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Hans Fransen

1931 - 2017

Author of publications on art and architecture in South Africa

Art and Architectural Historian
Curator Stellenbosch Museum, 1965 - 69

Hans Fransen was born in 1931 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He commenced his studies in architecture which remained uncompleted when he moved to South Africa in 1955. He married Marie Anneen van Zyl in 1963.
BA (History of Art, UNISA,1968) , PhD (University of Natal). Title of thesis: Style periods in Cape architecture and decoration.
2001- 2017
Survey Asistant, Dept. of Water Affairs, Pretoria
Press and Cultural Affairs Assistant, French Embassy, Pretoria/Cape Town
Editorial assistant and proof reader, Die Burger
Acting Curator, Michaelis Collection (museum)
Curator Stellenbosch Museum
Curator, Groot Constantia
Assistant Director, S.A. National Gallery
Senior Lecturer History of Art, University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg
Director Michaelis Collection
Active as author, heritage practitioner
Running (6 Comrades Marathons)
Cycling (13 Argus Tours)

Professional Organisations: At one stage or another
S.A. Association of Art
Simon van der Stel Foundation
Vernacular Architecture Society
S.A. Society of Cultural Historians
S.A. Museums Association

1984:  Simon van der Stel Foundation Medal of Honour
1993:  Cape Times Award for Conservation
2001:  Knighthood in the Order of Orange-Nassau (Netherlands) 
2008: DPhil, honoris causa, from Stellenbosch University

Hans Fransen died on 11 December 2017 in Pinelands

Publications:Over 30 exhibition catalogues and brochures, 11 articles in specialised journals
Hans Fransen writes regularly the Kultuurkroniek, a column on architectural gems in Die Burger .

Old Towns and Villages of the CapeOld Towns and Villages of the Cape


The Old Houses of the Cape (co-author: Mary Cook), Balkema, Cape Town 1965
Architectural Beauty of the Cape as seen by Arthur Elliott (anthology of the pioneer photographer's work, with introduction and annotations), Balkema, Cape Town 1969
Guide to the Museums of Southern Africa, - Gids vir die museums van Suider- Afrika, S.A. Museums Association, Cape Town 1969. Entirely revised in 1978.
The Cape Chair - Die Kaapse Stoel, Stellenbosch Museum, 1970
Discover Historical Stellenbosch (co-author Christo Botha), - Ontdek Historiese Stellenbosch, HAUM, Stellenbosch 1979
The old Buildings of the Cape (co-author: Mary Cook), entirely revised and much expanded edition of The Old houses of the Cape, Balkema, Cape Town 1981
Drie Eeue Kuns in Suid-Afrika (the first integrated South African history of art, and applied art), Anreith, Scottsville 1981
Three Centuries of South African Art (translation of Drie Eeue Kuns in Suid-Afrika, with the addition of a few chapters), Donker, Johannesburg 1982
A Cape Camera (photographs of the Old Cape by Arthur Elliott, introduced and annotated), Jonathan Ball, Johannesburg 1994
Michaelis Collection, the Old Town House (compiler), Waanders, Zwolle 1997
A Guide to Old Buildings of the Cape (a total revision of The Old Buildings of the Cape), Jonathan Ball, 2004
Old Towns and Villages of the Cape, Jonathan Ball, 2006
Erik Laubscher - a Life in Art, SMAC Gallery, Stellenbosch 2009
Cape Barock - and the contribution of Anton Anreith, SunMedia, 2015

Chapters in Books:
The outlying districts, in: C. de Bosdari (editor) , Cape Dutch Houses and Farms, 2. edition, Cape Town 1962
Wine and Architecture, in: D.J. Opperman (editor) , Spirit of the Wine, Cape Town 1968
Dorpstraat, Stellenbosch, in: Merwe Scholtz (editor) , Wynland, Cape Town 1969
Kuns in ons Huis, in: C.F. Albertyn (editor) , Die Vrou, vol 6, Stellenbosch 1973
Meubels en hout, in: Immelman (editor) , Ons Groen Erfenis, Cape Town 1974
Introduction in: S.A. de Villiers, Otto Landsberg, Cape Town 1974
300 years of architecture, in: F. Smuts (editor) Stellenbosch 1679-1979, Stellenbosch 1979
'n Vrugbare ruskuur: Balkema en de Bosdari, in: Friends of the South African Library, Balkema, 1984
Architecture. the new amidst the old, in: J. Laband and R. Haswell (editors) , Pietermaritzburg 1838-1988, Pietermaritzburg 1988

Information by Hans Fransen, 2003

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