I was not looking to open a gallery again. After completing a MA degree in Visual Studies in 2020 I decided to not return to the commercial gallery sector where I had been active for more than two decades. Instead, I founded the curatorial agency, Legacy which specialises in legacy and heritage projects. I found the sector to be an underserved niche in the artworld.

But Muratie wine estate, with its long and rich history felt like the perfect site for Legacy Gallery. The gallery space, erected in 1699 was originally the home of Laurens Campher, his wife, Ansela van de Caab and their three children. In 1685, Campher, a German soldier from Mohrow, Poland was the first person to farm on De Driesprong, as Muratie was then known. He was instructed to ‘bezaayen, beplanten, bepoten, betimmeren’ the land. Ansela, the daughter of an enslaved woman was born in the slave quarters at the Castle of Good Hope where she spent most of her childhood. She was emancipated on 28 June 1695. After a fourteen year-long courtship she was finally able to settle down at Muratie. The oak tree that Campher planted for her still towers near the original homestead.

Legacy Gallery’s debut exhibition, Reflections and Refractions is largely a mini review of photography – the medium that freezes a moment and reveals the richness of reality. Photographs by Bobby Bobson, Ruvan Boshoff, Nic Bothma, Muzi Kuzwayo, Bettie Coetzee Lambrecht, Nomusa Makhubu, Obie Oberholzer, Lindeka Qampi, Guy Tillim, Jurgen Schadeberg and Jan Smith (Mexico). Work by Martine Margoles is also included. The exhibition opens on Saturday 6 July at 11am and concludes on 31 August 2024.

Obie Oberholzer. Early morning fishermen. Bagamoyo. Tanzania. C-type print. 1994.

Another slice of Muratie history is the inspiration for In Conversation. This dialogue is centred on the development of South African painting. From the typical renderings of the South African landscape as painted by George Paul Canitz (1874 – 1959) to topical themes as explored by Rory Emmett, Clare Menck, Walter Meyer and Willem Pretorius. Opening on Saturday 7 September at 11am; concludes 30 October 2024. The opening event will include a performance by the band, Sunny Skies.

George Paul Canitz. Untitled, Undated. (Cropped).

George Paul Canitz was born in Leipzig, Germany iand studied painting in Dresden. In 1909 on the advice of a medical doctor he moved to Southwest Africa. He later settled in South Africa where he acquired the farm Muratie in 1925 and lived there until his death. He was a successful painter and regularly entertained local and international collectors in his ‘kneipzimmer’ where he displayed his paintings. He also taught art and was the first part-time lecturer in painting at the University of Stellenbosch. Additionally, he also achieved success in viticulture as the first grower of the Pinot Noir grape in the Cape.

On Saturday 14 September at 11am Thomas Rhebok will present an illustrated talk on the fine art of restoring historical paintings.

The Art of Emancipation takes the gallery/dwelling and Ansela van de Caab’s life story as central focus and explores the intersection of art, and the history of slavery and its abolition. Opens on Saturday 9 November at 11am; concludes 30 January 2025.

Two views of the two-roomed gallery dwelling at Muratie wine estate. 2024.

Kindly RSVP if you would like to attend any of the opening events, and the illustrated talk. Contact Heidi Erdmann for more information and or images.