Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, previously called The King George VI Gallery, has an impressive collection including British art, international printmaking and Oriental art, as well as art from, and of, the Eastern Cape. It is situated at the entrance to the beautiful St George's Park in Port Elizabeth.

Did you know?

Famous South African artist Walter Battiss was born in the Eastern Cape town of Somerset East.

The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, formerly known as the King George VI Gallery, has a wonderful collection of South African art, particularly art from the Eastern Cape.

The limited exhibition space means that there is a constant rotation of art works from the museum’s large permanent collection. This ensures there is always something new to see at the gallery. Its dynamic programme of temporary exhibitions adds to the variety.

The permanent collection is mainly retrospective. The museum, however, features art from across the historical spectrum at its temporary exhibitions. Highlights from the permanent collection include international graphics and British and Oriental art. You can see works by renowned artists such as Henry Moore, David Hockney, Marc Chagall, Honore Daumier and Rembrandt van Rijn. The Orient is represented by a selection of Indian miniatures, Japanese wood-block prints and Chinese items from the Qing dynasty.

This art gallery in Port Elizabeth has also been collecting art works by prominent South African artists for over 50 years, including beadwork, township art and other African art. Some of the gallery's recent contemporary acquisitions include works by some of South Africa's top contemporary artists, like Berni Searle, Conrad Botes, Diane Victor and Nicholas Hlobo.

Of particular interest is the museum's collection of art of, and from, the beautiful Eastern Cape, making this a fantastic place to visit if you would like to learn and see more of the artistic history of the city and the province. Some famous Eastern Cape artists include Walter Battiss and George Milwa Mnyaluza Pemba, and the province is also home to art projects like the award-winning Keiskamma Art Project.

The gallery has now been incorporated into the Arts Precinct of Nelson Mandela Bay, where you can stroll to many arts venues, including Route 67, Athenauem, the Ron Belling art gallery and artEC.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum
Tel: +27 (0) 41 506 2000

How to get here

The Gallery is in central Port Elizabeth, easily accessible by car, taxi and bus.

Best time to visit

The Art Museum is open seven days a week, except 1 January, Good Friday, Freedom Day, Workers' Day, Youth Day & Christmas Day. Weekdays: 9am - 6pm (closed Tuesday mornings); Saturdays, Sundays: 1pm - 5pm; Public Holidays: 2pm - 5pm; first Sunday of the month: 9am - 2pm.

Around the area

The gallery is at the entrance to the famous and beautiful St George's Park, which is worth a visit in its own right.

What will it cost

Admission to the gallery is free, except for events with advertised fees.

What's happening

The Nelson Mandela Bay Arts Journey will introduce you to all of Nelson Mandela Bay's creative events.

Best buys

The museum’s shop offers an interesting selection of books, catalogues, cards, gifts, posters, reproductions and other items.

Related articles