South African National Gallery

Cape Town, South Africa

South African National Gallery

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The Iziko South African National Gallery is the national art gallery of South Africa located in Cape Town. It became part of the Iziko collection of museums – as managed by the Department of Arts and Culture – in 2001. It then became an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture. Its collection consists largely of Dutch, French and British works from the 17th to the 19th century. This includes lithographs, etchings and some early 20th-century British paintings. Contemporary art work displayed in the gallery is selected from many of South Africa's communities and the gallery houses an authoritative collection of sculpture and beadwork.

At a meeting in the Cape Town Public Library, convened on 12 October 1850, proposals were discussed to erect a building in the Company's Garden for the purpose of exhibiting art. This occasion was the inaugural meeting of the South African Fine Arts Association, founded by Thomas Butterworth Bayley and Abraham de Schmidt. The Association went on to arrange the first ever exhibition of fine art in South Africa. This took place on 10 May 1851 in the school rooms in the Company's Garden in Cape Town. Its primary raison d'être remained the establishing of a permanent home for a National collection.




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