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Open Access

Rankin, Elizabeth / Schneider, Rolf Michael

From Memory to Marble

The historical frieze of the Voortrekker Monument Part I: The Frieze

    Open Access
    eBook (PDF)
    Publication Date:
    2020
    Copyright year:
    2020
    To be published:
    February 2020
    ISBN
    978-3-11-066878-0
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    Overview

    Aims and Scope

    This is the first time that 92-metre marble frieze of the Voortrekker Monument, showing Boer pioneers who conquered South Africa’s interior (1835-52), has been the subject of a monograph. The visual narrative is a key work that represented a crucial period of South Africa’s past. And it contributed to the country’s socio-political mores in the 1930s and 1940s when it was made. It is also unique in providing rare evidence of the processes of creating a major monument, discoverable in unpublished documents, drawings and models, from the earliest discussions of the purpose and content of the frieze through all stages of its design, modelling and sculpting. The book traces these complex processes and those who contributed to them, and analyses the reliefs selected to represent the ‘Great Trek’. It explains how visual representation transforms historical memory in what it chooses to recount and the style in which it is depicted. It investigates the active role the Monument played in the development of apartheid, and its post-apartheid heritage. The book’s second volume expands on the first, considering each of the twenty-seven scenes in depth, providing new insights into the frieze and little explored aspects of South Africa’s history.

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