The Oliewenhuis Art Museum, located in the city of Bloemfontein in South Africa, is a must-see destination for art lovers and culture enthusiasts. The museum is housed in a beautiful Georgian-style mansion, which was originally built in the 1930s as the residence of the Governor-General of the Union of South Africa.
The museum’s collection includes over 6,000 works of art, spanning from the 18th century to the present day. Visitors can expect to see a diverse range of art styles and mediums, including traditional South African art, European painting, and contemporary art. The museum’s focus is on art from South Africa, but it also houses a collection of international artworks.
A brief history of the Oliewenhuis Art Museum
The Oliewenhuis Art Museum is located in a beautiful Georgian-style mansion in the city of Bloemfontein, South Africa. The mansion was originally built in the 1930s as the residence of the Governor-General of the Union of South Africa. It was designed by the architect J.C. Cook and built in a Georgian style, with a symmetrical facade, white-washed walls, and a hipped roof.
The mansion was used as the official residence of the Governor-General until the establishment of the Republic of South Africa in 1961. After that, it was used as a guesthouse for VIPs visiting the city. In the 1980s, the mansion was donated to the Free State Provincial Administration, with the intention of converting it into a cultural and historical museum.
The mansion was officially opened as the Oliewenhuis Art Museum in 1988. The name “Oliewenhuis” means “House of Olives” in Afrikaans and refers to the olive trees that were planted on the property when it was first built. The museum’s collection was initially focused on the art and cultural history of the Free State province, but over the years it has grown to include a wide range of artworks from South Africa and around the world.
The museum’s beautiful Georgian-style mansion, extensive library, and peaceful garden make for an enjoyable and educational visit. The museum is considered as one of the most important cultural institutions in the Free State and has become a popular tourist destination in the city of Bloemfontein.
One of the highlights of the museum is the permanent collection of works by South African artists, including JH Pierneef, Maggie Laubser, and Irma Stern. Visitors can also see works by contemporary artists such as William Kentridge and Jane Alexander. The collection is constantly changing, with regular exhibitions and special shows, so there is always something new to discover.
The Oliewenhuis Art Museum Library
The Oliewenhuis Art Museum has an extensive library that is open to researchers and students. The library’s collection includes books, exhibition catalogs, and other materials that relate to the museum’s collection and exhibitions. The library also has a collection of historical documents, photographs and manuscripts, which provide valuable information about the cultural and artistic history of the Free State province.
The library’s collection is particularly strong in the areas of South African art, architecture, and cultural history. It contains a wide range of materials, including monographs, journals, and reference books, which provide in-depth information on individual artists and art movements. The library also has a collection of exhibition catalogs, which document the museum’s past exhibitions, as well as other publications that relate to the museum’s collection.
The library is open to the public and provides a valuable resource for researchers, students, and anyone interested in South African art, culture, and history. It is also a great place to relax and read, with comfortable seating and a peaceful atmosphere.
Visitors can also find a variety of educational resources in the library, such as educational books, activity books and material to support their visit to the museum and understanding of the artworks. The library also provides guided tours of the collection and exhibitions, as well as regular lectures, workshops, and other educational events.
In summary, the library at the Oliewenhuis Art Museum is an important resource for researchers, students, and anyone interested in South African art, culture, and history. The library’s collection is particularly strong in the areas of South African art, architecture, and cultural history, and it provides a valuable resource for visitors to the museum. It also provides visitors a space to relax and enjoy their visit to the museum.
The Oliewenhuis Art Museum is a must-see destination for art lovers, with a rich collection of South African art, European painting, and contemporary art. The museum’s beautiful Georgian-style mansion, extensive library, and peaceful garden make for an enjoyable and educational visit.