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Designed around the art it was created to house
Banking is not something you usually associate with art - yet, as you walk into the Absa Towers North building in the Johannesburg CBD, you are struck by the sheer volume and potential of the open-plan space that was designed around the art it was created to house.
The major artworks were commissioned while the building was being designed - allowing artists and architects to work together to create a space that accommodated the artworks perfectly.
There are a number of artworks that can be seen in these larger spaces, including:
- A huge colourful marvel by artist, Karel Nel, titled ‘Place of Narture’ hangs in the reception area
- Five, six-storey tall tuft carpet banners by Norman Catherine - which were woven by hand by rural men
- An 11-meter tall Walter Oltmann wire sculpture depicting replicas of carved African chairs; weighing half a ton
- A two-storey tall metal mobile of the old City of Johannesburg shown against the newer, more modern city in perfect balance; created by Lewis Levin, Paul Cawood and Susan Woolf. It moves slowly, making a cycle every 20 minutes
Absa Gallery Schedule for 2017
|February||5||Absa Gallery Exhibition: Curated Exhibition: Bibliophilia – opening of exhibition (runs until 10 March 2017)|
|March||19||Absa Gallery Exhibition: Gideon Appah – L’Atelier Merit Award winner 2015 - opening of exhibition (runs until 20 April 2017)|
|April||7||KKNK (Oudtshoorn) (until 15 April 2017)|
|24||Absa Gallery: L’Atelier – Receiving of entries (until 28 April 2017)|
|May||21||Absa Gallery Exhibition: Kai Lossgott – L’Atelier winner 2015 - opening of exhibition (runs until 15 June 2017)|
|July||11||Absa Gallery Exhibition: KKNK Exhibition (runs until 28 July 2017)|
|August||6||Absa Gallery: Natalie Moore – L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto winner 2015 - opening of exhibition (runs until 26 August 2017)|
|September||13||L’Atelier: Awards evening and announcement of winners – opening of the L’Atelier (runs until 27 October 2017)|
|November||8||Absa Gallery: Fundraising Art Auction|
|November||19||Absa Gallery: Curated exhibition of previous Gerard Sekoto winners – opening of exhibition (runs until 26 January 2018)|
An outing not to be missed!
As South Africa’s only money and banking museum, a trip to the Absa Money Museum is an outing not to be missed!
Situated in the stylish Absa Towers West building in the heart of the cultural metropolis that is the Johannesburg CBD, the Money Museum is home to the most complete collection of South African numismatic items in the world.
When we think of money, we generally think of coins, banknotes, credit cards and cheques, but in the past people traded with commodity money, like salt, seashells, metal and animals. The museum’s history stretched back to the beginnings of trade in Johannesburg, and the dynamic displays include ranges of early money forms (such as Cowrie Shells and Venetian glass beads) through to gold coins retrieved from sunken ships.
Of course, the Absa Money Museum also covers the history of the banking giant in depth, and one can trace the history of Absa and the development of money in South Africa and its financial history.
The museum is open Monday to Friday, 08:30 – 16:00 and access is free. Please remember to bring your ID for entry into the building. A tour guide is provided for groups (maximum of 15 people and booking is essential), and the Museum also specialises in tours for the hearing impaired.