Bruce Murray Arnott – sculptor, researcher, educator, curator and designer – was born in Highflats, KwaZulu-Natal. He studied at the Michaelis School of Fine Art (University of Cape Town) and the Courtauld Institute of Art (London).
He worked at the South African National Gallery as Assistant Director and taught at the University of Cape Town where he was a Professor of Fine Art, Director of the Michaelis School of Fine Art, and was a University Life Fellow and Emeritus Professor.
He was interested in Western and African art and published and exhibited mainly in South Africa.
Marilyn Martin's book Between Dreams and Realities includes information about Bruce's important contribution when he worked at the SA National Gallery and information about his Numinous Beast sculpture, which is featured on the back cover of the book.
Some of Bruce's works have featured on the front and/or back covers of books or have been adapted for corporate branding such as the logo of the Baxter theatre.
In a small way, my experience reflects Bruce's particular brilliance – an experience many others, too, have shared – his provocative, challenging insights, at once providing critique, and the means to rethink one's position in often surprising new ways.
Emeritus Professor Bruce Murray Arnott passed away in Cape Town on Friday 20 July, just short of his 80th birthday. He was a formidable sculptor and academic, who taught at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT between 1978 and his retirement in 2003, and continued his association as a postgraduate supervisor and examiner.