Explorers have been collecting specimens and documenting the diversity of life for centuries. These records are distributed across varied and distinct natural history collections worldwide. An estimated three billion or more specimens are held in natural history collections around the world. Museums that house these collections have often been viewed as places filled with dark rows of dust covered taxidermy and weird pickled “things”, haunted by necromaniacs interested only in dead material. A view illustrated by a famous British politician who, upon his visit to a natural history museum in London, once asked “Why do we need all these bloody mice?”.
You’re invited! A day out with your family has never been more affordable. Our family ticket (2 adults + 2 kids) is discounted by *50% during local South African government school holidays. Enquire at reception.
The much-anticipated annual Iziko Summer School runs from1 February to 1 March 2014. Under the theme, ‘Museums & Democracy: Celebrating our 20 years of democracy’ Iziko’s popular programme will include public talks, interactive activities, exhibition walkabouts and film screenings. We look forward to welcoming you to our living classroom!
Upcoming and current exhibitions, planetarium shows, education and public programmes and events, and ‘friends’ activities currently on at Iziko Museums of South Africa.
On Heritage Day, 24 September 2013, Iziko Fossil Preparator, Zaituna Erasmus presented a hands-on workshop to demonstrate the skills involved in fossil preparation to museum visitors. Eager participants were given the opportunity to work on actual 250-million-year-old fossils, as they were carefully guided in uncovering these ancient reptile specimens. One of the visitors who attended the workshop commented on his experience on the day.
As a national flagship, the Iziko museums have a central role to play in making connections between people. Our collections hold heritage assets of the South African nationthat both record our rich history and tell our stories. We aim, through the display of our permanent collection and temporary exhibition programme, to create spaces to reflect, appreciate and learn from the challenges and achievements of the past and from each other. Embracing our interconnectedness through our collections mediates and permeates every aspect of what we do. As such, old and new collections occupy our museums, connecting the past and the present, and giving direction to the future.
Iziko Rust & Vreugd, one of the few surviving 18th century Cape homes, continues to be a popular wedding venue. The ornate colonial architecture, perfectly manicured lawns, beautiful garden and museum with centuries’ old paintings make it a truly unique setting. With ample parking and close proximity to the city centre, a bride has (almost) no excuses for being late on her wedding day. An added advantage is that couples get the majestic Table Mountain as a backdrop on their wedding day.
Sharing heritage and creating awareness around the importance of museums and their collections and the wealth of information contained in museums, all form part of the work of the passionate and dedicated Education and Public Programmes (EPP) team of Iziko Museums of South Africa. Throughout Heritage Month, and especially in the days leading up to Heritage Day, the programme celebrated the richness, diversity and importance of our birthright as South Africans.
Without and within time: Recovering history in the Ethnography Gallery – the Natives’ Land Act of 19
Land and the legacy of land dispossession remains a contentious issue within South Africa, and is a subject that is set to continue to evoke strong emotions in those who are connected to the land. To mark the centenary of the passing of the 1913 Natives’ Land Act in South Africa several ‘interventions’ have been installed in the Iziko South African Museum’s Ethnography Hall.
Nearly one hundred years ago, on Tuesday, 10 March 1914, Koopmans-de Wet House opened its doors as a museum for the first time. The next day the Cape Times reported that each room in this “charming domestic and artistic museum” had been restored “as nearly as possible to its original condition at the end of the eighteenth century,” signifying the birth of South Africa’s first, and therefore oldest, house museum. Although centenary celebrations will focus mainly on Women’s month (August), a special centenary event is also planned for this Provincial Heritage Site on 10 March 2014.
Following a highly successful South Africa-France Season in 2012, relations with France is once again a key focus. A Portrait of South Africa – George Hallett, Peter Clarke & Gerard Sekotois an exhibition of photographs, paintings and works on paper by these three prominent South African artists. Curated by the Iziko South African National Gallery, this exhibition is currently on view at the Cité internationale des arts in Paris.
Johannesburg based artist, the 30 year old Mary Sibande, is the recipient of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art 2013. An exhibition of her work entitled: ‘The Purple shall govern’ will open at the Iziko South African National Gallery on 28 November 2013. For Sibande, the Standard Bank Young Artist Award means personal growth - a validation of years of hard work - and is an expression of the appreciation of her development as an artist.