This catalogue and exhibition celebrate the founding, over 100 years ago, of the oldest surviving body for practising artists and the "advancement of art" in South Africa. Catering for all levels of interests from the amateur to the professional, as well as encouraging interested non-practioners to join as lay members, the South African Society of Artists made a major contribution to the nation's visual arts in the first half of the 20th century.

Writing in Cape Argus in January 1905, SASA Secretary F.B. Ross stated its intentions as follows: "The SA Society of Artists are ever too happy to extend a brotherly hand to any discipline of art. Artisans in stone, pottery, carving, illumination, metal work, design, or any branch of arts and crafts, can rely upon a warm welcome...All that is required of each member is that he must posses some skill in his selected branch of art, and that he must be earnest in his pursuit thereof..."

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