The Foundation | History and Objectives
The aim of the Gerard Sekoto Foundation is to develop awareness and understanding of Gerard Sekoto's legacy by teaching the South African public about Sekoto's life, art, music, philosophy and his writings.
The will of Gerard Sekoto expressed his wish that his Estate should be used to uplift art education for young South African children. Formal art education was not offered to black South Africans during the apartheid era and he hoped to see this rectified in the future.
Gerard Sekoto lived in voluntary exile in Paris from 1947 until his death in 1993. Complications regarding his estate, relating to his status as an exile, living off the French state, arose following his death. As part of a process of trying to have the taxes imposed on his estate by the French Government, waived, it was suggested a Foundation be set up, into which the monies from his estate would eventually be channelled. It took five years of tenacious pleading from the trustees of this newly formed Foundation, for the authorities to concede a particular exemption – an issue in which both the French and South African Government became embroiled.
Finally, in 1999, an historic agreement was realised, whereby the French Government waived the taxes, which applied to Sekoto’s estate. His art collection, numbering over 3000 pieces and his documents and memorabilia were returned to South Africa, and has been loaned by the Gerard Sekoto Foundation to the National Art Gallery in Cape Town. The copyright to Sekoto’s work is housed in the Foundation, to control the use of his reproduced images, and maintain the quality of his reputation. The trustees of the Foundation seek to fulfill the artist’s wish to educate young South Africans about art related issues and to keep the legacy of Gerard Sekoto, the father of South African Art alive.