The Smithsonian National Museum of African Art joins the international arts community in mourning the loss of Linda Givon, founding director of South Africa’s Goodman Gallery (her surname at the time it was established). Opened in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Johannesburg in 1966, despite the oppressive policies of the apartheid regime, the gallery remained a non-discriminatory space for over 42 years.
During her tenure, Givon showcased and supported the careers of such artists as Willie Bester, William Kentridge, Sam Nhlengethwa, and Sue Williamson. In addition to launching one of the most prominent art galleries worldwide, she was a tireless advocate for the arts and culture, serving on committees, raising funds, and advocating for artists. Linda Givon will be missed, but her memory will live on in the museum’s collections in the whimsical sculpture by Johannes Mashego Segogela in which the artist depicted himself seated at a table opposite the legendary gallerist.