In memory: Emeritus Professor Neville Dubow

08 September 2008

UCT mourns the death of artist, lecturer and writer Emeritus Professor Neville Dubow, who died on Sunday, 24 August, aged 74.

Dubow is survived by his wife, Rhona, children Saul, Gideon and Jessica, and grandchildren Talitha, Bethany, Zac, Leila and Thomas.

Dubow was Michaelis Professor of Fine Art at UCT and director of the Michaelis School of Fine Art from 1971 to 1988.

His name is also synonymous with the Irma Stern Museum, of which he was the founding director. He remained a director from the time of its establishment in 1971 to his retirement from UCT in 1998.

Dubow was one of a small group of scholars and academics who were responsible for the style and content of the museum, formerly the artist's home.

He was a personal friend of Irma Stern and, as a foremost art journalist and critic, he wrote extensively about her work from the 1960s to the present day.

He leaves behind a legacy of scholarship on the artist which includes the publications Paradise, The Journal and Letters (1917 -1933) of Irma Stern and Irma Stern, published by Struik Publishers.

A multi-disciplinarian, trained both in art and architecture, he wrote and lectured extensively in both these fields, as well as practising as a photographer.

In 1992 he was guest artist at the Standard Bank National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, and since his retirement in 1998 has been active as a researcher and lecturer in the area of memorials and memorialisation.

During his period as director of Michaelis, he fearlessly steered the school through turbulent political times, defending student protest and encouraging students to use their creativity to resist the ills of society.

Numerous essays have appeared in catalogues, most notably for the major Standard Bank-sponsored retrospective exhibition in 2003.

As the Irma Stern Museum's director, Dubow was a member of the university's Works of Art Committee and contributed substantially to its workings. As an artist, Dubow is represented in the university's Works of Art collection by his painted steel sculpture, Sunburst, housed in the main library.

Dubow held visiting professorships in England, the US and Israel.

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