Prof Matilda Burden, senior researcher in cultural history at the University Museum of Stellenbosch University and extraordinary professor in History and Ancient Culture at North-West University in Potchefstroom, has been honoured with an award by the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns (South African Academy for Science and Art).
Prof Burden offers accredited short courses in cultural history, heritage conservation, museology and architectural styles for the public at large and acts as a consultant for the installation of new museums and exhibitions across the country.
She has been a member of, among others, the Council of Heritage Western Cape and the Western Cape Cultural Commission and chairperson of the Western Cape Geographical Names Council. In 2016, she was elected vice-president of the international Kommission für Volksdichtung (International Folksong Society) and, for the second time, chairperson of the South African Society for Cultural History.
Prof Burden is widely published and is one of the recipients of the prizes for the four best scientific articles published in an accredited journal in 2018 awarded by the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns and the Afrikaanse Taal- en Kultuurvereniging (Afrikaans Language and Culture Association). The former body honoured Prof Burden for her article “Argitektoniese elemente en motiewe in Ou-Kaapse meubels" (“Architectural elements and motifs in Old Cape furniture"), which was published in the Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Kultuurgeskiedenis (South African Journal of Cultural History).
Since she was not available to receive her prize at the award ceremony on 14 August 2019, however, it was awarded at an informal ceremony on 18 September by a former chairperson of the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns, Prof Wessel Pienaar, and the chairperson of the Wes-Kaapse Werksgemeenskap (Western Cape Work Community) of the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns, Prof Johan de Villiers. Prof Wessel Visser of the Department of History delivered a short commendation.