Cape Town Top 10
A magnificent nature, interesting history, wide selection of food and drinks, exciting natural life and rich art scene. Only a few art destinations can provide all of these beautiful things together in one place. Cape Town was announced as The World’s Best City by English Daily Telegraphy in 2018. In addition to all these wonderful things, it reflects the recent developments in South Africa’s Contemporary Art sector, and hence become one of the artlovers’ must-see art destinations (Cover Photo: ciee.org).
1- Zeitz MOCAA
Founded by German collector Jochen Zeitz, this museum is the world’s most important museum of African Art. It opened its doors to the public in 2017 in an iconic Grain Silos building. With its 9.500 square-metre space, sensational exhibitions and wide collection, Zeitz MOCAA has not only become the rising star of Africa and its diapora but also of the global art scene. Click for details.
2- Norval Foundation
With the opening of Norval Foundation in April 2018, Cape Town has gained a new art center reflecting international standards. Located right across the Steenberg Vineyards and the golf club, the Norval Foundation offers a lot; a private collection, temporary exhibitions, a magnificent building and an art experience which brings together the nature and art. We advise you to tour Norval’s sculpture garden, taste wonderful dishes of its Scotnes Restaurant whose name comes from Cecil Snotnes or enjoy the harmony of art and nature over a glass of Steenberg wine or a citrus cin and tonic. Click for details.
3- IZIKO National Art Museum
This museum, a must-see for all art-lovers, offers quiet an impressive experience with its temporary and permanent exhibitions that feature works of South African art history. When you visit the IZIKO, you can take an advantage of the Gardens Region and see other small art institutions such as small Iziko museums, the Parliament Building, A4 Art Foundation and District 6 Museum.
4- DYLAN LEWIS Sculpture Garden
Dylan Lewis moved to his farm in the beginning of the 90s and beginning to use it as his studio, the renowned artist transformed the property into a sculpture garden. Located in Stellenbosch, the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden offers an unforgettable experience intermingled with eternal nature, hidden paths, flowers, quiet observation areas, small ponds, specially made mounds and sculpture exhibit units. Lewis’ wild-life-inspired artworks not only feature in South Africa’s important vineyards, art hotels, collector houses, botanical gardens but also in the world’s most important private collections. The sculpture Garden can be visited by appointment. Click for details.
5- IRMA STERN Museum
The house of Irma Stern one of the most prominent artists of South Africa has been transformed into a museum, providing extensive information on the continent of Africa as well as the artist while offering a unique visiting experience each time with its temporary exhibitions.
6- Street Art Destinations
Cape Town offers a rich selection of murals and street art for street art lovers. The Woodstock and Observatory Districts feature the best examples of street art. Harrington Street, which is full of healthy dining restaurants, trendy shops and cafes also features a famous dog mural created by Bart Smates Smeets, one of the symbols of the street.
7- STELLENBOSCH Vineyards
The vineyards of Cape Town seem to compete with each other in featuring artworks. The most famous among them, Delaire Graff Estate offers a wide and expensive collection of artworks which includes Tretchikoff’s Green Lady. Other destinations which brings the wine experience together with the arts are Leeu estates, La Grand Provence, La Motte and Tokara.
8- Art Hotels
Sharing the same building with MOCAA at the Waterfront, Silo Hotel is one of the most luxurious and most art-loving hotels. Once you step in the building, you are greeted by wonderful artworks by rising Contemporary African Artists such as Jody Paulsen, Francis Goodman, Mahau Modisent and Cyrus Kabiru. Having drinks at Silo’s rooftop is the visitors’ most favorite thing to do after their MOCAA visit.
Another important and prestigious Cape Town hotel is the Ellerman House. Non-guests need to get permission before seeing this hotel’s precious art collection and visiting its art galleries. We must note that it is worth to get an appointment and see these special artworks placed both inside and in the hotel’s magnificent garden.
9- Art Galleries
Cape Town has many art galleries, some well-established, some new, but all featuring in various international art fairs. Smac, Stevenson, Goodman and Blank Project are a few examples which are located in the Woodstock District. Everard Read and Circa Galleries are well-established names, which have Waterfront view, impressive buildings and high quality exhibitions that make these galleries worth visiting. Momo, WHATIFTHEWORLD and Christopher Gallery are some examples from Downtown. Don’t forget to check their exhibition programs before planning your visit.
With its colourful houses, tiny streets and mosques, Bo-Kaap is a city symbol and a favorite destination for photo lovers. Known as Cape-Maley, the area composes of mostly Muslim residents. In addition to the original landlords, young generation also live in these Cape Dutch and Edwardian style buildings. Some buildings are restored and hence turned into modern spaces which frequently feature in decoration magazines.
First Thursday Event
The city turns into an open air art festival on the first Thursday of each month. Dozens of galleries, cafes and shops are open until the late hours of the night and the streets are bustling. Unless you make bookings weeks prior to the event, you won’t be able to find a space in any restaurant. For the best experience, we advice you to stay on foot, move from one place to another and explore different streets and atmosphere.
Cape Town Art Fair
Organized every year in February, under the sponsorship of Investec Bank since past 2 years, Cape Town Art Fair reflects the city’s growing art scene and the rise of Contemporary African Art in the art world. It also enhances the collectors’ interests in African Art and increases the number and quality of related art events. Click for information.
Those willing to visit Cape Town, want to get more information about the locations which require permission/appointment can send an email to [email protected]
Güliz Özbek Collini