“Art and justice are usually represented as dwelling in different domains: art is said to relate to the human heart, justice to human intelligence. Rationality is sometimes seen as inimical to art, and passion as hostile to justice. Our collection shows how art and human rights overlap and reinforce each other”
– Former Constitutional Court Justice Albie Sachs
“My hope is that this spirit of shared humanity, so clearly conveyed by the Court’s collection, will continue to inspire judges and ordinary people alike in our collective pursuit of justice”
– Former Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, Pius Langa
“The collection affords the visitor, and all who work at the Court, a moving and delightful impression at every step and turn. Imbued with the spirit of emancipated humanity, it is the most vibrant collection I have seen in any courthouse in the world”
– US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The Constitutional Court of South Africa’s Art Collection (CCAC) is more than an aesthetic addition to the Constitutional Court building. It is a unique collection of South African and international artworks that stimulates and enriches education, critical debate and research on the roles of the Constitution and the Constitutional Court of South Africa. The Collection eloquently displays the themes of transition, social justice, human rights, constitutional values, reparation and reconciliation.
In 1994, when the first eleven Justices were appointed to the Court, Justice Albie Sachs and Justice Yvonne Mokgoro were given the portfolio of décor. They were asked to use a budget of ZAR10,000 (USD $1,000) to decorate the courtroom (at that time housed in temporary office space) with the dignity befitting the people that would move through it. Justices Sachs and Mokgoro used that budget to commission a single artwork – Humanity, by Joseph Ndlovu. It now hangs in the lower gallery of the Constitutional Court.
Since then, hundreds of artworks have been donated to the Collection. Many other works are integrated into the architectural fabric of the building itself, which became the permanent home of the Constitutional Court in 2005.
To learn more about the collection, download our PDF brochure (754 kb).