The Stellenbosch University (SU) Museum has digitised its substantial Maggie Laubser art collection. This now enables researchers from across the world to access this rich collection of one of South Africa's foremost artists via the SU Library's SUNDigital Collections platform.
“Digitising the Laubser artworks increases access to the University's collection and is an exciting milestone in the SU Museum's history," says Ulrich Wolff, SU Museum curator.
Above: Maggie Laubser self-portrait
According to Wolff, the online collection is not intended as a substitute for viewing and experiencing the artworks in person at the museum, but is meant to make the collection more widely accessible and known to the public. “Digital access creates awareness of the collection. Without having the collection available online, many will remain unaware of the Maggie Laubser collection. I hope that more people will be able to view the work, and potentially plan a trip to the SU Museum to come and see the Maggie Laubser collection in person," says Wolff.
Maria Magdalena (Maggie) Laubser (1886–1973) was a painter and printmaker. Along with Irma Stern, she is generally considered to have introduced expressionism to South Africa. The SUNDigital Collections platform features 150 of her artworks.
The SU Museum is in the process of digitising and uploading many of their other art collections as well. “We have been digitising our collections for some time now. It forms part of the process of maintaining an archive or database of an art collection. The accessibility of the images online makes it so much easier to view collections and will hopefully also give the public a new appreciation for what the University has in its archive," says Wolff.
To view Maggie Laubser's art collection digitally, click here.
A publication focussing on Maggie Laubser's 149 paintings in the art collection of Stellenbosch University is also available at African SUN Media.
More about Maggie Laubser
Maggie (Maria Magdalena) Laubser (1886-1973) was a South African artist who studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London and worked among German expressionists in Berlin.
Born on the wheat farm Bloublommetjieskloof near Malmesbury in the Swartland, her connection with Stellenbosch started out as a boarder at Bloemhof School, which – interestingly – then occupied the very building in Ryneveld Street now housing the SU Museum.
In time, she would develop a special relationship with Stellenbosch University. In 1930, her first solo exhibition was hosted at the Old Main Building (Ou Hoofgebou), and upon her death, she bequeathed 134 of her works in various media to the University.