Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Art Museum.

The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, formerly the King George VI Art Gallery, was built on Municipal land in the 19650s. It was on a lease which has since lapsed, and control of the Gallery now falls under the Municipality.

It was opened on 22 June 1956 and renamed in December 2002, and over the years, has amassed an impessive collection of art, including many historic pieces. The collections are housed in two buildings framing the entrance to St George's Park and consist of South African art (particularly that of the Eastern Cape), British art, international printmaking and Oriental art (including Indian miniatures and Chinese textiles).

There are plans in the pipeline to join the two buildings and create a venue where presentations and workshops can be held, without interfering with the displays in each hall.

Limited exhibition space requires the constant rotation of works of art from their Permanent Collection, but researchers wishing to see specific works not currently on exhibition can do so by appointment. The Permanent Collection is supplemented by an active programme of temporary exhibitions.

Currently, in the right hand hall, they have a wonderful exhibition of old paintings, some dating back to the very early 1800s, depicting the growth of Port Elizabeth from its earliest days, while the other hall has an exhibition of contemporary Eastern Cape Art.

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