Art Galleries – South Africa’s Thriving Art Scene
If you love art, then you will find that South Africa has a thriving art scene. From traditional artifacts to cutting-edge artistic trends, the country produces virtually every type of art imaginable. Many artists prefer to draw on local sources for inspiration, but others travel overseas and then combine what they have learned at home with what they discover during their travels. The result is a rich artistic feast that will leave every art lover wanting more.
There are numerous art galleries in South Africa and there is certainly at least one decent art gallery in every city or town. The bigger galleries, such as the South African National Gallery in Cape Town, house some of the best collections in the country. The South African National Gallery also regularly houses collections sent over from other countries, which are displayed in the gallery for a limited period only. The rest of the gallery is used to display artwork from the colonial period to more modern, contemporary works. Its first artworks were acquired in 1871 and today it is thriving, with massive efforts being made to improve the gallery’s pre-colonial collections which were depleted during the apartheid regime.
If you wish to take a tour through the artistic halls of time, the best place to start would be one of the many natural ‘galleries’ which dot the country. Caves which once served as home to the nomadic San people are still adorned with their fascinating artistic expressions. A trip to such a cave will usually also afford you the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the South African landscape.
In KwaZulu Natal, the Durban Art Gallery is probably the most outstanding gallery. The Johannesburg Art Gallery serves as the regional gallery for Gauteng, and the King George VI Gallery in Port Elizabeth serves as the regional art gallery for the Eastern Cape. Of course these are not the only galleries in the country. The cities are filled with hundreds of smaller galleries where prints and originals can be bought at varying costs. Some of the country’s universities also house excellent galleries where student artwork is displayed for the benefit of the public.
South Africa is truly a place that excites and inspires, and you will see evidence of this in your visits to the many different art galleries around the country. So make sure that you spend some time in at least some of the larger galleries around the country and discover the rich artistic talent that South Africa has to offer.
Last updated: December 24, 2018