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Significant Sonop collection added to La Motte’s Pierneef exhibition

With the addition of ten Pierneef artworks from the Sonop Collection, the La Motte Museum adds even more significance to its permanent exhibition of JH Pierneef’s heritage collection.

The estate’s Pierneef exhibition holds special meaning not only because the landscapes of this South African master come highly acclaimed, but also because the exhibition includes personal memorabilia and works with special personal meaning. Now, with the inclusion of the Sonop Collection, the exhibition holds even more sentiment.

Sonop is an established, private and independent men’s residence for full-time students of the University of Pretoria. Initially founded by the Dutch Reformed Church Pretoria (Bosman Street) in 1916 and now owned by the Society of Sonop Old Boys, Sonop was the home of well-known alumni of the University of Pretoria including Dr. Anton Rupert, Mr. Pik Botha, Prof. Murray Janson, Prof. Nico Smit, Prof. Willie Jonker and Dr. Uli Schmidt. The residence’s first house-master, Prof. WP de Villiers (1916 – 1937), was a friend of Pierneef and it was on his suggestion that the Sonop Board invested in fourteen Pierneef artworks, acquired directly from the artist.

The collection of fourteen works was initially exhibited in Sonop, but when four works were stolen in 1963, the remaining works were loaned to the then newly opened Pretoria Art Museum (1964) for exhibition and safekeeping. Since the nineties, the collection has been in the care of the University of Pretoria Art Collection under the supervision of curator Gerard de Kamper.

With the wish of Sonop to share the collection with a wider audience and with Dr Rupert an old Sonop resident, these special works have now found a very fitting home as part of the Pierneef Heritage exhibition in the La Motte Museum.

The Sonop Collection by JH Pierneef includes:

  1. Street in Silverton / 1924 / Oil on board / 29,5 x 45 cm
  2. Bushveld Landscape / 1924 / Oil on board / 29,5 x 45 cm
  3. Red Landscape / 1924 / Oil on board / 35 x 52 cm
  4. Mountain Landscape (In Blue) / 1924 / Oil on board / 21,5 x 29 cm
  5. Silhouette / 1920 / Linocut / 39 x 30 cm
  6. Bloekombome / 1923 / Linocut / 36 x 26 cm
  7. Boabab / 1924 / Linocut / 29,4 x 40 cm
  8. Rooibosboom / 1924 / Linocut / 29 x 20 cm
  9. Kameeldoring, Springbokvlakte, N.T. / 1930 / Etching / 27,5 x 29,5 cm
  10. Gouden Hand Rey, Brugge / 1925 / Watercolour / 46 x 29,5 cm