William Fehr collection

Samuel Daniell, The Klipspringer, aquatint, 1831 (Iziko William Fehr Collection)

Due to restoration and renovation at the Castle of Good Hope, the following Iziko Museum spaces at the Castle will be closed for 3-4 months until June 2015:

  • The Secunde’s House.
  • The Granary which houses the exhibition Fired: an exhibition of South African Ceramics.
  • The Good Hope Gallery.

The Castle of Good Hope will remain open to the public during this period.  The William Fehr collection at the Castle is currently open to the public. Also view the William Fehr Collection of artworks on paper at Iziko Rust en Vreugd, located at 78 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town.

Fine and interesting examples of paintings and decorative arts of special relevance to the Cape are to be found in the William Fehr Collection. Contained in the collection is a wealth of historical information concerning the peoples and landscapes of early colonial South Africa. It is one of the most important public collections of artefacts of the period.

The William Fehr Collection is exhibited at the Castle of Good Hope and Rust en Vreugd, both historic buildings. The Castle, Cape Town’s oldest building, houses the component of oil paintings, furniture and decorative arts. Rust en Vreugd, a very fine example of colonial eighteenth century urban architecture, houses the art on paper – prints, drawings and watercolours. The artefacts including the art works date from the late seventeenth to the early nineteenth century, the period of Dutch colonial settlement and, after 1795, the era of British occupation. The art works in particular constitute a uniquely rich and important resource for many aspects of the history of the period.

The collection reflects the outlook and aesthetics of a single collector, William Fehr (1892–1968), and his social context, and so differs from most museum collections that are the result of selection by museum staff over an extended period. William Fehr’s private collection was first displayed at the Castle in 1952 during the Van Riebeeck Tercentenary Festival. Here a large proportion remained on loan until the whole collection was acquired by the South African government in the years 1964–5 and then distributed between the Castle and Rust en Vreugd. The portion of the collection at Rust en Vreugd was presented by William Fehr as a gift to the nation.


Take a virtual tour of the Iziko William Fehr Collection at the Castle of Good Hope.