Jan 03 2015

Durban Art Deco Soc

VictoriaDURBAN ART DECO SOCIETY The Durban Art Deco Society (DADS) was founded in 1999 and is run by a small but enthusiastic committee who try to encourage owners of Art Deco style buildings to be aware of their heritage, offer advice on restoration/repainting, and organise lectures/tours, etc. We also have a small room at Surrey Mansions where the Society’s books and other archival information are kept and the Library is open to members at specific times . Durban Art Deco Society 4th November 2012 PRESIDENT’S REPORT : 2011-2012 2011 Our AGM in October welcomed Professor Rodney Harber (architect and lecturer) who gave an interesting address on architectural aspects of Art Deco. Also in October I gave an illustrated talk - at the Old Court House Museum - on various facets of Art Deco. Some of the beautiful Art Deco style costumes stored in their archives were also on display. In November our members and friends met for Breakfast at Peter Amm’s AmmaZulu African Palace - always a treat as one discovers different aspects on each visit. 2012 In April a limited group (due to space constraints) was privileged to go on a tour of the “Frock” Museum (at the Durban Museum’s Technical Centre in Prince Alfred Street. Curator Neil Harris gave a fascinating talk on the enormous amount of painstaking work involved in correctly refurbishing, cataloguing and carefully storing costumes. Neil Harris is to be congratulated on the excellent work he has been doing, and continues to carry out. July saw us at Surrey Mansions to catch up with the DADS library/archives room. This went well even though the weather was more than somewhat cool and quite breezy. We have an enthusiastic Johannesburg member, Pascale Petit, who visited Durban in August last when, at an entertaining Brunch at Jiran’s, we were able to catch up with her news. An Engineer, who has a long standing love affair with Art Deco around the country, she is also a very active member of the Parktown Westcliffe Heritage Trust (recently renamed Johannesburg Heritage Foundation) for whom she also takes tours. Pascal has generously offered to contribute towards a projector for DADS. Also in August, we visited Greg and Charmaine Greyling’s home to see their collection of Art Deco furniture and hear about the vagaries of collecting. Get-It (a local magazine covering Highway, Berea and Durban), did a report in their October issue on this, and also covered Linda Visser’s collection. In September Ingrid Lotter-Smith (owner of the ARTISAN gallery) spoke about the various types of lettering that have, and continue to be used by printers the world over. Every year we conduct a group of some 25 very enthusiastic young students from the Interior Design Programme at D.U.T. (Durban University of Technology), on a hop on/hop off bus tour of some of the city’s Art Deco style buildings. Architecture is a small part of their curriculum with Art Deco an even smaller section, but they really enjoy actually “seeing and discovering” aspects of buildings instead of just passing by – and it is also ‘a welcome change from the classroom’. We continue to field inquiries (mostly through the Website) which come to us from all over: Cape Town to Germany. In this respect Arthur Gammage (Acting Manager: Urban Design & Landscape Architecture, City Architecture Department, eThekwini Municipality) is of enormous assistance supplying information, pictures, dates, drawings, etc. He is a great source of information and we thank him most sincerely for his unstinting support. Our continued thanks to Cynthia Carrick and Surrey Mansions for the use of the room at Surrey Mansions for our library books and archives. The conversion of Berea Court to student accommodation, has now been completed - this included repair of spalling, replacing old water pipes, enclosing balconies, fixing stain glass windows, etc. The building has now also been repainted in art deco colours and has garnered much interest and comment from passers-by. The Daily News of October 26th, 2012 also carried an article on Berea Court, by Kamcilla Pillay, with good photographs. The owners are to be congratulated and have been presented with a DADS Merit Award for the enthusiastic work they have carried out. Finances: During the past year we have not had any major expenses other than the usual admin costs, and presently have a bank balance of R 4 442,29. PROJECTS • New photographic exhibition. A group of our ‘photography’ members will be setting up a new exhibition of Art Deco buildings with emphasis on the elements which make them special. • Talk on Art Deco Foyers will present pictures of some of the “still intact” foyers of Art Deco style buildings in the city. • Book on Durban’s Art Deco scene - we really want to publish this book and are looking for funding. • Library Displays of art deco information - these are a good way of spreading Art Deco information and will continue in the new year. We were sad to hear of the death of Martin Burnett, artist and teacher, who had also been on our Committee. Sincere thanks to: Mr Thorlief Lunde for the use of the Norwegian Hall, and also Alex and Rene Donaldson for their hard work in setting up this splendid venue for us. We are really grateful. It now only remains for me to once again thank all our hard working committee members for their enthusiastic help, time, contributions and ideas, as well as our members who continue to assist us with catering. I must also thank Terence (ex officio committee member) for his continuing computer expertise on my behalf! JEAN POWELL President Durban Art Deco Society

1 comment

  1. ~Ed

    For your information, herewith the contents of an email I received recently from the Hon Secretary of the society:

    Dear Mr Fregona

    I believe you are interested in details of our society and which, briefly, are as above.

    We have just held our AGM and attach a copy of the President’s Report 2011-2012 which may give you an idea of what we do.
    Should you be interesting in becoming a member of DADS, I have also enclosed an application form.

    Kind regards


    Helen Labuschagne
    Hon Secretary:
    Durban Art Deco Society and Friends of Architectural Heritage
    P O Box 3066
    DURBAN, South Africa

    phone: (031) 301 1951
    email: helenore@mweb.co.za

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