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About South African National Gallery

Open daily between 10h00 and 17h00, the South African National Gallery is located in the Company’s Garden in Cape Town, a dreamy setting for the viewing of art. Following the initial donation of 45 paintings in 1871 by Thomas Bailey, the gallery’s acquisitions have grown to a signi... read more

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More info about South African National Gallery

Open daily between 10h00 and 17h00, the South African National Gallery is located in the Company’s Garden in Cape Town, a dreamy setting for the viewing of art. Following the initial donation of 45 paintings in 1871 by Thomas Bailey, the gallery’s acquisitions have grown to a significant collection, there to attract all serious art lovers.

On permanent display are works by leading early British artists and a large collection of sporting art on loan by the Sir Abe Bailey trust. Also on display are over 3000 items of African art that showcases sculptures, beadwork, masks, carvings and other contemporary works from the western, central and southern parts of Africa. A standout item is the pair of engraved Nguni horns depicting battle scenes of the 1879 Anglo-Zulu war.

The Modern Painting and Sculpture Collection contains works by internationally-renowned artists Walter Battiss, Gerard Sekoto, Irma Stern and Pierneef, to name a few. The works provide an insight into South African culture, landscapes and politics of the particular artist’s era.

Photographic and new media art is not excluded and the gallery proudly boasts a collection of David Goldblatt photographs. Significant to locals are the photographs taken by Drum Magazine which reflects the lifestyles, music scene and political upheaval of the 1970s and 1980s.

Past exhibitions include works by Tretchikoff, a collection of works by young artists, Ubuntu craft and a 100-year history of local art. The gallery hosts regular exciting exhibitions, check the Iziko website for details. Visual art lessons are offered to school groups and the venue is available for hire, the ideal spot for a chilled cocktail party.

Whether you are a serious art lover or not, a visit to the South African National Gallery is both relaxing and visually pleasing to the eye.