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Rupert Museum

Cape Winelands, Western Cape
Arts 

At the bottom end of historic Dorp Street, on the banks of the Eersterivier, is what appears to be a whitewashed cellar set in a vineyard. It is actually the Rupert Museum, home to a superb collection of South African and International art.

The Rupert Museum showcases the private art collection of well-known South African industrialist the late Dr Anton Rupert and his wife Huberte which they collected from 1940 to 2006. Huberte Rupert commissioned the building in 2003, choosing Hannes Meiring, known for his love of historic architecture, as the architect. Officially opened in February 2005, the Rupert Museum now shows the best of South African artists such as Maggie Laubser, Irma Stern, Alexis Preller, Walter Battiss, Elza Dziomba, Jean Welz, JH Pierneef, Lippy Lipshitz, Moses Kotler, Anton van Wouw and Coert Steynberg. In addition, there are also major European works by leading sculptors such as Auguste Rodin and Käthe Kollwitz, as well as French tapestries by Jean Lurçat.

To many art lovers another highlight of a visit to the Rupert Museum will be the exhibition of JH Pierneef’s Station Panels – considered to mark the highpoint of his career. These national treasures, the property of the Transnet Foundation, now fill one of the three galleries at the museum.

Pierneef was commissioned by the then South African Railways and Harbours to paint panels depicting places of natural beauty and historical value for the new Johannesburg Station in 1929. The architecture of the concourse specifically included spaces for the panels to be affixed. This determined both the size and number of the panels – 32 in total.

He completed the panels over three years, working on them in groups, as his studio could not accommodate them all at once. Twenty-eight panels are of landscapes and the remaining four of indigenous trees.

Address:

Stellentia Avenue, Stellenbosch

Opening & Closing Times:

Mon-Fri: 9.30am-4pm; Sat: 10am-1pm.
Closed Sundays and Public Holidays.