The Friends of Smuts House (FoSH)
UPDATE ON THE SMUTS HOUSE MUSEUM
To: Members of the Friends of Smuts House - and to all on our database of interested parties!
Firstly, very sincere thanks to all those kind, concerned people (members and non-members) who have already donated funds towards the running of Smuts House Museum during this lockdown period. You cannot imagine how much your donations and membership fees are appreciated!
The Covid-19 lockdown has not been all bad.. although the Museum has suffered greatly from a lack of income during the lockdown period, our Curator has taken advantage of the quiet time to do some longstanding work at the Museum, and has been hard at work re-arranging and re-assigning exhibits.
The House now boasts new general themes as follows:
1. The “Isie” corridor - will now reflect a more comprehensive overview of the wife of Jan Christiaan Smuts showing her life during different stages as well as her charity work.
2. The “Smuts” corridor - in front of the three exhibition rooms will now focus on:
- Smuts early upbringing;
- His academic achievements;
- His later life;
- His death.
3. Room 1 - contains a timeline of:
- Smuts as ZAR attorney general before 1899;
- His contribution to the Anglo-Boer War;
- His political career from 1907-1949
4. Room 2 - focuses on:
- The role of Smuts in WW1 and the Commonwealth;
- WW2 and Smuts’ role regarding the United Nations.
5. Room 3 – focuses on the Smuts legacy:
- Establishing the SA army, maritime force and air force;
- United Party memorabilia;
- Smuts’ link with the Windsor family;
- Smuts' memorabilia
6. The foyer to the boardroom — contains photographs of previous board members.
7. The board room — now contains mainly two-dimensional artworks of Smuts, selected on artistic considerations.
Further funding and assistance is needed to meet the following requirements
1. Four glass levels (shelves) needed for a more professional display in "Isie's corridor" and for WW II. (Most important)
2. Purchase of suitably 'period' material for curtains — and a volunteer to make the curtains.
3. Funds for the printing, framing and glass needed for the 30 newly framed photographs.
4. Captions — paper, printing and laminating.
5. Help with proof reading.
6. Provision of curtain rails, knobs and rings, as well as support for the three exhibition rooms.
7. LED light strips in display cases and electric wire extensions.
8. LED lights (globes) for general lighting in rooms.
9. Lights for the pantry. Period-correct lampshades.
10. Display cases need to be adjusted for Room 2
11. A stand for Isie's bronze in her passage.
12. Revising display case locks and keys.
13. Repainting of the three exhibition rooms and corridor (the walls are extremely dirty).
Future projects — still to come....
* Organization of photos of the Friends (FoSH) and the General Smuts Foundation (GSF).
* Brief histories of the FoSH and the GSF.
* General history and background of the House.
* Oral historical documentation by Philip Weyers (Smuts' great grandson) on the Museum and the Smuts family.
* Possible oral historical documentation by other people on the Museum and family.
* Document on the environment and ecology surrounding Smuts house on Doornkloof.