Are you in a creative mood and feel like wandering through museums and art galleries?
There are plenty of good art galleries and museums to see in Stellenbosch.
So we’ve collected some insider tips on the hottest art galleries and museums in Stellenbosch which you can visit this summer.
From avant garde to family friendly, there’s a gallery or museum on our list to suit every art and/or history aficionado.
Whether you’re visiting the winelands and looking to procure a unique piece of South African art to take the ambience of this tiny town home with you, or whether you’re a local looking to absorb some art along with your merlot, Stellenbosch has a wide variety of art and artists on show at all times.
To find your perfect culture vulture match, just keep reading:
1. Rupert Museum
From Albert Adams to South African heavyweight Walter Battiss, the Rupert Museum in Stellenbosch showcases only the very best without unnecessary ostentatious flourishes or pretense.
The idea for a gallery space sparked as the result of an electrical short threatening fire. The Rupert Museum was born from the ashes, the brainchild of Huberte Rupert, who contracted South African architect, Hannes Meiring, to bring her dream to life.
While Huberte originally envisioned a space as small and intimate as her home, Meiring convinced Rupert to dream big, and the result is the Rupert Museum as it is known and loved; expansive, but unaffected, a modest display space that allows the artwork to speak for itself.
The Rupert Museum exhibits the unique private art collection of the owners, Anton and Huberte Rupert.
Predominantly showcasing paintings, sculptural works and tapestries from the 1940s through ‘70s, the Rupert Museum collection has grown over time to include over 350 works by such artists as Irma Stern, Lippy Lipshitz, JH Pierneef, Maggie Laubser, Alexis Preller, Moses Kotler and more!
While the Rupert’s began their private collection themselves in the 1940s, today, accusations are made under the guardianship of the Rupert Art Foundation, and works by major European artists, such as Auguste Rodin, are also on display among the local art.
Currently closed for maintenance and repair, the Rupert Museum’s doors will be open again soon, so keep an eye on their website for details.
Visit Rupert Museum
2. The Stellenbosch Village Museum
Visiting this unique “museum” is like stepping back in time.
The museum comprises of four houses of historical interest and their gardens, in the heart of Stellenbosch.
Each of the four houses and their gardens have been painstakingly restored, furnished, planted and decorated to offer visitors insight into the particular architectural style and taste of a different era in Stellenbosch’s long history.
The four houses comprising the complex that is The Stellenbosch Village Museum are: The Schreuderhuis, Blettermanhuis, Grosvenor House and OM Berghhuis.
The Schreuderhuis was originally built in 1709, and survived the first great fire in Stellenbosch.
The oldest restored and documented town house in the whole of Stellenbosch and South Africa, this home has been furnished and the garden modeled to represent a typical Stellenbosch home during the late 1600s and early 1700s.
The furniture on display was even made from locally available materials, just like the pioneers did it!
Blettermanhuis is the second house in the museum complex and this house has been modeled after the wealthy Stellenbosch homes of the 1750s.
Built in 1789 by Hendrik Lodewyk Bletterman, a magistrate of Stellenbosch and the last to be appointed to his position by the Dutch East India Company, Blettermanhuis is the epitome of 18th century Cape architecture, with an H-shaped ground plan and 6 gables.
The third house, Grosvenor House, was built in 1782 and expanded on by successive owners until the early 1800s.
This is one of the most outstanding examples of a two-storeyed, flat-roofed patrician town house in Stellenbosch, and even the whole of Cape Town.
Finally, OM Berghhuis is a typical example of mid-nineteenth century opulence, with its wallpaper, decadent furniture and accessories.
This is one museum history buffs don’t want to miss!
3. The Franschhoek Motor Museum
The Franschhoek Motor Museum presents a unique opportunity to explore the past 100 years of automotive history all in one place!
If four halls full of vintage vehicles tickle your fancy, you don’t want to miss this one! From their website:
“The Franschhoek Motor Museum offers visitors a special opportunity to look back at more than 100 years of motoring history with its unique and exciting collection of vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles and memorabilia in the magnificent setting of L’Ormarins.
Across the length and breadth of Southern Africa, only one place can adequately portray the evolution of the automobile, The Franschhoek Motor Museum”.
Please note, visits to this museum are by appointment only. To secure your spot and book your tickets, you can visit their website.
4. The Stellenbosch Toy & Miniature Museum
Here’s one the whole family can enjoy! The Stellenbosch Toy & Miniature Museum in Market Street is a world of enchantment for young and old alike.
“An extremely detailed and lifelike miniature of South Africa’s famous Blue train – the only one of its kind in Africa, is on show, [and] the train travels from a miniature Stellenbosch, through the Cape Winelands and the mountains to the Karoo where it passes Matjiesfontein before it returns back to Stellenbosch”
Open six days a week, there’s no reason you and yours should miss out!
5. Marze Botha Art Gallery
Beginning its journey in the cellar on Lourensford Wine Estate in 2008, the Marze Botha Art Gallery has since grown into a booming business on Stellenbosch’s central Andringa Street.
In 2013, doors opened to this hub in the heart of historic Stellenbosch, and art lovers from around the world have been able to ogle art and sculpture from some of the foremost artists in South Africa there ever since.
Also selling gifts, ceramics, and other proudly South African products, including leatherwork such as handbags, Marze Botha Art Gallery is a favourite among international art collectors as they offer worldwide shipping.
Buy now, and have your art on your doorstep waiting for you when you get back to the country you call home.
With a focus on making art accessible to everyone, the gallery regularly showcases a wide variety of styles and mediums at a wide range of prices.
The gallery also encourages young, emerging artists to exhibit with them, and artists can submit their work for consideration via the website.
Whether you’re looking to walk in off the street and leave with a beatiful eternal reminder of your time in sunny Stellenbosch, or are looking for the professional eye to source something exquisite for you, Marze Botha Gallery can meet your needs.
Offering private consultations and art investment advice to buyers with specific needs and desires, the gallery’s free consultations can be booked by making use of the contact form on their website; and they come to you!
Visit Marze Botha Art Gallery
6. The Red Teapot Gallery & Shop
Portchie is a South African institution, and you may even have the privilege of running into him in his gallery-cum-studio and shop, The Red Teapot.
Selling everything from original artworks to prints on cushion-covers, trays, scarves, you name it; The Red Teapot trades not only in Portchie’s artwork and reproductions, but also in fine jewellery in silver and semi-precious stones.
The Red Teapot is a mishmash of designer and handcrafted merchandise by local artists, all coming together to create a funky explosion of colour that draws people from all walks of life in off the streets to marvel at the creative chaos within.
The home of the muse, The Red Teapot is a must-visit for anyone who fancies themselves a creative. Just spending a few minutes here is enough to reinvigorate the senses and inspire renewed creativity in all.
7. Absolut Art Gallery
Absolut Art Gallery, situated in both Pretoria and Stellenbosch and run by father-son duo Gerrit Dyman Jr & Snr, is one of South Africa’s leading art galleries.
Not only showcasing exquisite and exclusive collections of art by talented South African artists, Absolut also offer art valuations and free art investment advice.
Showcasing works by both the Masters and contemporary South African artists, the Dyman’s have a combined thirty years of specialist experience in the art industry, and all their undertakings are curated, and the art exhibited, with the utmost care and attention to detail.
Visit Absolut Art Gallery
8. Stellenbosch Art Gallery
The Stellenbosch Art Gallery offers the discerning buyer the opportunity to procure paintings, sculptures, handmade glass, and ceramics by selected South African artists.
For more information on the gallery, or to read their FAQ on art as an investment, visit their website.
Visit Stellenbosch Art Gallery
Now you can enjoy the museums in Stellenbosch this summer and immerse yourself in the creative arts the special town has to offer.
For more information on the specifics of wining, dining, playing, exploring, spending and convening with nature in sunny Stellenbosch, be sure to check our Things To Do In Stellenbosch series.
Next, we will bring you a list of insider insights into the very best markets that Stellenbosch and surrounds have to offer!
Bring your family and your four-legged friends and make a day of market-hopping in the winelands.