Cape Town businessman, William Fehr (1892–1968), first loaned this collection of oil paintings, furniture, ceramics, metal and glassware for public exhibition at the Castle in 1952. In 1964, the South African government purchased the collection. In the following year Fehr donated his collection of artworks on paper. The objects in the William Fehr Collection date from the 17th to the 19th centuries and reflect the furnishings of well-to-do, mainly Cape urban households. One of the remarkable aspects of the collection is the large number of oil paintings that portray views of the Cape colonial settlement and Table Bay maritime scenes.
Though these art works reflect a colonial worldview, they are fascinating reflections of life at the Cape and the people – free and otherwise – who lived and worked here in earlier centuries.
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