Museum Staff



Dr. Sian Tiley-Nel

Head of the University of Pretoria Museums

Old Arts Building, Room 1-9

Tel: 012 420 3146

Email: [email protected]


Sian Tiley-Nel is the Head of the University of Pretoria Museums and Curator of the Mapungubwe Collection. She majored her BA in Applied Anthropology and Archaeology (1993), with an Honors degree in Archaeology (1997) and completed a postgraduate diploma in Heritage and Museum Studies (2003). She was awarded academic honorary colours (2004) by the Student Representative Council and was awarded a Conservation Studies Scholarship (2006) and received honourary status as a Laureatus Conservator (2011) by the South African Institute for Objects Conservation. She completed her MA in ceramic technology in Archaeology (2014) and completed her PhD in History in 2019. She holds several professional memberships, has curated major exhibitions and published widely in both the public domain and in academia spanning a 20-year career at the University of Pretoria. She is currently the Chairperson of the Museum Management Committee, a member of the Research Committee of the Faculty of Humanities and also serves as the sub-Editor of the SAMAB museum journal.


Gerard de Kamper

Museum Collections Curator:

Old Arts Building, Room 2-8

Tel: 012 420 4017

Email: [email protected]


Gerard de Kamper majored his BA in History and Archaeology (1999), followed with two Honours degrees in Archaeology (2000) and History (2001) and completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Heritage and Museum Studies in 2000 at the University of Pretoria. He completed his Master’s degree with a research focus on the history of collections at the University of Pretoria in 2018. With a curatorial career spanning more than 17 years, he holds several professional memberships and has curated over 30 major exhibitions and published several books on well-known South Africa artists such as Fanie Eloff, Edoardo Villa and Jacob Pierneef. He also serves on the University of Pretoria’s Heritage Committee, Art Committee, Museum Committee and Documents Committee and is the South African Museums Association (SAMA) representative on the Heritage Firearm Forum of the South African Police Service (SAPS). Gerard is currently the Museum Collections Curator at the University of Pretoria and is pursuing his PhD studies.

Lelani Nicolaisen

Art Curator Exhibitions & Galleries

Old Merensky, Edoardo Villa Museum

Tel: 012 420 6419

Email: [email protected]


Lelani Nicolaisen is the Art Curator Exhibitions & Galleries at the University of Pretoria Museums. In 2006, she won a fashion design competition with Bernina and the Bloemfontein Fashion Academy and received a bursary to study fashion design the following year. After completing the fashion design course, she obtained a BA in Fine Arts at the University of Pretoria in 2011. In 2012, Nicolaisen represented the University of Pretoria in Nottingham, England, where she exhibited some of her works as part of the first World Event Young Artists programme. Nicolaisen completed her MA in Fine Arts at the University of Pretoria in 2017 and was the recipient of an NRF grantholder-linked bursary in 2015 and 2016. She has also lectured as a guest lecturer in Fine Arts at the Department of Visual Arts of the University of Pretoria. Lelani has multiple artworks in the University of Pretoria Art-Collection and actively participates in many group exhibitions in South Africa, including at Nirox Sculpture Park, Fried Contemporary and the Pretoria Art Museum. 

Maurice Shirinda

Museum Collections Assistant 

Old Arts Building, Room 2-2

Tel: 012 420 2968

Email: [email protected]


Gezani Maurice Shirinda is currently the Museum Collections Assistant of the University of Pretoria Museums. He has successfully completed several critical training workshops on museum security (2011), storage management for heritage collections (2013) and museum preventive conservation (2015). Gezani has maintained his First Aid Level I & II certificates, as well as several other short certificate courses from Continuing Education ([email protected]). He has further qualified in the Heritage Conservation certificate course (NQF Level 5) and the Introduction to Museology certificate course (NQF Level 5) offered by the University of Stellenbosch. He actively supports curation, collections management and temporary exhibitions within the University of Pretoria Museums. Gezani also serves as a member of the Occupational Health and Safety Committee as the representative for the museums.

Helma Steenkamp

Manager Mapungubwe Archive 

Old Arts Building, Room 1-16

Tel: 012 420 3100

Email: [email protected] or [email protected]



Helma Steenkamp completed her BCom degree, cum laude in 2003 and was conferred her Baccalaureus Commercii Honores in Marketing Management in 2004 from the University of Pretoria. She completed four training programme certificates (2008-2010) from the Department of Ceramics Conservation under the tutelage of the South African Institute for Objects Conservation, Eastern Cape. From 2014 to 2016, she served as a part-time assistant in the museum conservation laboratory of the University of Pretoria Museums. Helma is the Manager of the Mapungubwe Archive.  She is supervising the preservation plan of the Mapungubwe Archive of the University of Pretoria Museums.

Nicole Hoffmann

Museum Interpretive Officer

Old Arts Building, Room 1-9

Tel: 012 420 2178

Email: [email protected]


Nicole Hoffmann is currently the Museum Interpretive Officer at the University of Pretoria Museums. She completed her Bachelor degree in Heritage and Cultural Tourism in 2008, her Honours in 2009 (both cum laude) and was conferred a Master’s degree cum laude (MHCS Heritage and Cultural Tourism) in 2015. She has also served from 2014 to 2016 as a part-time lecturer in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology and in 2016 in the Department of Historical and Heritage Studies at the University of Pretoria. She completed her Honours degree in Archaeology at UNISA in 2019. Following from her MA thesis title, “On-Location Film-Induced Tourism: Success and Sustainability”, she has also published on the subject of heritage and tourism and presented a conference paper in 2016 at the 1st Tourism Educators South Africa (TESA) International Conference in Cape Town. Nicole is an accredited Gauteng tourist guide (cultural guide) at national level and speaks and writes multiple languages fluently, including Afrikaans, English and German.

Sandra Markgraaf

Art Conservator
Old Arts Building, Room 1-13



Sandra Markgraaf is a part-time art conservator at the University of Pretoria Museums and serves as an external specialist advisor in painting conservation. She has a Master’s degree in Museum Science, a diploma in conservation and held the position as the art conservator and art curator for the National Cultural History Museum (Ditsong Museum of Cultural History) for 13 years. Sandra has actively worked in the art conservation field since 1990, and in 2003 has managed her own company, Art Revive that specialises in painting conservation, preservation of art, evaluation and assessment of the physical condition of art works. She has been commissioned by high-end clients including the Department of Arts and Culture, several Diplomatic Embassies, including other Universities as well as by private art collectors and for private art collections. Sandra is also trained in museum conservation, preventative conservation and was recently involved in contributing to the University of Pretoria’s new curriculum development for the specialist field of polychrome and paintings for the Master’s degree in Tangible Heritage Conservation where she also serves as a guest lecturer. 

Michelle de la Harpe

Museum Archivist

Old Arts Building, Room 1-16

Tel: 012 420 3100

Michelle de la Harpe is an archive researcher currently engaged with the preservation project of the Mapungubwe Archive funded by the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) in association with the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria. In 2016, she completed her BSocSci degree in Heritage and Cultural Tourism at the University of Pretoria and in 2017 finished her honours degree in Heritage and Cultural Tourism with distinction and was awarded the South African Cultural Observatory bursary. She has also completed a postgraduate diploma (with distinction) in Archival Studies and Record Management from the University of South Africa. Michelle has further worked on the inventorying of the historical papers of Jacob de Villiers Roos (1884-1940) in the University’s Special Collections Unit of the Department of Library Services. She recently published a chapter on, “The experience of the tourist in a technologically-driven age: a continuum between the tourist guide and technology” in the Journal of Tourismology (2018), Vol. 4 (2). She recently enrolled for her Master's degree in the Department of Historical and Heritage Studies. 



- Author Nicole Hoffmann
Published by Nicole Hoffmann

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