The Javett-UP

The fact that the Javett-UP is part of the University of Pretoria’s research and teaching and learning resources means that this is a place not only for enjoying art. It’s a place for learning about it, too. At the Javett-UP learning and enjoying are two sides of the same coin. Both are valued. Both are encouraged.


Exhibiting at Javett-UP

Art is to culture and heritage as breathing is to life. The Javett-UP is deeply rooted in working with communities; in giving people access to the treasures it holds and to working with communities to encourage creativity.

Javett-UP exhibitions will be eclectic and varied. Besides the permanent collections, which include the Javett family’s collection of 20th century SA art, visiting local and international exhibitions representing the wide breadth, range and depth of the art of Africa will be shown.

The Javett-UP honours University of Pretoria's Mapungubwe gold collection - dating before the 13th century.

There will always be something exciting to see at the Javett-UP.


Learning at Javett-UP

Researching the art of Africa lies at the very heart of the work of the Javett-UP. The Centre will mount exhibitions supporting research projects across disciplines and welcome visiting academics and artists-in-residence from Africa and beyond to help build our understanding of the art of Africa.

A brand new student gallery for student exhibitions in visual arts, architecture and other disciplines, which is also suitable for science and career fairs and similar events, also forms part of the Javett-UP complex.


Engaging with Javett-UP

The Javett-UP is art in action in all its forms. It will be a place to come and talk about art: to discuss it, argue about it, agree about it and with it, say what you think about it and hear what others think about it. It will be a hive of activity as it hosts dance, music, poetry and fine art, including awards supported by the Javett Foundation. A destination restaurant open to the public will enhance the Javett-UP’s appeal as THE place to visit in the capital city.

The Centre includes an auditorium where an exciting series of talks about art will be presented. Naturally, discussion may (and will) spill out to the Javett-UP’s courtyard areas, galleries and the precinct restaurant. In fact, this spillover is encouraged!


Conserving at Javett-UP

The Javett-UP provides an exciting new space for learning about art: for research and for acquiring and sharing art conservation and restoration skills.

It includes a conservation studio for practical work by students in sub-Saharan Africa’s first Master’s degree in the Conservation of Tangible Heritage (MSocSci) on offer at UP from 2019. The programme is funded by the Mellon Foundation.


Collaborating with Javett-UP

The Javett-UP project would not have come to fruition were it not for the spirit of collaboration between the University of Pretoria and the Javett Foundation. They share a firm belief in the value of the arts for society in general, and for education in particular. This belief underlies, supports and brings ongoing motivation for their collaboration on the Javett-UP.

Material investment from the Javett Foundation and the University of Pretoria provided resources and the impetus to build the Centre. The Foundation has committed to annual donations over the next decade to help run the Javett-UP and an endowment fund will be established.

The facility is to be managed by an independent not-for-profit trust, the Art Centre Foundation, to which the university will appoint some of the trustees.


Building Javett-UP

The Javett-UP's distinctive design is made up of various exhibition spaces. One of these is in the bridge over Lynnwood Road, literally allowing art to connect the university to one of Africa’s most dynamic cities. Another is the majestic, concrete building that houses a collection of the golden artefacts of Africa. Towering into the sky, the Mapungubwe Gallery demands attention, bringing Africa’s glorious ancient past right into today’s discussion about art and heritage, art and value, and art and the human condition.

The Javett-UP was designed by acclaimed South African architect Pieter Mathews. Aecom South Africa were the constructing engineers. The building was nominated for the Saint-Gobain 2017 Africa Architectural Awards, which aim to recognise and reward worthy projects from across the continent.


Art at work

The Javett-UP raises the bar in art collection and display. It’s also setting new standards in teaching, studying, researching, restoring, preserving and thinking about the art of Africa. And all this happens in a building that’s modern, light and evokes the spirit of the continent.

But the Javett-UP is so much more than a public space to engage with the art and cultural heritage of Africa. It is deeply embedded in an internationally ranked South African university acknowledged for excellence in research, teaching and learning and engagement with society. The Javett-UP opens doors and unlocks exciting opportunities for collaboration across Africa and the world.

This is a creative place. It’s a place that confronts and addresses the issues we wonder about and talk about: Where do we fit today in the cultural, political and economic context of our country and continent? Where are we going, and what is our role in shaping the future?

There’s nothing like the Javett-UP. It’s yours. Enjoy it.