Note: This attraction is closed until further notice.
- Insight into artworks from SA, the African continent and further afield
- Temporary exhibitions of paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture, beadwork, textiles, and architecture
- Regular new exhibitions of contemporary African work
The Iziko South African National Gallery is South Africa’s premier public art gallery. Showcasing impressive South African, African, British, French, Dutch and Flemish artworks and objects, it is a mesmerising and thought-provoking experience. The gallery also puts contemporary, indigenous and African art in the spotlight, and features new media, prints, drawings, paintings and sculptures. Be inspired as you are plunged into the remarkable creativity and imagination made possible through art.
The Iziko South African National Gallery’s collection of art has grown substantially from the initial bequest of 45 paintings presented in 1871 by Thomas Butterworth Bayley. The permanent collection contains fine examples of mostly early 20th century British art, but since 1990 the gallery has been growing to establish a collection that celebrates the impressive cultures of the African continent.
Closed Christmas Day, Worker’s Day (1 May)
South African National Gallery
Advice for visitors
If you are a fan of modern art in all its forms, then a half day visit to the gallery is an absolute must. Visitors will be intrigued by the contrasts found between the contemporary art displayed alongside art from the earlier centuries. Five of the most popular works to see include Jane Alexander’s Butcher Boys, Sethembile Msezane’s Chapungu – The Day Rhodes Fell, Make Your Home Your Castle by Lisa Brice, Christ Head by Alexis Preller and Athi-Patra Ruga’s The Night of the Long Knives III. If you aren’t “museumed-out” by the end of your visit, the nearby Holocaust Museum is another must-see cultural attraction.
Did you know
Only in the 90s did the South African National Gallery’s board expand its acquisition policy to include African art, particularly from South Africa. The move came as the country ushered in a new spirit of democracy after apartheid.