Strauss & Co is South Africa's leading fine art auction house and the global leader in the South African art market. With an average turnover per annum in excess of R155 million, Strauss & Co has sold 9, of the 10, most expensive paintings ever auctioned in South Africa. Strauss & Co also holds numerous artists' records including Irma Stern, JH Pierneef, Anton van Wouw, Walter Battiss, Wolf Kibel and Ezrom Legae, amongst others. Strauss & Co is a name and place that speaks of exceptional art, unequalled service and expertise, as well as prestige and glamour. Founded in 2009 by Captains of Industry, Elisabeth Bradley and Dr Conrad Strauss, and art doyen Stephan Welz, Strauss & Co has since conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions in South Africa and beyond, providing a popular showcase for the unique and the desirable. Strauss & Co holds four to five auctions annually encompassing all areas of fine art, decorative arts and jewellery. Estimates range from R2000 to over R20 million. Strauss & Co also handles private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on paintings. Strauss & Co has offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town in the prestigious suburbs of Houghton and Newlands respectively.

Strauss & Co Staff

Elisabeth Bradley

Elisabeth Bradley has a distinguished record in business serving on the Boards of several major South African companies. Her family introduced Toyota vehicles to the South African market. She is a graduate of the University of the Free State and of London University. Throughout her career she has been actively involved in a broad range of education and policy initiatives. She is a keen collector of South African art.

Dr Conrad Strauss

Conrad Strauss joined the Standard Bank in 1963 after lecturing in economics at Rhodes University, becoming Group Managing Director in 1978 and Chairman from 1992 to 2000. He has been actively involved in public life for many years, serving on various business and Governmental advisory bodies and in various education initiatives. Conrad has a long personal and professional commitment to the arts. During his stewardship, the Standard Bank National Arts Festival in Grahamstown expanded to become the centrepiece of the creative and performing arts in South Africa.

Stephan Welz
Managing Director

Paintings, Watercolours, Drawings, Prints and Sculpture
Stephan is the longest practising fine art expert and auctioneer in South Africa with over 35 years of experience with Sotheby's in London, Amsterdam and South Africa. He has a vast knowledge of South African art and antiques making him the most respected "Generalist" in these fields. He has presided over most of the major South African art and antique auctions and holds the most auction records.

Vanessa Phillips
Furniture, Silver, Ceramics and Jewellery

Trained as a ceramic restorer, Vanessa founded the first Porcelain Restoration School in South Africa in 1984. She joined Stephan Welz & Co, in association with Sotheby's, as a ceramic specialist in 1988 and, during the next twenty years, broadened her expertise to include furniture, silver and glass. Through her knowledge of local and international decorative and fine art she has introduced many important private collections to the auction market.

Ann Palmer
Paintings, Watercolours, Drawings, Prints and Sculpture

Born and educated in the UK, Ann Palmer has been living in South Africa since 1964. She has worked at various art galleries since the 1970s and has been on the Council of the Friends of the South African National Gallery for ten years. Ann commenced with Stephan Welz & Co, in association with Sotheby's in 1990 and has been involved with the auction world ever since. She was delighted to join Stephan Welz in his new venture, Strauss & Co., at the beginning of 2009 to head up the Paintings Department in Cape Town.

Bina Genovese
Executive Director
Client Services, Media Liaison and Marketing

Bina has worked in the art auction world both locally and internationally for over twenty years. After completing her BA HONS at Wits she obtained a diploma for the one year Decorative and Fine Arts course at Christie's in London. On her return to Johannesburg she joined Stephan Welz & Co, in association with Sotheby's, in the Decorative Arts and Client Services departments. She emigrated to Italy after two years, becoming part of the management team at Christie's. She moved to Cape Town nine years later and re-joined Stephan Welz & Co, in association with Sotheby's, as manager of the Cape Town office. Along with Ann Palmer and Vanessa Phillips, she founded Strauss & Co Cape Town in 2009.

Emma Bedford
Senior Specialist
Paintings, Watercolours, Drawings, Prints and Sculpture

Emma Bedford is highly regarded both locally and internationally, having played an unequalled role as Senior Curator and Head of Art Collections at Iziko South African National Gallery and as Director of Goodman Gallery Cape. She is an acknowledged expert in modern and contemporary art with particular reference to South African art, has extensive experience in curating exhibitions and managing collections and has authored and edited numerous publications.

Phillippa Duncan
Senior Specialist
Paintings, Watercolours, Drawings, Prints and Sculpture

Phillippa studied Fine Arts at Michaelis School of Art. Upon completion of her degree she went on to teach printmaking as a subject at both Cape Technikon and Ruth Prowse School of Art. After many years on the peripherary Phillippa joined Stephan Welz & Company in Association with Sothebys in January 2007 in the Paintings Department thus cementing her keen interest in auctions. This saw her accepting the challenge to run the department. In 2009 she successfully completed auctioneering training and is a familiar face both on and off the rostrum. She is delighted to have joined the team at Strauss & Company where she looks forward to nurture her passion for 20th century South African masters, works on paper and prints.

Ruarc Peffers
Senior Specialist
Paintings, Watercolours, Drawings, Prints and Sculpture

Having completed his BA Fine Arts at the University of Cape Town, Ruarc joined the offices of Stephan Welz & Co. in Association with Sothebys where he successfully ran the Paintings department between 2004 and 2008. Ruarc left the company to pursue a masters degree at the University of Edinburgh. In 2010 he qualified with an MSc in Curatorial Studies and Art Criticism. Upon returning to South Africa in 2011 Ruarc completed an internship at VANSA where he successfully launched an art collectors course. Fresh from the Super Market Art Fair in Stockholm where he represented Blank Projects, the only African gallery, Ruarc has returned to the auction world as a Senior Paintings specialist at Strauss & Co.

Susie Goodman
Client Advisory

Susie read Art History at UCT before completing Christies' Fine and Decorative Arts Diploma in London. She was an Associate Director of Christies London, and headed up the Client Advisory department, looking after significant international private and family clients. She moved back to South Africa in 2006, and started working at Strauss & Co. last year. She is also a potter, making large ceramic bowls and plates, illustrated with indigenous trees and plants, and has three daughters.

Mica Curitz
Client Advisory and Silver

After obtaining her degree in Humanities at The University of Cape Town, Mica completed a course in art and business at The Sotheby's Institute of Art in London. On her return to Cape Town she joined Stephan Welz & Co, in association with Sotheby's where she became head of the silver department. Three years later she entered the contemporary art world as a consultant. Mica is delighted to be back in the auction world with Strauss & Co.