You have more than likely heard of the South African National Art Gallery, but have you explored the myriad other fascinating art galleries in Cape Town too? Along with the host of small, gallery slash museum galleries that can be found in the City Centre, there are many other places to get a taste of the diverse talents across the Mother City’s artistic community. It’s not just local artists you can see either – many international artists also exhibit their work within the city’s numerous galleries.
While we are certainly having more warm days than wet ones, browsing galleries is perfect for rainy days, lazy days, sunny days, cold days and just about any other day of the year. Purchase some one-of-a-kind artwork, admire the many facets of South African art or simply enjoy a few hours amongst amazing paintings, sculptures and multi-media exhibits.
Must-Visit Cape Town Art Galleries
Only in town for a few days? Searching for something different? Keen to grow your collection of fine art? Try these inspiring Cape Town art galleries to find all of that and then some…
- 34FineArt Gallery – Buchanan Square, 160 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock
Multi-levelled rooms at this gallery showcase various mediums from both acclaimed local and international artists, as well as up and coming artists. Some of the artists you may come across here include William Kentridge, Norman Catherine, Esther Mahlangu, Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami and Mr. Brainwash, plus emerging artists such as Asha Zero, Motel7 and Lionel Smit.
- Haas Gallery – Rose Street, Bo Kaap
Tucked away in the cultural hub of the Malay Quarter, Haas Gallery lies next to the popular Haas coffee shop. In fact, the Haas Collection comprises home, coffee and art in a lifestyle concept that is becoming popular in Cape Town. Regular exhibits at this small gallery showcase a range of media, from photography to paintings, sculpture and more.
- Waterkant Gallery – 123 Waterkant Street, De Waterkant
This contemporary gallery focuses on African art across its forms, promoting the art on a local and international level. Ideally situated within the original Cape Quarter, the gallery is flanked by quaint sidewalk cafes and cobbled streets. Art books and custom cards are also available to purchase along with artwork that catches your eye.
- Sasol Art Museum – Bloemhof School building, Stellenbosch
In the heart of the famous Cape Winelands, the Sasol Art Museum takes you back to the early 1900s on a journey through South African art history. Here you will be able to browse a collection of sculptures, paintings, ceramics and drawings created by local and foreign artists from the 19th and 20th Centuries.
- Irma Stern Museum – Cecil Road, Rosebank
No art browsing would be the same without a visit to the Irma Stern Museum, which showcases the work of one of South Africa’s best-loved artists – Irma Stern (1894-1966). Her iconic work ranges from figures, portraits, lush landscapes and still lifes, across a diverse range of mediums including water colour, oil and charcoal. Based in the house that Irma lived in for almost 40 years, the museum also showcases work from local contemporary artists.
Of course, these are just a taste of the rich cultural experiences found within Cape Town’s art scene. A walk down the Main Road of Kalk Bay, Long Street in the City Centre, virtually any small town outside of the city, Simons Town Main Road and any other popular tourist areas will offer a wealth of tiny galleries that show everything from hand-crafted African woodwork to classic Trechikoff prints.
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