Choose your country and language:

Africa

  • Global
  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • DRC
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Americas

  • USA
  • Argentina
  • Brazil

Asia Pacific

  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Australia

Europe

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
Back
Free State

IIf you’re touring the Free State, the Oliewenhuis Art Museum in Bloemfontein is an absolute must. It’s situated in a striking neo-Cape Dutch building and features work by top South African artists and art exhibitions, all topped off with a superb restaurant and beautifully luscious gardens.

The Oliewenhuis Art Museum may be called a “museum”, but it's really an art experience – gallery, restaurants, gardens and all!

The best of South Africa’s non-contemporary and contemporary artists – from Pierneef to Kentridge – are exhibited here in the gallery on the downstairs level and also in the permanent collection upstairs. An additional gallery below ground level is known as “The Reservoir”.

Did You Know?
TThe Blind Alphabet is an artwork created specifically for the sight impaired at the Oliewenhuis Art Museum.

TThe permanent collection includes outstanding examples of a wide variety of South African art, including an enticing outdoor sculpture park.

Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein

Food
When to visit
How to get here

WWalkways through the magnificent gardens offer peace and relaxation with plenty of picnic spots, while excitement for the children takes the form of a working outdoor public art sculpture called The African Carousel. Several South African artists collectively worked on this piece that reflects the melting pot of European and African culture that is South Africa.

TThe neo-Dutch building that houses the museum is history in itself. Completed in 1941 as the residence for the governor general of the Union of South Africa at the time, in 1972 the building was officially named “The Oliewenhuis” (“Olive house”) in Afrikaans because of the abundance of wild olive trees growing on the surrounding hills. In 1985 it was officially transformed into an art museum. Several structural alterations needed to be made to provide a suitable environment for the conservation and exhibition of artworks, putting its official opening date in 1989.

If you’re an art lover, or just a lover of life, you’ll undoubtedly spend several hours here. Obviously, such amazement will help you work up an appetite. The good news is that an excellent restaurant called The Terrace offers delicious teas and meals to keep your hunger at bay, and your hunger for art strong.

Who to contact
How to get here
Best time to visit
Around the area
Tours to do
Get around
What will it cost
Length of stay
Where to stay
What to eat
What's happening

Related articles

Breathtaking scenery

South African Tourism - Heritage Day

Breathtaking scenery
South African Tourism - Heritage Day

Feast your eyes, feed your soul and be inspired by South Africa in full bloom… South Africa is unique. It is one country in the world where one can weave a vibrant tapestry of culture and heritage from the many and varied attractions, experiences and influences that permeate daily living.

Vibrant culture

The National Museum, Bloemfontein

Vibrant culture
The National Museum, Bloemfontein

The National Museum of South Africa is a living museum that strives to reflect history as it is happening, as well as recording the natural and social past of this country.

Vibrant culture

History and culture in Bloemfontein

Vibrant culture
History and culture in Bloemfontein

Bloemfontein is the judicial capital of the country and a city that was once part of an independent Boer Republic, colonised by the British and considered the heartland of the old South Africa.

Vibrant culture

Clarens: A brewery with a town around it

Vibrant culture
Clarens: A brewery with a town around it

Johannesburg - Where in the world would five tonnes of apples be processed every day to make beer? Clarens,a town  three-and-a half hours from Johannesburg, at the foothills of the Maluti Mountains, is doing just that.

Breathtaking scenery

15 Honeymoon destinations that prove South Africa truly is for lovers

Breathtaking scenery
15 Honeymoon destinations that prove South Africa truly is for lovers

Where to honeymoon in South Africa, a truly unique destination.

Vibrant culture

Parys: The perfect small town weekend escape from Johannesburg

Vibrant culture
Parys: The perfect small town weekend escape from Johannesburg

Parys is a town situated on the banks of the Vaal River in the Free State province and is the perfect getaway if you in search of small-town charm.

Vibrant culture

Why travel is good for kids' education – here are 13 SA spots that should be on every youth tour itinerary.

Vibrant culture
Why travel is good for kids' education – here are 13 SA spots that should be on every youth tour itinerary.

Why travel is good for kids' education – here are 13 SA spots that should be on every youth tour itinerary

Vibrant culture

Art holidays to inspire creativity

Vibrant culture
Art holidays to inspire creativity

There are many art workshops and holidays to choose from in South Africa – from painting in oils or watercolours, to photography, to sculpture, to drawing, to pottery. Whatever your interest, even if it’s just to explore your inner artist and have fun.

South Africa on social media

Copyright © 2021 South African Tourism
|Terms and conditions|Disclaimer|Privacy policy