ART ARCHIVES - SOUTH AFRICA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egon Guenther

 

 

His Galleries in Mannheim and Johannesburg

 

A Tribute

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egon Guenther in 1947

 

 


 

 

 

CV

 

 

Egon Ferdinand Guenther was born in Mannheim in Germany on 24th January, 1921, both parents working as jewellers.

Under their guidance he served a full apprenticeship in Pforzheim, Germany along with formal studies at the Vereinigte Goldschmiede Kunst- und Werkschule, Pforzheim.

Afterwards he worked in his father’s studio.

From 1946 to 1950, he had his own gallery in Mannheim (with co-founder Rudi Baerwind (q.v.) who was the gallery’s artistic director till 1949)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egon Guenther Gallery in Mannheim 1947 (©EG archives)

 

Egon with his wife Hannelore and visitor

 

 

 

Egon Guenther married Hannelore in 1947; they emigrated to South Africa in 1951.

In Johannesburg he worked for a short while as a silversmith at the Haglund workshop before opening his own studio in partnership with Edi Caveng (1955-1965).

 

In 1957 he again opened an art gallery called the ‘Egon Guenther Gallery’, together with his partner, where he featured African art

(including wood sculptures, masks, bronze casts) alongside exhibitions of abstract and surrealist works.

 

Egon began to concentrate more on the gallery than his jewellery work and in 1969 he sold his jewellery workshop

to Kurt Donau, a Swiss immigrant who had worked for a number of years in the Guenther workshop, Johannesburg.

 

 

Egon Ferdinand Guenther died on 30th January, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egon Guenther, the jeweller, goldsmith and silversmith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egon Guenther in “The Diamond News and the S.A. Watchmaker and Jeweller, February 1957, p. 10

 

 

1st public exhibition of original modern jewellery by Egon Guenther held at The Studio, Connaught Mans., 215 Bree Street, Johannesburg, on 25th November, 1953

 

 

 


 

 

Egon Guenther, the gallerist in Mannheim and Johannesburg

 

 

Selected exhibitions held (solo and participation in group shows)

 

 

Mannheim

 

 

1947 Opening show - works by Max Ackermann, Willi Baumeister, Rudolf Baerwind, Kunz, Otto Ritschl (1st February)

1947 Bernhard Schultze (included in yearly shows till 1951)

1947 Karl Otto Götz (solo)

1947 Peter Herkenrath (Paintings) (12th July)

1947 Kölner Künstler (Paintings, Sculptures, Graphics) (30th August)

1947 Rudi Baerwind (Paintings, graphics) (November) (solo)

 

1948 Willi Baumeister (Paintings a.o) (20th January)

1948 Conrad Westpfahl (31st January)

1948 Max Ackermann (28th February) (solo) (cat)

1948 Frans Masereel (woodcuts) (April)

1948 Franz Radziwill (Paintings, Graphics) (May)

1948 Vision und Magie in Malerei und Dichtung – Erste zusammenfassende Ausstellung surrealer Tendenzen

deutscher Künstler (19th June)

1948 Deutsche Abstrakte Malerei – Ackermann Baumeister Nay Ritschl (June-August)

1948 Willi Baumeister (Collective Exhibition) (13th November) - simultaneously with

"Das Unbehagen an der Modernen Kunst" - a lecture by Dr G.F. Hartlaub relating to the gallery's

Permanent Collection of Masters of the Abstraction and the Surrealism - Exotic Art - on 20th November

1948 Alexej von Jawlensky (1864-1941) (Paintings, graphics) (6th December)

 

1949 Jean-Michel Atlan

1949 „4 Maler aus Paris“ (William Gear RA, Atlan, Goebel, Götz) (15th February)

1949 Deutsche Maler der Avantgarde - Kreis der Galerie Egon Günther - exhibition held at

the Gemäldegalerie Gewerbemuseum, Kaiserslautern (12th March-3rd April)

1949 Rudolf Schlichter (35 Paintings, Watercolours, Drawings) (30th April)

1949 Rudolf Scharpf (Woodcuts) (9th July)

1949 Peter Herkenrath (Paintings) (17th September)

1949 "Exotische Plastik - Moderne Malerei und Graphik" (Max Ackermann u.a.m.) (19th November)

 

1950 Heinz Daniel „Bühnenbilder“ (Mannheimer Nationaltheater) (11th February)

1950 "Sehr Exotisch" - 3. Karneval der Künstler at "Femina" (18th February)

1950 Edgar Jené (Paintings and Graphics) (18th March)

1950 Max Ackermann (Works) (22nd April)

1950 Gruppe ZEN 49 (Paintings by Willi Baumeister,

Fritz Winter, Fietz, Rolf Cavael, Rupprecht Geiger, Hempel and

sculptures by Brigitte Meier-Denninghoff) (8th July)

1950 Bernhard Schultze (Paintings) (19th August)

1950 Bernhard Epple, Ernst Gassenmeier, Jean Leppien, Imo Liske (Paintings + Graphics) (7th Oct)

1950 Boris Kleint (Paintings) (11th November)

 

1950 Closing Exhibition (the last of 21 shows): Paintings and Graphics by

Max Ackermann, Willi Baumeister, Ernst Geitlinger, Otto Ritschl, Peter Herkenrath and Rudolf Scharpf (9th December)

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1950 Margot Krug-Grosse wove a tapestry designed by Willi Baumeister,

commissioned by Egon Guenther, for a Johannesburg collection.

 

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During his Mannheim period, Egon published a.o.

 

“Rudi Baerwind” – “zehn steinzeichnungen” – Mappe mit 10 Lithographien”, 1948

 

Vision und Magie : ein Veranstaltungszyklus um die erste zusammenfassende Ausstellung

surrealer Tendenzen deutscher Künstler : Juni, Juli, August 1948 (Rudi Bärwind) (Galerie Egon Günther, Publ.)

 

„Alexej von Jawlensky“ (Wilhelm Moufang) (Wanderausstellung, 1948) (exhibition cat.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Johannesburg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Egon Guenther Gallery - 1st floor Connaught Mansions, 215 Bree Street) (©EG archives)

 

 

 

 

1957 Willi Baumeister (1989-1955) (paintings and drawings) (5th June) (opening of gallery and exhibition by Jack Lewsen)

1957 Rudolf Scharpf (woodcuts, etchings and monotypes) (21st August) (opening by Cecil Williams)

1957 An exhibition of fine Swiss timepieces – Watches of tomorrow (Tuesday 26th November)

(opening by O. Berchtold, Consul for Switzerland)

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1958 Imo Lieske (Paintings, pastels, monotypes) (29th April) (opened by Gideon Uys)

1958 Cecil Skotnes (woodcuts) (8th August) (opened by Zandberg Jansen)

1958 Ernst Geitlinger (paintings) (10th October) (opening by Cecil Skotnes)

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1959 Bernhard Epple (engravings) (20th May) (opening by Frank Rosen)

1959 An exhibition of contemporary art, jewellery and horology

(Jewellery by Egon Guenther – Paintings and woodcuts by Willi Baumeister,

Rudolf Scharpf, Imo Lieske, Cecil Skotnes, Ernst Geitlinger – Watches) (25th November) (opening by Taubie Kushlick)

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1960 Cecil Skotnes (woodcuts) (2nd August) (opened by James Ambrose Brown)

1960 Connoisseur’s Choice (26th November) (opening by Harold Jeppe)

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1961 J.H. Pierneef (1886-1957) (woodcuts) (11th February) (opening by Jimmy MacKenzie)

1961 Diederick Düring (Paintings) (25th March) (opened by Esmé Euvrard)

1961 Anna Vorster (Paintings of Israel and Greece) (15th April) (opened by A. S. Super)

1961 The Bloemfontein Group (Paintings) (29th April) (opened by D.H. Ollemans)

1961 Walter Battiss (Paintings, Drawings, Woodcuts, Linocuts, Ceramics) (20th May) (opened by W.Battiss)

1961 J.H. Pierneef (1886-1957) (paintings, watercolours, drawings) (10th June) (opened by Elisabeth Eybers)

1961 The Artist’s Touchstone (drawings by 12 outstanding SA draughtsmen: 

Harvey/Higgs/Krige/Lipschitz/van Essche/Battiss/Cilliers-Barnard/de Jong/van Heerden/Cattaneo/Skotnes/Ullmann

(8th July) (opened by Charles Eglington)

1961 Hannes Harrs (Batiks) (5th August) (opened by Elsabe Sauer)

1961 Work by young and Student Artists (9th September) (opened by Giuseppe Cattaneo)

1961 Erica Berry (watercolours) (7th October) (opened by Prof. John Fassler)

1961 Cecily Sash (graphic work) (4th November) (opened by Cecily Sash)

1961 Frans Claerhout (Paintings) (25th November) (opened by Ambassador P. Vanderstichelen)

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1962 Group Exhibition:

(Erasmus, Skotnes, Gordon Vorster, Whippman, Ormiston, Cattaneo, Mylchreest, Turvey, Battiss, Peta Marshall, Anna Vorster)

(10th February) (opened by A.J. Werth)

1962 Gordon Vorster (Graphic Work) (3rd March) (opened by Gordon Vorster)

1962 Dirk Meerkotter (Ceramics, Paintings) (24th March) (opened by Cecil Skotnes)

1962 George Boys (Paintings) (17th April) (opened by Dr Simon Biesheuvel)

1962 Sydney Kumalo (Sculpture and Drawings) (8th May) (opened by Khabi Mngoma)

1962 Cecil Skotnes (13 Paintings, 3 watercolours, 6 drawings, 1 totem) (5th June) (opened by Egon Guenther)

1962 Transvaal Student Art (3rd July) (opened by Esmé Berman)

1962 Renée le Roux (Paintings) (31st July) (opened by Bartho Smit)

1962 Bettie Cilliers-Barnard (Paintings) (21st August) (opened by Mimi Coertse)

1962 Jan Buys (Paintings) (4th September) (opened by Michael Scott)

1962 Anna Vorster (Paintings) (18th September) (opened by Esmé Berman)

1962 Giuseppe Cattaneo (Satirical Drawings) (23rd October) (opened by Prof I.D. MacCrone)

1962 Reginald Turvey (Paintings, watercolours) (13th November) (opened by Lowell Johnson)

1962 Giuseppe Cattaneo, Egon Guenther, Hannes Harrs, Cecily Sash, Cecil Skotnes, Marguerite Stephens,

Phyllis Turgell, Eduardo Villa, Ilana Zygielbaum

(Christmas Exhibition) (27th November) (opened by Pidie Wilson)

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1963 Cecil Skotnes (Drawings) (Collection Ian Fraser Jones) (5th February)

1963 Gunther van der Reis (Paintings) (5th March) (opened by Dr Albert Werth)

1963 Edoardo Villa (Sculptures) (26th March) (opened by Jamie Uys)

1963 Sydney Kumalo, Cecily Sash, Cecil Skotnes (drawings and woodcuts) (7th May) (opened by Jack Lewsen)

1963 Baerwind, Epple, Geitlinger, Scharpf (4th June) (opened by Cecil Skotnes)

1963 Barbara Greig (Ceramic Panels) (6th August) (opened by Dr Simon Biesheuvel)

1963 Cecily Sash (Paintings) (27th August)

1963 Maggie Laubser (Paintings (1920-1959) (24th September) (opened by Egon Guenther)

1963 Amadlozi (Giuseppe Cattaneo, Sydney Kumalo, Cecily Sash, Cecil Skotnes, Edoardo Villa) (15th October)

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1964 Fred Schimmel (Paintings) (4th February) (opened by Cecil Skotnes)

1964 Dirk Hudig (Paintings) (13th March)

1964 Dirk Meerkotter (Paintings and Ceramics) (22nd April) (opened by A.A. von Maltitz)

1964 Ben Arnold (Sculpture and Drawings) (10th June)

1964 J.H. Pierneef Festival (jointly with Adler Fielding Galleries over 2 venues - 311 works) (28th August) (catalogue)

 

 


 

 

Egon Guenther Private Gallery – 4 Krans Street – Linksfield, Johannesburg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The gallery wing was designed by Donald D. Turgel

 

Photo © by Paul Vink, illustrated in South African Tatler, Johannesburg, October, 1965,p45

 

 

 

1965 Group Show - Ben Arnold, Giuseppe Cattaneo, Barbara Greig, Hannes Harrs, Sydney Kumalo,

Ezrom Legae, Georgina Ormiston, Cecil Skotnes, Edoardo Villa (31st August)

 

1967 Sydney Kumalo (Bronzes and Drawings) (21st February)

1967 Edoardo Villa (Sculpture) (22nd September)

 

1968 Peter Haden, Hannes Harrs, Sydney Kumalo, Ezrom Legae, Edoardo Villa and the Unknown Masters of Africa (12th November)

 

1969 Cecil Skotnes (woodcuts) and Peter Haden (sculpture) (21st October)

1969 Hannes Harrs (Wood sculpture and Paintings) (25th November)

 

1971 Hannes Harrs (woodcuts in colour) (10th March)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egon and Hannelore Guenther with friends at their home on Linksfield Ridge, Johannesburg (img South African Panorama)

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Note

 

 

Read about the Mannheim period in

"Vision und Magie?" Surrealistische Kunst im Nachkriegsdeutschland"

by Prof. Dr. Martin Schieder, Universität Leipzig für Kunst

 

From 1948 to 1950, Egon Guenther exhibited African art alongside contemporary art in his reopened gallery in Mannheim

(“Testimonies of the early post-war years in African Art in Private German Collections” (K.F. Schädler) (1973)

 

Not all exhibitions are listed as some data is missing!

 

This webpage has been put up by The Haenggi Foundation Inc., Basel, in July, 2019 as a tribute to a colleague

 

 

We thank Prof. Federico Freschi, Dr Gavin Watkins and Miriam Grech-Cumbo for making their archives available,

also Fred van Staden for his research on https://sagoldsmiths.blogspot.com/search?q=egon+Guenther

 

 

Additional images and data will be linked in due course from here!

 

 

Links

 

https://art-archives-southafrica.com/

 

http://www.pelmama.org/Johannesburg_artscene_general.htm

 

 

 

Last update 21st July, 2019