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National Gallery of Zimbabwe museum of modern african artNational Gallery of Zimbabwe museum of modern african art
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National Gallery of Zimbabwe

The National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) is a gallery in Harare, Zimbabwe, dedicated to the presentation and conservation of Zimbabwe's contemporary art and visual heritage. The original National Gallery of African Modern Art in Rhodesia was designed and directed by Frank McEwen, a British citizen credited with bringing Shona Sculpture to the spotlight. The Gallery of African Modern Art was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother on 16 July 1957 and Queen Elizabeth II attended the sixth Zimbabwe Heritage Exhibition there in October 1991.

McEwen was curator of the Gallery from 1957 until his resignation in 1973. The next curator was Roy Guthrie, who founded the Chapungu Sculpture Park in 1970. In 2007, the gallery celebrated its fiftieth anniversary: its current (2014) Executive Director is Doreen Sibanda, with curator Raphael Chikukwa. The well-known Zimbabwean sculptor Dominic Benhura is a member of the Board of Trustees.

The Gallery of African Modern Art was conceived as a national institution, representing Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia, and Nyasaland, governed from 1953 to 1963 as a united Federation. Salisbury City Council agreed to take full responsibility for overseeing the building, establishment and administration of the Gallery, and the Mayor of Salisbury was made a fixed appointee to the Board of Trustees. The first responsibilities of the Board were to establish funds for the building, to select the building design, and to appoint a Director. They next established funds for the running and administration costs of the Gallery, and made provision for an endowment fund for the acquisition of a permanent collection. At that time, the building funds consisted only of the McDonald bequest and a further £150,000 had yet to be raised. It was decided that an appeal should be launched among local businesses in support of building a gallery in Southern Rhodesia. "In all great countries of the world art galleries have their place in the cultural life of the community, and it is the firm belief of the Trustees that a National Art Gallery is essential to the progress of the people of this land," stated Sir Stephen Courtauld in the annual report of 1954, giving voice to the Board's support of the establishment of the Gallery.

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