Gauteng may be best known as the business and financial hub of South Africa and home of Johannesburg – Egoli, the City of Gold – but the province is also a cultural hub, and if it’s art you’re interested in you’ve come to the right place because there’s a comprehensive range of art galleries.
The award-winning Wits Art Museum (WAM) is situated in downtown Jo’burg in buzzing Braamfontein. It’s the leading museum of African art on the continent with more than 9 000 artworks ranging from classical to contemporary. Its fine collection displays art from all over Africa including old maps, ceremonial masks, tapestries, sculptures, paintings, photographs, ritual objects from ancient cultures, beadwork and much more. There are up to a dozen exciting temporary exhibitions a year plus the permanent exhibition. There’s a good coffee shop and WAM is child- and wheelchair-friendly.
Not too far away in the city centre, is the largest art gallery in sub-Saharan Africa, the Johannesburg Art Gallery, displays not only an excellent collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings, works by Pissaro, Picasso, Degas and Monet, but also an impressive collection of South Africa artists including Gerard Sekoto, Sydney Kumalo, Alexis Preller and many more.
In Johannesburg’s northern suburbs buy or browse established or emerging artists at the art strip on Jan Smuts Avenue, with its fine private galleries such as the Everard Read Gallery, Circa on Jellicoe, the Goodman Gallery, Warren Siebrit’s Modern & Contemporary Art Gallery, Art One Sixty and David Krut Projects among others.
The permanent collection of the Pretoria Art Museum includes South African old masters, international graphic art, and a 20th century collection of works by Irma Stern, Gerard Sekoto and Judith Mason, while at the National Cultural History Museum housed in Pretoria’s Old Mint, you’ll find a permanent collection of iconic South African artists such as JH Pierneef.