Iziko South African National Gallery

Coordinates: 33°55′44.34″S 18°25′1.83″E / 33.9289833°S 18.4171750°E / -33.9289833; 18.4171750
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Iziko South African National Gallery
South Africa National Gallery.jpg
Iziko South African National Gallery
Iziko South African National Gallery is located in Cape Town
Iziko South African National Gallery
Location within central Cape Town
Interactive fullscreen map
Established3 November 1930; 92 years ago (3 November 1930) (built 1914–1930)
LocationGovernment Avenue, Company's Garden, Cape Town, South Africa
Coordinates33°55′44.34″S 18°25′1.83″E / 33.9289833°S 18.4171750°E / -33.9289833; 18.4171750
TypeArt Museum
DirectorRiason Naidoo
Governing bodyCouncil of Iziko Museums of South Africa

The Iziko South African National Gallery is the national art gallery of South Africa located in Cape Town. It became part of the Iziko collection of museums – as managed by the Department of Arts and Culture – in 2001. It then became an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture. Its collection consists largely of Dutch, French and British works from the 17th to the 19th century. This includes lithographs, etchings and some early 20th-century British paintings. Contemporary art work displayed in the gallery is selected from many of South Africa's communities and the gallery houses an authoritative collection of sculpture and beadwork.


SANG from Hatfield Street

At a meeting in the Cape Town Public Library, convened on 12 October 1850, proposals were discussed to erect a building in the Company's Garden for the purpose of exhibiting art.[1] This occasion was the inaugural meeting of the South African Fine Arts Association, founded by Thomas Butterworth Bayley and Abraham de Schmidt.[2] The Association went on to arrange the first ever exhibition of fine art in South Africa. This took place on 10 May 1851 in the school rooms in the Company's Garden in Cape Town. Its primary raison d'être remained the establishing of a permanent home for a National collection.[1]

The National collection was founded in 1872 with a bequest of paintings from the estate of Thomas Butterworth Bayley.[1] In 1875, the Association was able to purchase premises in the current Queen Victoria Street where the nucleus of the Art Gallery was exhibited. By the South African Art Gallery Act of 1895 the South African Government took over the collection in trust and purchased the premises from the Association for R12 000. A board of five trustees were elected in 1896 to manage the collection.[1]

The National Gallery Act made provision for the building of new premises, but foundations were only laid in 1914. The collection was kept in a wing of the South African Museum from 1900 and the current building only officially opened to the public on 3 November 1930, by the Earl of Athlone.[1]

Numinous Beast by Bruce Arnott, 1978

Notable contributions by Dr Alfred de Pass, Sir Abe Bailey, Sir Edmund and Lady Davis and Lady Michaelis expanded the scope of the collection over the years. In 1937, the building was expanded to accommodate purchases that included South African artists. The first pieces by South African artists, by Anton van Wouw (African Head) and Neville Lewis (Adderley Street Flower-sellers), had been purchased in 1926.[1]

Selected collection highlights[edit]

List of directors of the Iziko South African National Gallery[edit]

Name Years in office
Prof. Charles du Ry 1973–1976
Dr. Raymond van Niekerk 1976–1989
Marilyn Martin 1990–2001 as Director of South African National Gallery
2001–2008 as Director of Art Collections, Iziko Museums
Riason Naidoo 2009–2015

Notable artworks[edit]

Permanent collection artists (non-exhaustive)[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Berman, Esmé (2010). Art and Artists of South Africa. Cape Town: G3 Publishers. pp. 376–379. ISBN 978-1-86812-345-2.
  2. ^ Goodnow, Katherine (2006). Challenge and Transformation: Museums in Cape Town and Sydney. Paris: Berghahn Books. ISBN 978-92-3-202816-7.
  3. ^ "Contemporary Collection". Iziko Museums of South Africa. Iziko Museums of South Africa. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Maggie LAUBSER archives". art-archives-southafrica.ch.
  5. ^ Town, Iziko Museums of Cape; Gallery, South African National (2004). A Decade of Democracy: South African Art 1994-2004 : from the Permanent Collection of Iziko, South African National Gallery. Juta and Company Ltd. ISBN 9781919930503.
  6. ^ "about". serialworks.info.

External links[edit]