William Humphreys Art Gallery, Kimberley
Did you know?
The William Humphreys Art Gallery was the first local gallery to treat cinema as an extension of the visual arts.
Kimberley is world famous for its diamonds, but they're not its only treasures. This Northern Cape city is also home to one of South Africa's most important art museums: the William Humphreys Art Gallery.
Over the years, the gallery's collection has evolved from a small, mostly international body of work to one that includes some of South Africa's best-known and historically significant art.
The gallery was established when William Humphreys, a prominent Kimberley resident, donated a portion of his collection of art, furniture and objects d'art to the people of Kimberley. Known as the Humphreys Bequest, this initial collection was made up of a selection of European and British paintings, furniture and copies of classical sculptures.
The Humphreys Collection, acquired by De Beers from William Humphreys' family after his death, and on indefinite loan to the gallery, augmented this original bequest.
With Humphreys Collection at its core, this Kimberley art gallery's focus then began to shift towards South African art. Its next important addition came from Dr Max Greenberg. His bequest included a selection of South African art from his personal collection.
Other highlights at the William Humphreys Art Gallery include the Timlin Collection, also on loan from De Beers, as well as a few smaller loan collections of South African art.
Of particular interest are works by Stern, Van Wouws, Pierneef and Boonzaier. These works document important movements in South African art and tell a unique story about our country's journey over the last 100 years.
The William Humphreys Art Gallery is also home to 247 original drawings and engravings by French, Dutch, Flemish, English and Italian masters, as well as the Meyer Collection of European and Oriental porcelain.
The gallery's current collections policy prioritises South African art and includes traditional artefacts from ethnographic collections. It hosts a dynamic exhibtion programme that profiles the work of contemporary South African artists.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
The William Humphreys Art Gallery
Tel: +27 (0) 53 831 1724/5
How to get here
The William Humphreys Art Gallery is situated in the heart of Kimberley, in the Civic Centre on Cullinan Crescent. There are regular flights to the city from Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.
Best time to visit
Monday to Friday from 8am to 4.45pm; Saturday from 10am to 4.45pm; Sundays and public holidays from 9am to noon. The gallery is closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day.
Around the area
Explore the gallery’s scenic garden, visit the Kimberley Mine Museum, adjacent to the famous Big Hole, or spend time exploring Kimberley's historic city centre.
Tours to do
The gallery offers guided tours.
What will it cost
R5 for adults, R2 for children
What to eat
The adjoining Palette Tea Room is open daily and provides breakfasts, lunches and afternoon tea.
Look out for the new film archive and study centre at the gallery, dedicated to African cinema and boasting a collection of over 300 African films.
The gallery sells some local contemporary art; visit their website for an online gallery of what's on offer.