Wits90 Treasures Exhibition on show at the Wits Art Museum

From ancient fossils to Mandela's handwritten notes- rare specimens and artefacts on display.

Wits is the custodian of some of the world's priceless treasures and on the occasion of its 90th anniversary, Wits invites the people of South Africa to share these riches.

An exhibition entitled the Wits90 Treasures will run from Sept 20- Oct 14 (Wed-Sun, 10.00-17.00) at the Wits Art Museum.

The exhibition is diverse- ranging from the rare and peculiar to the uncanny and extraordinary.

Prof. Loyiso Nongxa, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Wits University says: “Great universities are one of the key pillars of our society - they survive for centuries and generations, they outlive governments and societies, making them ideal safehouses and curators of priceless treasures on behalf of civilisations.”

Visitors can look forward to seeing the following on display, amongst other treasures: the Taung Skull; the Sediba Fossils; the world’s oldest dinosaur eggs; rare African art; Dumile Feni scroll; one of the world’s oldest Bibles; Mandela’s handwritten notes from the Rivonia Trial; Robert Sobukwe’s original letters; Herbert Baker watercolours, photographs from the Barnett collection; excerpts from the Sol Plaatje collection; the Devil’s Claw; old blueprints of the Union buildings and the Johannesburg Art Gallery; rock art; a slave register and clay tablets (ca 3000 – 2000 BC).

Embryo models; animal skeletons; human death masks; iron lungs used in South Africa during the 1950s poliomyelitis epidemic; some 17th Century musical instruments and a medicine chest will also be on display. “This varied, multidisciplinary exhibition serves to bring together treasures that have never been put together in one space before. We hope that the people of Johannesburg and South Africa will take this opportunity to get to know a little bit more about ourselves and our wondrous heritage,” adds Nongxa.

Dates:             20 September – 14 October 2012

Time:                Wed – Sun, 10:00 – 17:00

Venue:              The Wits Art Museum, Corner Jorissen Street and Jan Smuts Avenue, Braamfontein

Contact:            (011) 717 9735

Info:                 www.wits.ac.za/wits90


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