The Pretoria Art Museum occupies an entire city block in the eastern suburb of Arcadia. The current museum building dates back to 1962, although the museum art collection was founded in 1932 when a Lady Michaelis donated a large collection of artworks to the Pretoria city council after the death of her husband. The collection contains mainly South African work and includes pieces by famous South African artists such as Irma Stern, JH Pierneef and Gerard Sekoto.
The striking Pretoria Art Museum building, with its long low concrete facade, was built in 1962 in the distinctly modern International Style and was considered to be very much ahead of its time. As there were already other museums in South Africa boasting fine collections of European art, it was decided that the Pretoria Art Museum would focus primarily on collecting and displaying South African art. Over the years the initial collection of works by South Africa’s ‘Old Masters’ such as Pierneef, Hugo Naudé and Maggie Laubser has been complemented by a growing collection of contemporary art by artists such as Sam Nhlengethwa and Walter Oltmann.
As well as the permanent collection, the museum also houses a reference library and hosts regular temporary art exhibitions by local and international artists.
Guided tours of the museum collection are available and the museum specialises in art tours aimed at school children.
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Outside the Pretoria Art Museum