The magazine

A History

The quarterly 32 page, four colour visual art magazine on art gloss paper which ran to 31 issues from September, 1994 to September, 2002, published by ‘Gallery Publications’ (Derek Huggins), edited by Barbara Murray (issues 1 – 23) and Murray McCartney (issues 24 – 31), designed by Myrtle Mallis (issues 1 – 31), and printed by A.W. Bardwell & Co.:

From Gallery Delta’s purview the need to record the best of Zimbabwean contemporary visual art had long been recognised. This aspect of the arts had been largely ignored by the advent of, and international interest and success of ‘Shone Sculpture’ as Zimbabwe’s art ‘trade mark’ about which many publications had been, and are, being published still. The decade of the 1990’s was a most active period which saw the development of a Zimbabwean African contemporary painting movement. Accordingly, ‘Gallery’ magazine was established to help record the best of the visual art in the country. Barbara Murray was the editor for the majority of the issues and to her is accorded the tribute now, as then, for her tenacity of purpose and for the magazines artistic and literary content. On her emigration to England in 2000, Murray McCartney undertook editorship for the remaining eight issues without loss of standard in content and quality. His involvement with his own publishing house – Weaver Press – prevented him from continuing. Myrtle Mallis was the designer throughout the series and to her our compliments for her determination, impeccable design and setting. As to editorial policy, ‘Gallery’ magazine was not exclusive to Gallery Delta. While much of the subject and content for the articles in ‘Gallery’ came from exhibitions and activities at Gallery Delta involving contemporary painting, there are those of broader scope concerning international events and artists, and others involving mixed media and wood sculpture.

‘Gallery’ was a non viable publication. During its lifespan sponsors and donors included:

  • Architect’s Partnership
  • Apex Corporation
  • Meikles Hotel
  • Code – The Canadian Organization for Development Through Education
  • Delta Corporation
  • Goethe Institute
  • Christopher Kaye
  • The Rio Tinto Foundation
  • Colourscan (Pvt) Ltd
  • Anglo American Corporation Services Limited
  • Joerg Sorgenicht
  • Friedburt Lutz
  • Ariston
  • Crystal Candy
  • Tanganda Tea Company Limited
  • Unesco
  • Computer Network Consultants
  • Ndoro Trading
  • Hivos
  • Commonwealth Foundation

With effect 1997, thanks to Jan Vossen, and his successors Jan Nijzink and Corina Straatsma, the Hivos Foundation became, and continued to be, the major sponsor for the magazine during the remainder of its publication.

‘Gallery’ had a print run of 1000 copies per issue of which about 500 were distributed to schools and libraries free of charge, and the remainder sold by subscriptions and local demand. Sadly, with the turn of political events in the country from year 2000 onward which spelt economic decline, and the emigration of important artists, editors and writers, the magazine fell into abeyance. After 15 years the magazine is out of print bar a few issues. There are very few complete collections in existence. Yet information on the art and artists it portrayed is in demand still.

Accordingly, we are pleased, with the invaluable help of Janet Stanley, Chief Librarian of the African Art Museum of the Smithsonian Institute, and her team who digitized all issues, to implant them our web site for the benefit of Zimbabwean contemporary art and artists, researchers – particularly the many art students undertaking projects and dissertations – and the public and world at large. Again, our thanks to Hivos Foundation for funding our web site, and to Myrtle Mallis and Nigel Hulett for evolving and establishing it on the world wide web.

We remain grateful to the editorial and production team of the time, and to all contributors, writers and artists, sponsors and donors, who made ‘Gallery’ magazine possible and helped document and record important aspects of Zimbabwean art history. Now that information technology is commonplace, the internet and the web site must play its part…