Revisiting the Goodall archive: rock art as a site of enchantment
Justine Wintjes and Laura de Harde
Elizabeth Goodall née Elisabeth Mannsfeld (1891–1971) worked as a curator of rock art in what was then Southern Rhodesia for more than four decades. Originally from Germany, she was a member of the Frobenius expedition to southern Africa in 1928–1930. She returned to southern Africa after the expedition and went on to work at the Queen Victoria Museum in Salisbury (today the Zimbabwe Museum of Human Sciences, Harare). She produced a vast archive of rock art copies and recordings prior to the interpretative revolution that Patricia Vinnicombe and David Lewis-Williams pioneered in the 1970s and 1980s. Even though the meaning and purpose of the art remained largely enigmatic to her, Goodall was one of many artists trained in a western tradition who were inspired to make copies of rock art, despite having little to no understanding of its symbolic dimensions. Her copying practice illustrates the capacity of rock art to ‘enchant’ the viewer through its formal and material aspects.
Saturday, 19 October at 10h30, at the KZN Museum