South Africa's art galleries
The visual arts have a rich history in South Africa, and the contemporary art scene is no less exciting.
From the traditional artefacts of ancient cultures to the cutting-edge work of today's practitioners, South Africa's art museums and galleries offer visitors a rich artistic feast.
Art gallery listings
National Gallery, regional galleries
The country's flagship institution is the South African National Gallery, found in the scenic Company Gardens on Government Avenue in central Cape Town. The gallery falls under the umbrella of Iziko Museums of Cape Town, as do the historical Michaelis, William Fehr and Natale Labia collections.
The National Gallery's permanent collection spans the colonial to the contemporary, with its first works acquired in 1871.
The gallery's lack of traditional pre-colonial work is a consequence of the apartheid era and a subsequent lack of state and civic funding available to redress the balance.
These are problems that afflict the majority of South Africa's national museums, although corporate collections, such as Standard Bank's African art collection at the University of the Witwatersrand, go some way towards filling the gap.
In the major cities, regional galleries - the Durban Art Gallery in KwaZulu-Natal, the Johannesburg Art Gallery in Gauteng, the King George VI Gallery in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape - showcase collections of indigenous, historical and contemporary works from the respective provinces.
University and corporate galleries
The universities also play an important role in acquiring works of national interest, with substantial collections housed at the Gertrude Posel Gallery at Wits University and the University of South Africa gallery in Pretoria, for example.
There are also several corporate collections of national interest, including those of Standard and Absa banks and the cellular phone network MTN.
Then there is a plethora of commercial and non-commercial galleries, clustered mainly in the major cities of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Many of these host solo and curated group exhibitions that change regularly, often on a monthly basis.
Among the most important of these is the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, run by art dealer Linda Givon, whose stable includes many of the South African artists who are making an impact on the international art scene.
There are also numerous other galleries selling works at more - or less - affordable prices by the many South African artists currently working in diverse media and reflecting varied concerns.
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