Pretoria Art Museum celebrates 60th anniversary

The Pretoria Art Museum first opened its doors in 1964. File

The Pretoria Art Museum first opened its doors in 1964. File

Published May 23, 2024


The Pretoria Art Museum this week opened its doors to visitors for free from May 20 until Sunday to celebrate the historic milestone of its 60th anniversary.

Tshwane MMC Community and Social Development Services, Nasiphi Moya, also deputy mayor, vouched for the museum as one of the heritage centres attracting tourists from both outside the city and locals.

Moya said: “The museum remains a relevant part of Tshwane, attracting tourism not only for people who do not live in the city, but for ordinary Tshwane residents as well.”

The Museum first opened its doors in 1964 and it offers a rich historical account of the City’s art collection that dates to the early 1930s.

Moya said: “The museum has a diverse offering that keeps it relevant with those interested in political history and contemporary Southern African art.”

During the celebration event on Monday, she highlighted that museums are places of diversity for everyone.

“The Pretoria Art Museum is a source of inspiration. The goal of exhibitions is to stimulate interest in diverse fields of inquiry regarding items, epochs, religions, philosophies and scientific ideas.”

In some countries, she said, educational institutions and museums have symbiotic partnerships to enhance teaching and research.

“In the studies of palaeontology, culture, anthropology, history, geology, arts, and so forth, museums are fountains of information,” she said.

She called on communities to demonstrate their support for museums.

“Many museums are non-profit entities or are public institutions that rely on taxpayers for sustainability. Their primary mission is to educate and inspire audiences, but they need the support of tourists, visitors, members and donors to keep on fulfilling those missions,” she said.

on Wednesday, Moya oversaw the reopening of Melrose House Museum, which was closed for a year because of roof renovations.

The historical house in Pretoria was built between 1886 and 1888 and offers visitors a historical account of South Africa’s history in the early 1900s.

Moya said: “Melrose House Museum is a historical treasurer for the City of Tshwane. The house was built in 1886 and was under private ownership for years until it was purchased by the then City council as it was envisioned to hold heritage value.”

The museum, she said, offers visitors “a great adventure” and opportunity to explore a historical period in South Africa’s history.

“It offers visitors a view of the architectural styles from the Victorian and Edwardian era. As a heritage building, it houses over 2 000 heritage objects which are between 100 and 300 years old,” she said.

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