From the Journal

An insider’s look at the Delaire Graff art collection


Delaire Graff Art Feature
Inspiration

Sentinel, Lionel Smit

It began with the purchase of a Tretchikoff in 2013, and today Delaire Graff owner, diamond jewelry merchant Mr Laurence Graff, has transformed his love of art into a world-leading art destination in the Stellenbosch Valley. Once you enter the Delaire Graff Estate you are immediately encompassed by botanical wonders, rolling vineyards and bold pieces of art scattered throughout the grounds. Named as one of the world’s top art collectors, Mr Graff owns some of South Africa’s most renowned contemporary artworks. The Delaire Graff art collection houses Dylan Lewis’ cheetahs pouncing through the gardens, Tretchikoff’s Chinese Girl hanging in the foyer, and Lionel Smit’s portraits of women on display in the Wine Gallery.

We caught up with Tanja von Arnim, Marketing and PR Manager at Delaire Graff Estate, to give you more insight into the art at Delaire Graff Estate and how Mr Graff has transformed his personal collection into an art lovers’ haven.


Delaire Graff Art Tasting Room
Untitled Head, William Kentridge (left) | The Divided Series, Lionel Smit (right)

01. 


Marcelo.N : Delaire Graff Estate is renowned for the artworks throughout the property, not only at the hotel, but also at the wine tasting area and restaurant. How do you select a piece of art for the property?

Delaire Graff Art Chinese Girl
Chinese Girl, Vladimir Tretchikoff

The piece which first inspired Mr Graff’s lifelong passion with art was purchased at auction and came home to South Africa in 2013, now on display in the main foyer of the Estate. I speak of one of the most iconic pieces of the 20th Century - Vladimir Tretchikoff’s iconic ‘Chinese Girl’.

Tanja.v.A : The collection at Delaire Graff Estate is part of a much-loved personal collection belonging to Laurence Graff. The piece which first inspired Mr Graff’s lifelong passion with art was purchased at auction and came home to South Africa in 2013, now on display in the main foyer of the Estate. I speak of one of the most iconic pieces of the 20th Century - Vladimir Tretchikoff’s iconic ‘Chinese Girl’. This is the cornerstone of the Estate’s art philosophy - a personally curated collection of exceptional pieces. Inspiration for the collection is a very personal one and Mr Graff hand-selects pieces which speak to him in some way, and so the collection is always evolving. 


Delaire Graff Art Feature Sculpture
Morphous Sculpture, Lionel Smit

02.


Marcelo.N : Considering the unrivalled surroundings of the estate, how do you choose where to place a piece of art?

Mr Graff possesses a remarkable understanding for detail, beauty, design and balance, and so the placement of the pieces can be attributed to his incredible eye. 

Delaire Graff Art Rooms
Artwork in the lodge interior.

Tanja.v.A : Mr Graff personally curates the collection, and says “Among the remarkable displays of international talent are works by new and established African artists, demonstrating the immense wealth of creativity discovered across Africa, showcased and celebrated throughout Delaire Graff Estate.” Mr Graff possesses a remarkable understanding for detail, beauty, design and balance, and so the placement of the pieces can be attributed to his incredible eye.


Delaire Graff Art Room
Artwork by Cyrus Kabiru in the Superior Lodge lounge area

03.


Marcelo.N : Mr Graff is recognised internationally as the owner of Graff Diamonds, as well as his contemporary art collection worth more that $600 million. What has your experience been working for a person with a passion for the finer things in life?


Tanja.v.A : Spending time on Delaire Graff Estate is, in the sincerest form of the word, a pleasure. Mr Graff’s passion for art has translated into elevating each experience at Delaire Graff Estate to an art form reflective in our wine, lodges, spa, cuisine, gardens and service, and the crown jewel, our Owner’s Villa. 


Delaire Graff Art Sculpture
Faith, Anton Smit

04.


Marcelo.N : At Delaire Graff one can see many well-known South African contemporary artists such as Dylan Lewis and Lionel Smit. Do you focus on exhibiting South African artists on the property?

The collection is primarily comprised of South African artists and has grown to include pan-African artists in a collection of vibrancy and poignancy.

Delaire Graff Art Dylan Lewis
Sitting Cheetah, Dylan Lewis

Tanja.v.A : The collection is primarily comprised of South African artists and has grown to include pan-African artists in a collection of vibrancy and poignancy. Artists also include Cyrus Kabiru, Yves Dana and William Kentridge, among many others who adorn the walls and gardens. Embraced within the profundity of this African-centric collection are intriguing artists from various international hubs of creativity including Paris, Los Angeles and New York. 


Delaire Graff Art Laurence Graff
Laurence Graff, Lionel Smit

05.


Marcelo.N : Are there any works of art for sale at Delaire Graff Estate?


Tanja.v.A : The collection is privately owned, curated and showcased throughout Delaire Graff Estate for the pleasure of guests. We would be delighted to put any guests in touch with the galleries we work with should they be inspired by a particular piece or artist and wish to grow their own collection. 


Get in touch with your LuxVenture® designer to add Delaire Graff to your Cape Town itinerary, or read up on our 5 must-see South Africa art galleries in Cape Town here

Lindsay Krause
Written by
Lindsay Krause

Lindsay gained her traveling chops from spending 4 years living in and exploring South East Asia. From motorbiking her way through Vietnam, scuba-diving with whale sharks in Thailand, sipping on coconuts in the Philippines and exploring ancient temples in Cambodia, Lindsay's got a case of the travel bug and looks forward to ticking African adventures off her bucket list. 


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