The South African National Art Gallery houses collections of local as well as pan-African, British, French, Dutch and Flemish art. It has an authoritative collection of beadwork and excellent catalogues of apartheid art.

Did you know?

The bequest by Sir Abe Bailey of over 400 paintings, prints and drawings is one of the largest collections of British sport art held by any public art museum in the world.

The South African National Art Gallery, part of the Iziko Museums in Cape Town, features colonial to contemporary art.

A permanent collection, which is rotated regularly and features a variety of paintings, photography, sculpture, beadwork, textiles and works on paper, is this South African art's gallery's most impressive feature.

The main body of the colonial collection consists of Dutch, French and British works from the 17th to the 19th century, including lithographs, etchings and paintings. The permanent collection is often supplemented by visiting exhibitions from abroad.

The contemporary collection included the establishment of extensive catalogues of 1980s apartheid art, which included the repatriation of artifacts removed from South Africa over the last 200 years. Since 1990 it has acquired work focusing on the different cultures of the African continent, and already has a respected collection of beadwork and indigenous sculpture. The Bead Society of Southern Africa was launched at the gallery in 1999.

The National Art Gallery of South Africa was begun in 1871 when the British maritime artist Sir Thomas Butterworth donated a private collection of 45 paintings. Today, the gallery provides an excellent historical and modern overview of art in South Africa, in all its various disciplines. Easy to find and to visit, the South African National Art Gallery is a must-see attraction for art lovers.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

The South African National Gallery

Tel: +27 (0) 21 467 4660

How to get here

The National Art Gallery, in central Cape Town,is easily accessible by car, taxi or bus.

Best time to visit

The gallery is open all year round.

Tuesday to Sunday 10:00-17:00, Closed Mondays, Workers Day and Christmas Day.

Around the area

Parliament Buildings, The V&A Waterfront, The Holocaust Museum

What will it cost

Visitors 16 years and older: Approx R15
South African pensioners, school learners and students: Approx R5
Under 16 years: Free

Length of stay

You will not need more than half a day to visit the gallery.

Where to stay

Accommodation in Cape Town covers the full spectrum of budgets.

What's happening

Exhibitions and special events feature regularly, so check the website for details.

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