Ilana SLOMOWITZ – mural from 1983 meas. 3x6m


(commissioned privately for entrance to the Local Departures Restaurant; sgraffito in colorcrete terracotta plaster, ceramic birds set onto wet plaster)

(image artist)










South African Panorama, Pretoria – February, 1973

The archives of the Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria

The archives of The Haenggi Foundation Inc., Basel

Basler Afrika Bibliographien BAB, Basel




Further research – Photographic archives


University of the Witwatersrand – Historical Papers Research Archive - Esmé Berman Papers 1964/1990 – Inventory A2286 Box Ba6

University of Pretoria – Dept. of Architecture – Archives – record 06828




Selected Newspaper reviews


Beeld, Johannesburg – 11th March, 1996; 15th March, 1996 (illustrated); 3rd May, 2010 (“Kultuurskat by lughawe vernietig”); 30th June, 1969;

16th August, 1970 (illustrated); 13th February, 2013 (illustrated); 25th February, 2013 (illustrated)


Die Burger, Cape Town – 30th June, 1969


Pretoria News, Pretoria – 27th June, 1969 (illustrated) + 26th November, 1971


Gedenkprogram vir die inwyding van die Jan Smuts-lughawe Eindpuntgebou, November 1972

(printed and designed by Gothic Printing Company Ltd., Cape Town 1972)


Rand Daily Mail, 20th June, 1973 (illustrated) + 11th June, 1974


Sarie Marais (“Pure Silwer en Koper by Jan Smuts laat Lughawe glinster”) (Frans Fourie), 2nd June, 1971


SA Digest, Pretoria – 18th December, 1970; 16th April, 1971; 17th December, 1971


SA Financial Gazette, Johannesburg – 11th April, 1974


SA Garden & Home – September, 1979


The Star, Johannesburg – 27th June, 1969 (“Major Art Centre at Jan Smuts”); 7th April, 1971 (illustrated)


Vaderland, Johannesburg – 30th June, 1969; 8th December, 1971 (illustrated)









The Minister of Transport, Ben Schoeman, officially opened the new foyer of the airport in November, 1972




Larry Scully and Esmé Berman conducted a tour of the Jan Smuts Airport to view all the art works in June, 1973 and 1974 respectively




In 1994, the name of “Jan Smuts Airport” was changed to “Johannesburg International Airport”






If any reader has more images of art work at the former Jan Smuts Airport, please contact




Return to










This page last updated 2nd August, 2020





Jan Smuts Airport 1969

(image from the archives of Daniel, Smit & Partners, Architects, at the University of Pretoria, Dept. of Architecture – file 00628)








Other art work at Jan Smuts Airport commissioned privately after 1978

Image per


Architectural Drawings and Perspectives for the new Jan Smuts Airport Project done by Todd, Erik, Austin and Sandilands with Daneel, Smit and Viljoen

were exhibited at the Transvaal Academy 1969 held at the Duncan Hall, Johannesburg, listed under cat. 157

1.35m half scale model of the original stainless steel sculpture at Jan Smuts Airport -Lower Roof – North Transit Garden Area

(image the artist)



Ruth WOLTER-Stijn (Grossman) – large wood panel – Ground floor - VIP Entry Lobby – 1972






Other commissions were given to



Niels COETZEE, S.P. DU TOIT, Johann ROETS, Carmen STAUCH, Nellie TRUTER,

Daneel, Smit and Viljoen



The works were located in the Jan Smuts Airport Terminal Buildings – the International Wing, the Office Block and the Domestic Arrivals Building







Jan Smuts Airport – the façade in 1970

Hannes HARRS “Tokoloshe”, 1972 – sculpture in wood – 170x90x30 cm – located on Ground Floor near base of Escalator


After all art works at Jan Smuts Airport were removed or destroyed in the 1990s, this work was discovered by the artist’s brother-in-law, decaying in a storeroom below the airport;

after restoration it was sold to a well-known SA owned gallery in Los Angeles CA USA

(illustrated in  JCC News no 45 8th Dec 1972)







Other public commissions for Jan Smuts Airport in the 1970s



Richard Jurgens ADAMS – a mild steel frieze and 5 black steel panels on 1st floor Public Bar and in wall recesses to Public and Lounge Area


Raymond ANDREWS – various woodcuts and silkscreen prints for the VIP lounge (acquired through the good offices of the architect Wynand Smit - no images available)


Maia BEYERS (née Holm) – metal construction steel panel 6.4x2.7m – 1st floor Transit area Cocktail Bar


Bettie CILLIERS-BARNARD – “Optica” 1971 – Oil mural covering entire wall in Lower Mezzanine - VIP Lounge 3


Christo COETZEE – Tapestry (woven by Susan Moolman), 1971 – Ground Floor – VIP Central Hall


Ernst DE JONG “Frieze” - mural 1.22x38.73 m – 1968/1969 – whole length of South wall over Baggage Claim Conveyor (no image available)


Koos DEN HOUTING – wood carving mural 1970 – 1st floor Public Bar


Zakkie ELOFF – 3 wild life oils 1972 – Ground Floor - VIP Lounge 1


Richard (Dick) FINDLAY – Oil – Ground Floor – VIP Lounge 2


Willem HEYMANS – glass and concrete – all levels – Stair at West/Central – International Wing – and glass/concrete wall – 1st floor – Public Bar – Domestic Arrivals Building


Cornelia HOLM (née Potz) – ceramic tile mural – Ground Floor – Coffee Bar above Counter


Erik LAUBSCHER – acrylic mural – 1971 – Ground floor – Lift Lobby above Lift Door in Office Block


Ronald MYLCHREEST – frieze of 4 wooden panels – 1st floor Transit Dining Room and Cocktail Lounge


Laura RAUTENBACH – bust of the State President Jim Fouché, 1970 – Ground floor Central Hall


Cecily SASH – mosaic mural in Domestic Arrivals hall depicting 3 butterflies – abt. 9m square – 1968 – Ground and First Floors – Public Concourse South Wall


Guillaume THERON – 3 wood relief panes 1986 - entrance doors on NW side of ground floor level – VIP Lounge


Leo THERON – commission for « dalles de verre » (glass and concrete) panels – all levels – Stair at South/West – International Wing – and 1st floor between Public Stair and Public Link –

Domestic Arrivals Building


Andrew TODD – steel plate mural – Ground floor – North Coffee Room


Eben VAN DER MERWE – stained glass and concrete commission – all levels – Stair at North/West and all levels – Stair to Transit Area



Olivia WATSON – Oil mural – First Floor – Conference Room

(illustrated in South African Digest, Pretoria – 24th November, 1972)

Danie DE JAGER “Flight in Space”, 1971 – polished bronze mobile rotating once a minute – 3.5m H – first floor Pubic Departure Concourse


(image SA Panorama Feb 1973)


Additional images in

(SA Garden & Home - September, 1979),  (also ill. South African Digest, Pretoria 24th November, 1972,

in The Arup Journal London Vol 8 No 1 March 1973, p17;

the Rand Daily Mail, Johannesburg 20th June 1973)



In 1998 the sculpture was removed when the airport was upgraded and when the name changed. It was stored in a warehouse where it was vandalised.

A large portion of the sculpture was also stolen. The remaining parts were, however, later returned to Danie de Jager.

When de Jager passed on, his widow Elsa organised the restoration.


It was renamed "Quo Vadis?" and erected at the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria where it was unveiled on 13th February 2013.

Barbara GREIG “Growth Forms”- ceramic columns in pool on the Ground Floor at the Central Stair


(image SA Panorama Feb 1973)

Eone DE WET – one of the beaten copper clad doors to VIP Suite on the Ground Floor of the Jan Smuts Airport – 1968


(image SA Panorama Feb 1973)


Eone de Wet was also commissioned to do a 6.4x7.9m mural of 28 panels in copper for the 1st floor Main Restaurant and Dining Room

Jeanne KOTZE-LOUW – mosaic frieze 1971 – Ground floor – Baggage Claim Hall


(image: airliners net)

Eben LEIBBRANDT – “The Family” – sculpture in reconstructed marble on a pedestal of Namaqualand onyx – in the 1st floor – Transit area Entry Lobby


(image SA Panorama Feb 1973, p.24)

Larry SCULLY – “Astral Cities”, 1972 – one of 6 framed oils each 2.4x2.4 m in the Lower Roof – North Tea Room


(image Die Beeld, Johannesburg - 15th March, 1996)

(see also ref. in Our Art 3, p59 XVII)

Armando BALDINELLI “African Landscape” 1973 – mosaic and glass relief mural 7x4 m – 1st floor – Transit area entry lobby


(image “Armando Baldinelli” - ISBN: 0-620-01614-0 - ord. edition + 0-620-01686-8 - de luxe)

Mural demolished!

Günther VAN DER REIS, 1970 – stainless steel plate mural

(silver, red, yellow and blue shapes against pale beige, veined and polished marble panelling) – Ground Floor – next to VIP Entry Doors


(image: the artist)


(also illustrated in “Looking at South African Art” (Frieda Harmsen) (van Schaik) 1985, p127 –  ISBN 0627015654)

Whereabouts unknown!

Berrell JENSEN 1971 – copper mural – 4x18 m – Transit Lounge, Lower Roof


(image: the artist)

Whereabouts unknown!

Esias BOSCH 1972 - mural of stylized birds with 3000+ stoneware tiles - 6.4m high, 57.9 m long – 1st floor – Northern Concourse


(image “Esias Bosch” – ISBN 0-947-43006-7)

mural destroyed!

Kevin ATKINSON – metal plate mural in the 1st floor North Coffee Bar at the Jan Smuts Airport International Departure lounge


(image S.A. Panorama, February, 1973)


(illustrated in South African Digest, Pretoria – 24th November, 1972)

mural destroyed!

Bill HART – 3 cast panels each 4x3m in the Jan Smuts Airport 1st floor Public Cocktail lounge



(also illustrated in Die Vaderland, Johannesburg, 8thDecember, 1971)

Joan TEMPLAR “Turbulence” – a vitreous enamel panel decorating a coffee bar in the SA 1st floor departure hall, inspired by the testing of aircraft engines


(illustrated S.A. Panorama, February, 1973)

JAN SMUTS AIRPORT - Johannesburg



Selected Art Works


commissioned by the South African Public Works Department from 40 young South African artists 1968 – 1972



The art advisory committee included


Nel Erasmus (Director Johannesburg Art Gallery), Prof. Walter Battiss (UNISA),

Prof. Heather Martienssen (University of the Witwatersrand), Prof. F.E. Nilant (Pretoria)