Monday, December 28, 2009

Piketberg Cottage - When Wikepedia cannot help!

Visiting the tranquil town of Piketberg, I soon realised that this place was a well-kept secret, a place to consider if one really wants to "get away from it all". The roads are running perpendicular with that wonderful mountain and many houses are staggered along the sloping ground. A beautiful nest of townhouses from an earlier era attracted my attention, sharing outer walls, each cottage a little lower than the previous. And then, on one of them was a plain tole-decorated ceramic plaque, a blue gate and on the gateposts two very old paint-encrusted artists' palettes! The legend on the plate: The Katzeff family lived here from 1937 to 1999. Who were these artistic people?

I paged through a lot of brochures on Piketberg as well as a book and the website for the town. And all these articles have the same words: Lithuanian Jews settled in Piketberg, ran businesses as salesmen to the farms and some eventually became highly successful entepreneurs who left for larger centra. The synagogue was bought by the municipality and became a normal small-town museum. I combed the Internet... Where are we going to find out more about that artistic family, their pottery and their painting?

My painting is of a cute cottage in the same row, chosen because it was a shorter style house and more suitable for a painting.


  1. LOVELY cottage Marie! And I just hate it when I Google something and cannot find what I'm looking for... You've obviously tried 'Katzeff' - what about 'artists 1937-1999'?

  2. I was hoping that now that the request is out there on the web, I will found out more. Well, Maree, that will teach me to KNOCK ON THE DOOR next time...Tx, I will try that one.

  3. I am wondering if the town of Piketberg's library might not have more info on the home and family? Just a thought...Love the house but am tickled pink by the plaque!

  4. Hiya,, JUST discovered your blog..after meetig on FB. so glad I did

  5. This is great Marie. I have so far to go when I look at work like yours - something to strive for!

  6. What beautiful additional photos, Marie. I really like those colorful pieces on each side of that fabulous aqua colored gate! Thanks for letting me know you'd added a couple more photos!

  7. The painting is the perfect complement to your description of this remote town. The cool blues are lovely and soft.

    The plaque is very intriguing. Why did they leave? The last person died? They left for opportunity? How many generations lived here? Could the palettes belong to the current residents? Love it. Bob always says I am playing the English major (which I was) and searching for the story behind what I observe.

  8. What a fun mystery! I hope you are able to tract down some information. You live in the most interesting area, or is it you who makes it sound interesting? Loved your interview and photos, just beautiful. The photo of your patio is most appealing.

    I invision you covered in paint and cooking oil and giggle!


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