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UP Arts

Anton van Wouw Collection  



ANTON VAN WOUW (1862-1945)       AFRICAN STUDIES BY ANTON VAN WOUW     

HISTORY OF THE VAN WOUW HOUSE
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Contact information:

Curator: Daniel Mosako
Physical address: Ou Merenski Library, University of Pretoria
Tel: 012 420 7422 012 420 7422  ♦ Fax: 012 420 4918 ♦ Email :
daniel.musako@up.ac.za
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History of the Van Wouw House

The Van Wouw House, now the property of the University of Pretoria, was the last home and studio of the sculptor Anton van Wouw (1862-1945). The stand on which the house was built initially belonged to a Mr J Brookes. The stand changed ownership three times and was sold to Van Wouw in 1937. He commissioned the architect Norman Eaton to build a house for him on the southern erf. The Van Wouw House, which was completed in 1938, shows the personal style that Norman Eaton had already developed at the time. The house was designed both as residence and studio. The unity between the building and the environment is conspicuous. Van Wouw was a great lover of nature and a keen gardener and commissioned Eaton to design a residence with an affinity between architecture and nature. 

An ornamental pool, and later on a lush garden, contributed to this link between home and nature. The house itself was built with face brick, has a thatch roof and wooden window frames with shutters. Terracotta tiles and wooden floors add further to its charm. 

The sound of water in the fishpond, climbing plants and lush gardens link the dwelling to the surrounding landscape. From the large south-facing veranda, one has a lovely view to the south. 

Van Wouw moved into his new home early in 1939 and lived there until his death on 30 June 1945. Professor and Mrs S F Oosthuizen of the University of Pretoria then occupied the house until 1973. 

During the 25th Annual General Meeting of the Rembrandt Group on 16 November 1973, Dr Anton Rupert announced that a sum of money equal to the selling price of the property had been given to the University of Pretoria to purchase the Van Wouw House. Through this gesture, this valuable and exceptional house became the property of the University. Dr Rupert officially handed over the house to the University on 21 May 1974.