“Be yourself everyone else is taken.”- Oscar Wilde

Heidi Erdmann is an award-winning independent curator who started her career in 1993. She developed an interest in contemporary African photography while working at the South African National Gallery (1994 -1997). She was the curator at AREA (1997 – 1999) an experimental space dedicated to lens-based media. AREA received a Business Art South Africa nomination for its roster of ground-breaking exhibitions. She founded The Photographers Gallery ZA in 2001 and the platform soon developed into an important launching space for South African practitioners. In 2004 Erdmann expanded her focus and founded the multidisciplinary space Erdmann Contemporary. She internationalised her roster of exhibitions and added publishing and art fairs to the gallery’s programme. Erdmann left the commercial gallery sector in 2018 to retrain in art history. She founded Legacy in 2021 and now specializes in Legacy and Heritage projects.

She has conceptualised and curated numerous projects and exhibitions, nationally and internationally at a range of institutions and festivals. These projects are documented as published articles and/or exhibition catalogues. She is a regular Jury Member of Critical Mass presented by Photolucida.     


BA (Psychology, History). University of Stellenbosch. 1987. MA (Visual Studies) (Cum Laude). University of Stellenbosch. 2021. Administration of Deceased Estates. South African Law School. 2022. Determining Value – An Appraiser’s Perspective. Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York. 2022.

Erdmann is the author of Manfred Zylla arts and resistance (2012). Editor of several publications including 120 Days of Sodom Manfred Zylla (2015) and Intertwined: A Selection of Photographs by Nomusa Makhubu 2005 to 2017 (2017). Her academic research interrogates national imaginary construction, through the critical analysis of exhibitions hosted at national museums in the global South. Her most recent paper explores examples of slave memorialisation in Mauritius and South Africa.   

Councils and Memberships

Amazwi South African Museum of Literature

Council Member (since 2020). Marketing & Communication, Stakeholder Relations & Heritage Committee Chairperson

Afrikaans Taal Monument and Museum

Council Member (since 2020).

International Council of Museums (ICOM)

Individual Member (since 2022).

Friends of the Cape Town Museum

Founding Council Member (since 2022).

Friends of Iziko South African National Gallery