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.
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