Chief Executive Officer of Iziko Museums of South Africa, Ms Rooksana Omar reviewed the Museum’s progressoverthe past financial year. The CEO looks at the highlights, challenges and aspirations of this museum that is being guided into a world in which, as the International Council of Museums (ICOM) vision states, “the significance of natural and cultural heritage is universally valued.” Recognised by many as a pioneer within the heritage sector,Omar says: “Our achievements in the past year clearly show that Iziko is a critical component of empowerment, development and democracy in South Africa.”
While it may seem like quite an imposing building, with its stark white façade, towering Greek pillars, and massive doors opening out onto the Company’s Gardens – the interior of the Iziko South African National Gallery is as warm and familiar as a Xhosa mud hut. Our friendly Gallery staff are waiting to welcome you to experience the beauty of our national heritage.
Visitors to Iziko Museums of South Africa always express themselves, either through the visitor comments books or via our social media platforms. Here are what some visitors had to say about their experiences at our museums.
In acknowledgment of the man who was and whose legacy in South Africa lives on, Iziko Museums of South Africahosts a world class exhibition in tribute to Oliver Tambo at the Iziko Slave Lodge. Twenty years after his death, a belated – yet significant – step has been taken to honour the pivotal contribution he made to the freedom struggle in South Africa. Imbued with historical resonance, this seminal tribute to Tambo, or “OR”, as he was lovingly known, was launched on the eve of Human Rights Day, or Sharpeville Day as this day was previously known.
Finely carved and remarkably serene-looking, a mask from Nootka Sound, on the north-west coast of America is one of the finest pieces in the Iziko Social History collections. Interestingly, it is not from Africa, the main focus of our collections, but from almost literally the other side of the world. In this way, its fascinating history, starting in the 1700s, echoes the diversity and depth of the collections and interests of Iziko Museums of South Africa.
The 2013 Tourism Indaba was held in Durban from 11 to 14 May 2013. The top 20 heritage tourism products in South Africa were invited to exhibit at the Heritage & Culture Pavilion. Iziko was one of these fortunate exhibitors, and was one of the three Cape-based products at the Pavilion, along with Robben Island Museum and Andulela Tours.
Upcoming and current exhibitions, planetarium shows, education programmes and events, and ‘friends’ activities on at Iziko Museums of South Africa.
Iziko Museums of South Africa is a national heritage institution established in terms of the Cultural Institutions Act. We are a schedule 3 public entity (non-profit organisation) partially funded by the Department of Arts and Culture.
Iziko Museums of South Africa is the proud recipient of eight iconic fashion garments designed by Chris Levin. The garments were donated to Iziko by generous benefactor and art curator, Mark Coetzee. The Iziko Social History Collections is delighted by the presentation, as very few haute couture garments are represented in the museum’s collection.
‘The King’s Map’ is set to return and rest at its home, Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. This rare masterpiece is a unique map of South Africa produced 222 years ago. Nearly 3 x 2m in size – painted on brushed cotton for King Louis XVI of France – the map, a record of biodiversity and animal distribution in southern Africa,has 66 illustrations of animals, birds, and plants. It illustrates the route travelled by French traveller, free thinker and social critic of the time - during the birth of democracy, François Le Vaillant.
Canada's Governor General, His Excellency, David Johnston, visited Iziko Museums of South Africa for a guided tour of the Iziko Slave Lodge on Monday, 20 May. Johnston was visiting South Africa from 19 to 22 May, as part of a tour of Africa, aimed at exploring prospects for closer ties between Canada and South Africa in science, technology and education.
Iziko Museums of South Africa, through its Education and Public Programmes department will host the exhibition, Promise, by Raél Jero Salley, in association with the University of Cape Town’s Africa Month. The contemporary art exhibition presents new artworks that draw from past and present events in South Africa’s visual archive.