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BLOEMFONTEIN SOUTH AFRICA

22nd

SOPHIA GRAY MEMORIAL LECTURE

Sophia Gray (1814 –1871)was the first woman to practise architecture in South Africa and one of the earliest in the world. Married to Robert Gray, inaugural Anglican Bishop of Cape Town, Sophy devoted herself to the diocese, conducting the finances, organising and recording synods, and maintaining the chronicles. By cart or wagon or on horseback, she accompanied her husband on all but two of his visitations throughout the country, sketching wherever they went. her highly accomplished drawings and insightful diaries are held in the William Cullen Library of the University of the Witwatersrand.

 

 

 

 

 

Sophia was active in architecture over a period of twenty-two years, from 1848 – 1870, during which time she built fifty-two churches throughout South Africa, mostly Gothic revival, and she is deemed to have been the first architect, male or female, to have been professionally active in the Free State however, the remarkable thing is that Sophy had no training at all – she was self-taught, having learnt architecture only from observation as a tribute to her achievements, the University of the Free State instituted the annual Sophia Gray Memorial.

Dr. Jaco Wasserfall(Architect, Windhoek.)

NO GRAFFITI, PLEASE! STULTORUM CALAMI CARBONES MOENIA CHARAELecture: SEDCOM Auditorium, Fairview StreetExhibition: Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Harry Smith Street.