About the Sanlam Art Collection

The Sanlam Art Collection came into being on 9 March 1965 when the Sanlam Board approved the acquisition of 12 paintings by well-known artists for the production of a prestige calendar in the coming year.  The collection has grown considerably since and has proved to be a good investment, with the current valuation of the collection exceeding twenty times what it has cost to acquire.

The collection is seen not only in Sanlam offices but also in touring exhibitions across South Africa. Sanlam continues to acquire significant images by established and emerging artists in South Africa and with this Centennial exhibition reaffirms its commitment to supporting the visual arts for generations to come.

IRMA STERN, NUDES 1916 - 1965
An exhibition of painting, drawing and prints tracing Irma Stern’s treatment of nude over her long working life.


Curator: Emeritus Professor Michael Godby 

Venue: Sanlam Art Gallery, Sanlam Head office, 2 Strand Road, Bellville.

Dates: 26 April – 15 July 2022 – Monday – Friday 09:00 – 16:30


Ubiquitous in every art school until the end of the previous millennium the Nude was a key subject in the curriculum. Combined with a 1000-year blast of art history from 4th century BC Greece to 1950’s Pop Art, a fine arts student would have been confronted with the subject repeatedly. For Irma Stern this would have been so too. As Emeritus Professor Michael Godby writes: “Tracing the evolution of the Irma Stern’s treatment of the nude over her long career is also a journey into the artist’s imagination”.