Wits Art Museum, Johannesburg

Wits Art Museum

This art museum is at the University of the Witwatersrand. It is located at the corner of the main campus which coincides with one of the busiest roads in Johannesburg (Joburg). I visited this Museum during a time that I was temporarily studying at the University, however I ‘interacted’ with it several more times. The way that the display has been set up, people on the streets see some of the artwork (it is purposely done that way to engage students). Much of what is the art museum was previously a gas station – which would see several students walking in and out from the convenience store. Furthermore, it would be a place for public transport to fill their tanks, so in that way the gas station saw a lot of traffic. The architects did not want to create a ‘hard’ wall that would close out the public who had previously interacted with the building. So it had large windows spanning all of what was the gas station.

 

I liked this building because being new to Joburg I was pleased that my professors felt it necessary to give us a tour of Braamfontein (the student town on the inner city of Joburg,where the university was built), which was otherwise highly intimidating with heavy traffic, street-wise Joburg natives, and people from all walks of life. Above the museum there was a tower which served as the administrative offices for the gallery, and served other purposes. on the highest floor there was a round room that had windows almost all around and allowed one to view much of the Witwatersrand (white waters ridge) and all the workers towns that were driven by the discovery of gold. This experience was amazing because it allowed for me to make friends with the people in my major, and it showed me the foundation of Joburg.

 

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