Durban is a much-loved holiday destination for many tourists for a number of reasons. Not only is it known for its warm climate, gorgeous beaches, and relaxed environment, it’s also a popular spot for local and international sports and conferences. However, it also boasts a rich and fascinating arts and culture scene and is thus a fantastic place for art enthusiasts too – for visitors and locals alike! Here we explore five of Durban’s most impressive art museums. These contemporary galleries are bound to delight anyone with interest in fine art and crafts.
Kwazulu Natal Society of Arts
The KZN Society of Arts (KZNSA) is a non-profit public art institution. The gallery was founded in 1902 and has showcased the work of local and international artists since its inception. As a public benefit space, exhibitions are free to the public and the society strives to foster a love of art within the city. Exhibitions are diverse and include installations and performance art. KZNSA also host a range of exciting events, including pop-up markets, art workshops, jazz sessions, film screenings, and more. After exploring the museum’s artistic offerings, visitors can enjoy their delightful cafe and or take a walk through the beautiful gardens filled with acacia trees.
The Bartel Arts Trust is an innovative space that showcases the work of predominantly young, black emerging local artists. Located on Durban’s Victoria Embankment, this space aims to promote new artists and give them a space to showcase their artwork and crafts. It seeks to uplift emerging artists and runs a series of continuous workshops and courses. It is also a “vibrant hub for visual and performing arts” and often houses poetry and music events. Visitors can explore the different galleries and then enjoy some refreshments at the restaurant or outside deck bar. There are also various curiosities for sale at shops selling contemporary and traditional local art.
Durban Art Gallery
Next up is the Durban Art Gallery. This municipal gallery is located within the city hall and showcases both temporary and permanent exhibitions. It has an impressive collection of artworks (over 3500 to be exact) and houses a range of historical and contemporary pieces from across the world, including countries such as France, the Netherlands, Britain, and China. Artworks have been donated over the years by art collectors and philanthropists and the gallery also hosts a number of classes, lectures, films, and roaming exhibitions.