A retrospective exhibition consisting of 32 watercolour works


Dr Albert Johannes Werth

The exhibition can be viewed from Saturday 22 May 2021 at 10h00 until 16 June 2021.

Dr Werth was born in the Free State in 1927, matriculated at Grey College in Bloemfontein and studied art at the University of Pretoria. As a student he held several one man exhibitions in charcoal, watercolour as well as oil.

He was later appointed as Head of the Department of Art at the Pretoria Technikon, where he lectured until 1963. His lifelong dream came true in 1963 when he initiated the Pretoria Art Museum. Initially he held the position of curator until he became the Director of the Pretoria Art Museum as well as Melrose House.

He specialized in obtaining works from South African artists as part of the permanent collection for the Pretoria Art Museum. He thus promoted awareness of South African artists which was exceptional for that time.

He had expert knowledge of the authenticity of art works and was sought after by many art collectors to verify the authenticity of their purchases.

In 1972, he achieved his doctorate at the University of Pretoria with the thesis:

‘The influence of primitivism on South African art’, where after the University of Pretoria bestowed him with an honorary professorship.

The Academy of Science and Art awarded him with a medal of honour for his contribution towards South African art in 1987. During this time, he painted in oil, watercolour, and portraits in charcoal.

His paintings were exhibited at galleries such as the Goodman Gallery, Tina Skukan Gallery, Pretoria Art Museum as well as several private exhibitions. A great number of his work found homes worldwide.

After his retirement he dedicated himself to painting with watercolour exclusively.

This exhibition contains the watercolours painted from 1977 until his death in 2004, with a stimulating variety of still life paintings, landscapes inspired by the Highveld, Seascapes with boats, his beloved rural and urban Irene, as well as the Drakensberg, where he loved spending time.

Throughout his work, his clouds were either exceptionally dramatic and dark or else, light and romantic.

In later years his work tended to be more impressionistic, with a playful effect of light on his land-and-seascapes.

Come and recollect the work of one of our great SA Artists.

Exhibition Catalogue

More about Dr Werth by Thea Nigrini