Laubscher, Erik

February 1927 Tulbagh, Western Cape.

March 2013 Hout Bay, Cape Town.

1946 – 1947
Studied under Maurice van Essche at Continental School of Art.
1948 – 1949
Studied portrait drawing under Frank Slater RA in London and then attended the Anglo – French Art Centre, London where John Minton and Claude Venard also taught and exhibited.
1950 – 1951
Académie Montmartre, Paris under Fernand Léger.


First South African artist to receive a Carnegie Grant – spent three months on a tour of New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Albuquerque and Washington, studying art movements in the USA.

Awarded the Cape Arts Medal by the S.A.A.A. for Contributions to Art.

Awarded the ‘Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns’ ‘Besondere Erepenning vir Skilderkuns.’

Cape Tercentenary Foundation Award for outstanding contribution to the Visual Arts as Creative Artist and Teacher.

Honorary Life President of the Ruth Prowse School of Art, “In Recognition of over Thirty years of Service to the Ruth Prowse School of Art and the Outstanding Contribution to the Arts and Art Community of South Africa.”

FREDERIK BESTER HOWARD (ERIK) LAUBSCHER was born in 1927 in Tulbagh, and grew up in Port Elizabeth. He showed an early interest in art and began his formal art studies under Maurice van Essche at the Continental School of Art in 1946. Encouraged to continue his studies abroad, he left for London to study firstly under the portrait artist Frank Slater and then in a more convivial environment at the Anglo-French Art Centre. In 1950 Laubscher decided to further his studies in Paris and enrolled at the Académie Montmartre, where he was a pupil of Fernard Léger who exerted a strong influence on his work. Laubscher also met his wife, Claude Bouscharain, at the Académie. On Laubscher’s return to Cape Town in 1951 he wasted no time, putting on a solo show at The Argus Gallery. Erik and Claude’s home at 6 Cheviot Place, Sea Point, became a social hub for Cape Town artists and writers. In 1970 Laubscher founded the Ruth Prowse School of Art and ran it for 25 years, all the while practicing as an artist himself.

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