Durban Art Gallery
The Durban Art Gallery, now in its second century of existence, is home to collections that are as diverse as the eThekwini population.
“Artworks from Europe, the East and Africa, dating from the 15th century to the present, make the gallery a microcosm of the many histories represented here,” says Acting Art Gallery Director, Jenny Stretton. The Gallery has a comprehensive collection of artworks, and constantly rotates displays from its permanent collection, interspersing them with traveling exhibitions of contemporary and historic pictures and artifacts.
The Gallery collections include everything from current and historical art and artefacts of KwaZulu-Natal to English masterpieces, from anonymous carvings, clay pots and beadwork to the works of celebrated South African artists like Andrew Verster and Penny Siopis.
The Gallery celebrated its centenary in 1992. Cathcart William Methven, Harbour Engineer of the day, gave one of his paintings to the Town Council in 1892. Various donations and purchases were subsequently made, and in 1920 Colonel R.H. Whitwell, art connoisseur and philanthropist, presented over 400 works to the Gallery, including British, French and Dutch paintings, objets d'art such as French and Chinese ceramics, early glass vases by Lalique and bronzes by Rodin. This established the character of the foreign collection. From the 1970s on, many works of local artists and crafts-people were added to the collection, and the Gallery's collecting focus is now largely concentrated on works which reflect the rich multi-cultural diversity of Durban and South Africa. The holdings now include over 3500 works.
The Durban Art Gallery is more than just a collection of works of art. It promotes an awareness of art in general , and of the art and culture of KwaZulu-Natal in particular, through a variety of activities including workshops and films. It also regularly hosts travelling exhibitions of works which do not belong to the Gallery, such as the Images of Human Rights Exhibition.
2nd Floor Smith Street, City Hall, Smith Street
Monday - Saturday 8.30am - 4.00pm
Sunday 11am - 4.00pm
Closed on Christmas Day and Good Friday
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