Phoebe Rhoda HEUNIS

1925 - 1984

Sculptures, murals and paintings

Phoebe Heunis 1960

Phoebe Heunis in 1960


Born 16th January, 1925 in Waterkloof, O.F.S., née Sinclair; studied first physical education at University of Stellenbosch, later at the suggestion of Prof. Walter Battiss devoted time to the study of art - portraiture with Johanna Wassenaar in Pretoria, then visiting Europe and in particular Spain.

Lived at "Trevanion" near Rustenburg 1954-1965, then Grabouw, Stellenbosch, Bonnievale and Boesmansriviermond. Married in 1946 to Adam Johannes Heunis (1923-1972); their children are Rulan, Karin, Ymile, Sonja. Phoebe Heunis died from lung cancer at the Tygerberg Hospital, Bellville, on 23rd March, 1984. She was buried in Stellenbosch next to Adam Johannes Heunis.


Selected Solo Exhibitions

Gallery 101, Rand Central, Johannesburg - 21st August, 1961

Rembrandt Art Gallery, Loop Street, Cape Town - 1st December, 1971

S.A. Association of Arts, Pretoria - 28th April - 17 May, 1975

Phoebe HEUNIS "Diving sea birds" late 1960s - oil/canvas - 59x75 cm (Coll. Rulan Heunis)

"Diving sea birds" late 1960s - oil/canvas - 59x75 cm


Selected Group Exhibitions

Transvaal Academy, Johannesburg (Johannesburg Art Gallery) - 2nd to 15th November, 1964

Transvaal Academy, Johannesburg - 9th to 21st November, 1965


Selected Public Commissions

Rustenburg Town Hall - mural

(former) Bantu Administration Building, Rustenburg - 3 dolomite murals

Phoebe HEUNIS Seuns Volkskool, Bethlehem OFS - dolomite panels 10'x5' (img Architect & Builder July 1969)

Seuns Volkskool, Bethlehem OFS - dolomite panel 5'x10' (ill.)


Works on auction

Stephan Welz & Co., Cape Town - 22nd February, 2011 - Lot 569

Phoebe HEUNIS "Cape Vulture" bronze - 52.5 cm H - signed

"Cape Vulture" - bronze - 52.5 cm H - signed


Other selected sculptures

  Phoebe HEUNIS "Young girl" bronze  Phoebe HEUNIS "Torso" bronze  Phoebe HEUNIS "Faun" bronze

Three bronzes by Phoebe Heunis - young girl - torso - faun



"Die Vaderland", Johannesburg - 2nd September, 1959 - review of 1st exhibition in Rustenburg

"South African Artists 1900-1962" (Afrikaanse Pers-Boekhandel, 1963) (Harold Jeppe), p. 40

Transvaal Academy - 11th Exhibition - Johannesburg - cat. no. 64 (Bronze "Faun")

Transvaal Academy - 12th Exhibition - Johannesburg - cat. no. 71 (Bronze "Attitude Ordinaire")

Rembrandt Art Gallery, Loop Street, Cape Town - cat. of December, 1971 solo show, with CV, ill.

SAAA Arts Calendar, Pretoria - April 1975 - ill. sculpture

SAAA Arts Calendar, Pretoria - May 1975 - ill. sculpture

"Architect and Builder", July, 1969 - pp. 24/25 - article by Prof. Pierre Volschenk, ill.

"Art & Artists of South Africa" (Balkema, 1983) (Berman) - listed on p. 522

"Kunssale Gevra" - Phoebe HEUNIS wys haar werk in the Tygerberg" - undated review by Pierre Volschenk, possibly from Die Burger

Stephan Welz & Co., Cape Town - Auction cat. 22nd/23rd February, 2011 - ill. Lot 569, p. 82


Web references (p.218)

Some data obtained from the "Phoebe Rhoda Heunis Collection, MS 262, Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service", 2011.



The medium of finely ground dolomite in natural colours of the stone was developed by Phoebe Heunis in 1960


Updated 20th May, 2011

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