Did you know?
Some of the gallery's exhibits date as far back as the 15th century.
The Durban Art Gallery showcases artwork dating as far back as the 15th century right up to the present, which are on show on a rotational basis. The diversity at this art gallery in Durban (eThekwini) makes for an accurate representation of the many histories of the KwaZulu-Natal region.
The Museum was created when Cathcart William Methven, harbour engineer at the time, gave one of his paintings to the Town Council in 1892. Since then, various donations and purchases were made to build up the collection. The collection was boosted in 1920 when Colonel R.H. Whitwell, art connoisseur and philanthropist, presented over 400 works to the Gallery.
Among the items donated were British, French and Dutch paintings, objets d'art such as French and Chinese ceramics, early glass vases by Lalique and bronzes by Rodin.
The diversity of the donation established the character of the foreign collection. From the 1970s on, many works of local artists and craftsmen were added to this Durban African art collection, and the Gallery's collecting focus is now largely concentrated on works that reflect the rich multi-cultural diversity of Durban (eThekwini) and South Africa.
The Durban Art Gallery promotes art awareness and the art and culture of KwaZulu-Natal through a variety of activities such as workshops and films.