Fonds BC1548 - Neville Dubow Papers

Reference code



Neville Dubow Papers


  • 1949-2008 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

20 boxes

Name of creator


Biographical history

Neville Eric Dubow (b. 16 September 1933, d. 24 August 2008) graduated from the University of Cape Town (UCT) with a bachelor’s degree in architecture in 1956. He joined the staff of UCT’s Michaelis School of Fine Art in 1962. In 1971, he became chair of fine art. He also served as dean of the faculty of fine art and literature (1981–1983), and retired from academic life in 1993. He was director of the Irma Stern Museum from its inception in 1971, and was chairman of the acquisitions sub-committee of the South African National Gallery from 1980 to 1995. Throughout his career, he was involved in a wide variety of extra-mural pursuits. These can be divided into four areas: criticism; public lecturing; as member of national selection boards and juries; and as creative artist in fields such as sculpture, photography and architecture. In his role as critic, Neville Dubow contributed to countless newspapers, journals, magazines, radio shows and other platforms. His reputation as a lecturer made him a popular speaker at many conferences and at public lectures. He was active on numerous selection panels, including Art South Africa; SA Breweries National Art Award; Cape Triennale; Volkskas Atelier Awards; the SA National Gallery sculpture and photography commissions; and the Victoria and Alfred (V&A) Waterfront Sculpture Competition. His main area of interest in photography was on sequential photography and the interrelationship of photography, art, and architecture. His sculptures adorn the UCT campus, the aquarium at the V&A Waterfront, and numerous other places, and his exhibitions are too numerous to record here. Amongst his many awards and accolades were the Standard Bank Guest Artist (1992), UCT Special Merit Award (1992), and best lecturer award from the Photographic Society of South Africa (1991).

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated to UCT Libraries by Mrs Rhona Dubow

Scope and content

The bulk of the collection comprises copies of Dubow’s many published works, as well as unpublished presentations such as conference papers, lectures (public and academic) and speeches. Several scrapbooks of newspaper cuttings document his prodigious output and profound influence on the cultural life of Cape Town and beyond. There is a small quantity of audio-visual materials, including audio tapes of the papers presented at the “The state of art” conference held at UCT in 1979, and VHS and other media containing a variety of presentations. A small amount of correspondence, thematic materials and photographs makes up the rest of the collection.


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Only a high level record of this collection is currently maintained in AtoM. For a detailed list of contents, see or

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