary exhibitions from the Permanent Collection and other sources – local, national and international. Exhibitions drawing on outside collections complement, augment or elucidate the permanent holdings. They may take the form of group exhibitions or work by individual artists of local, national or international importance. Such exhibitions comprise and include paintings, sculpture, works on paper, photographs, beadwork, ceramics, textiles, glass, jewelry, electronic media, architecture and design.
- To constantly assess and challenge definitions, categories and standards, and to shift boundaries in order to include a wide range of visual expression. There are no preconditions as to what might constitute a suitable medium; what is important is whether the artist has used a particular medium in an original and / or significant way.
- To organise and receive travelling exhibitions of a local, national and international nature.
- To organise exhibitions, projects and related activities that encourage direct community involvement and participation. Guest curators include museologists, artists, academics, architects and partners (representatives) from different sectors of the community.
- To provide general information in the exhibition rooms in three languages (Afrikaans, English, South Sotho) when possible, and to provide detailed information in English.
- All exhibitions comply with accepted museum standards regarding security, conservation and public safety. This applies to receiving, displaying, maintaining and dispatching works of art.
- Oliewenhuis Art Museum (including the Reservoir) is not a commercial venue and is therefore not available for the purpose of selling works of art. Requirements for sales exhibitions shall be drawn up in consultation with the Advisory Committee. It must be made clear (on invitations, advertisements, etc.) that it is the Society of the Friends of Oliewenhuis which hosts sales exhibitions and not the Museum. An experimental exhibition area may be made available to associations and societies. Any reference to such exhibitions may refer to Oliewenhuis as the venue only and further reference to the exhibition should be under the name of the Friends of Oliewenhuis. Associations wishing to make use of temporary exhibition space must apply to the Curator who in consultation with the Advisory Committee, will decide on the application and select the works to be exhibited.
- Proposals for exhibitions should be submitted timeously for consideration by the Advisory Committee. Written applications to exhibit should be submitted together with photographic / visual documentation of all the works for the Committee’s consideration.
- The Advisory Committee may stipulate special conditions for an exhibition curated outside the curatorial ambit of the Oliewenhuis Art Museum.
- The exhibition should be compiled by a recognised institution, or by person(s) with recognised curatorial abilities.
- Exhibitions must be of historical or aesthetic interest.
- Exhibitions which promote education of the arts or related disciplines, or careers in the visual arts or related disciplines will receive special consideration.
- Solo exhibitions will be hosted at Oliewenhuis at the invitation of the Advisory Committee only. Artists who have established a considerable reputation within the history of South African art, and who produce contemporary work of exceptional historical, aesthetic or cultural interest, will receive favourable consideration.
- Exhibitions with financial gain as primary objective will be considered only if they conform to the above-mentioned criteria and fall under the auspices of the Society of the Friends of Oliewenhuis.
- The Museum reserves the right to, under certain circumstances, curate an exhibition with financial gain. The subordinate goal of such an exhibition would be to raise funds for the Museum. Commission of 15% after VAT will be deducted by the Museum.
- Works may be neither handled nor displayed by anyone other than specialized, qualified Gallery staff or under their strict supervision.
Structures for implementing policy
- This committee comprises the Director of the National Museum, the Curator of Oliewenhuis, a representative from each of the Department of Art History (UFS), Department of Fine Arts (UFS) and Department of Fine Arts (Technikon, Free State), two members of the general art public, the Honorary Curator of Art, a representative of the Museum Council if not already present, the Chairperson of the Friends of Oliewenhuis and a member of the legal profession.
- The committee meets every two months; the Curator may call ad hoc meetings when necessary.
- The committee is vested with authority to assess proposals and to approve exhibitions.