Preservation and Access: Preservation Assistance Grants

Period of Performance

9/1/2020 - 8/31/2021

Funding Totals

$9,900.80 (approved)
$9,900.00 (awarded)

Michigan State University Museum Siyazama Collection Rehousing and Photography Project

FAIN: PG-271609-20

Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI 48824-3407)
Lynne Swanson (Project Director: January 2020 to October 2023)

The purchase of storage equipment for the Siyazama Project collection, which is housed at the university’s museum and consists of 66 traditional craft works created by South African women as part of an organized art and health initiative during the HIV/AIDS crisis. The collection is the most representative of this initiative located in any museum; smaller collections of Siyazama Project works can be found at the British Museum, the Fowler Museum at UCLA, and other institutions. Acquired in 2014, the collection has been incorporated into on-site and touring exhibitions, student-focused programs, and in scholarly publications.

Michigan State University Museum is the recent recipient of a collection of 66 objects made in South Africa by women as part of the Siyazama Project. The specific goal of this project is to appropriately house this collection in museum-quality cabinetry, using appropriate storage materials and methods. The materials were donated in late 2014, have been cleaned, cataloged, photographed and numbered. New cabinetry is necessary to provide safe and permanently housing. The goal of the project is to provide this protection to promote the preservation of the collection over time. The Siyazama [Zulu for "we are trying"] Project is an art and health initiative in South Africa (KwaZulu Natal Province )begun in the late 1990s. The project worked with rural traditional women artists on arts-based strategies to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and strengthen opportunities for craft-based economic development. MSU Museum's holdings are the best representation of the project in the world.