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EXHIBITIONS
Current exhibitions
Natural history exhibitions
Social history exhibitions

Past exhibitions

Image: Fig wasp pollinators (Courtella species) entering Ficus modesta. Photograph by Simon van Noort.

Wonderful world of wasps
August until 25 September 2011

This exhibition showcases the diversity of wasps from a structural as well as a biological perspective. The species-rich insect group, Hymenoptera, which includes wasps, ants and bees, encompasses a vast range of lifestyles, from primitive plant feeding species, through to parasitoids and predators. The 5000 or so South African species play valuable roles in all ecosystems, providing important pollination services, controlling insect populations, and recycling nutrients.

Wonderful world of wasps includes over 100 photographs illustrating the spectacular diversity of form, colour and biology present in this group of ecologically and economically important insects. Three intricate interactions are featured in detail: the pollination of figs by tiny fig wasps; Africa’s only marine wasp that parasitizes intertidal spider eggs; and plant modifying gall wasps with their associated suite of parasitic wasps.

Enquiries: Valerie Mienies, Tel. 021 481 3897 or email vmienies@iziko.org.za

Above: Fig wasp pollinators (Courtella species) entering Ficus modesta. Photograph by Simon van Noort.


Image: Prof. Lee Berger with the original fossil skull of the juvenile male of 'Australopithecus sediba'. Inset: The original fossil skull of the juvenile male of Australopithecus sediba. Photographs by Hamish Robertson.

Australopithecus sediba: Re-exploring human origins - Opening soon!
Opens 20 September
2011

Australopithecus sediba is a new species of great ape (family Hominidae) described from fossils discovered by University of the Witwatersrand palaeo-anthropologist, Professor Lee Berger, and his son Matthew. The fossils were located in nearly 2-million-year-old deposits in the “Cradle of Humankind” World Heritage Site in Gauteng.

These ancient, small-brained, long-armed hominids are thought to be a link between australopithecine fossils like “Mrs Ples”, and the most ancient representatives of the genus Homo to which we Homo sapiens now belong. Casts of the juvenile male and adult female, donated to Iziko by the Institute for Human Evolution at Wits, will form the centrepiece of the exhibit that will outline this very early part of our human journey.

This exhibition is a follow-up to the successful, week-long exhibition at the Iziko South African Museum last year, where one of the original fossils of Australopithecus sediba was displayed.

Enquiries: Valerie Mienies, Tel. 021 481 3897 or email vmienies@iziko.org.za.

Above left: Prof. Lee Berger with the original fossil skull of the juvenile male of Australopithecus sediba. Inset: The original fossil skull of the juvenile male of Australopithecus sediba. Photographs by Hamish Robertson.

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Installation view of Made in Translation: Images from and of the Landscape, Iziko South African Museum. Photograph by Iziko Photographer, Carina Beyer.
 
Press Release >>

Made in Translation: Images from and of the Landscape
21 November 2010 until November 2011

Rock art copies are seen as acts of translation, primarily translating the ‘unboundedness’ of the paintings as they exist in the landscape, into the framed image of the copy. The exhibition showcases a diverse range of translations, including the works of copyists from the mid-19th to early 20th centuries. A collection by Leo Frobenius, who explored southern Africa between 1928 and 1930, displays his remarkable large-scale copies. Included are copies by, amongst others, George Stow, Helen Tongue, Dorothea Bleek, and Charles Schunke.

Curators: Pippa Skotnes, Director of the Centre for Curating the Archive, Michaelis School of Fine Art and Petro Keene.

Enquiries: Sven Ouzman, Tel. 021 481 3883 or email souzman@iziko.org.za.

Above left: Installation view, Made in Translation. Photograph by Iziko Photographer, Carina Beyer.

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Jobaria

DARWIN AND THE CAPE
CURRENT

2009 saw the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, as well as the 150th anniversary of the publication of his book, On the Origin of Species. His theory on the evolution of life through natural selection provided a scientific foundation for understanding how life diversified on Earth, and it is the theory that holds biology together. Darwin visited the Cape in 1836 on his journey around the world on the HMS Beagle. He corresponded with naturalists at the Cape, including previous staff of the South African Museum. This exhibition provides
an overview of Darwin’s life, his contribution to biology, and his relationship with the Cape.

Enquiries: Olga Jeffries, Tel. 021 481 3897
or email ojeffries@iziko.org.za

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BEADS: RITUAL AND ORNAMENTATION
CURRENT

The small but rather beautiful ‘Beads: Ritual and Ornamentation’ exhibition features prehistoric and ethnographic beads from southern Africa. Objects on display include Nassarius kraussianus shell beads, dating to 77 000 years ago. These are among the earliest beads discovered anywhere in the world. Prehistoric beads used as grave goods are also shown. More recent beads include colourful neck ornaments, 20th century tortoise-shell cosmetic containers decorated with beads, an isidlokolo (otter-skin cap), iqhina (necklet) and an umtseke (arm ornament) worn by Xhosa diviners.

Two posters, one of men adorned with beads in ritual dancing postures, as shown in a drawing by Elisabeth Mannsfeld of a rock painting in Ngolosa, Eastern Cape (Frobenius Collection), and one of diviners at a ceremony in East London, Eastern Cape (1968), contextualize the exhibition.

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