Durban is a popular destination thanks to its enviable climate and extensive beaches, but Durban is also home to a number of cultural gems, including interesting contemporary art galleries mainly focused on showcasing South African talents and local art. Here are ten of the best contemporary art galleries in Durban.
African Art Centre
(94 Florida Rd 031 312 3804) Visit the African Art Centre shop and gallery to view a selection of high quality telephone wire baskets and jewellery, Ilala Palm Baskets, traditional Zulu ceramics, Fine Art, antique Zulu beadwork, unique Zulu beaded jewellery and specially handcrafted gifts. Every purchase made from the African Art Centre provides income and employment for more than 600 artists and crafters currently supported by the Centre.
(166 Bulwer Rd, Glenwood 031 277 1705, www.kznsagallery.co.za) Tues-Fri 09:00-17:00, Sat 09:00-16:00, Sun 10:00-15:00. Home of the KwaZulu-Natal Society of Arts, the gallery features an exciting and ever-changing array of exhibitions by local and international artists, while the gallery shop contains an excellent selection of imaginative arts and crafts. The Arts Café (031 201 9969) serves tasty breakfasts, lunches and teas and has an adjoining children’s playground.
Artisan Contemporary Gallery
(344 Florida Rd 031 312 4364). For more information contact Ingrid Smith on 031 312 4364, firstname.lastname@example.org
Durban Art Gallery
(Durban City Hall 031 311 2262/5) Durban’s largest gallery, it houses a comprehensive collection of South African art, both past and present, as well as international works.
The Dodds Gallery
(Green with Envy, 281 Vause Rd 031 220 2041) is a brand new gallery space in the heart of Durban’s Berea, situated on the grounds of a plant nursery with a restaurant, shop and children’s play area. Owned and run by Michelle Dodds, the gallery specialises in fine South African art, bronzes and collectables.
(3 Millar Rd, off Umgeni Rd 031 312 0793)
DUT Art Gallery
(Durban University of Technology 031 373 2207)
(48b Florida Road 031 303 4891)
Elizabeth Gordon Gallery
(120 Florida Rd 031 303 8133) Fine art by leading South African artists. Gallery hours: 08:00-16:30 weekdays & 09:00-12.30 Saturdays.
(Bellevue Rd, Kloof 031 717 2785)
Heritage and history
The Durban Natural Science Museum (First Floor, Durban City Hall 031 311 2256/42) is the most-visited natural science museum in the country, attracting just under 300 000 visitors annually. Experience the boma storytelling area, plasma screens showing natural history scenery throughout the galleries, a life-size reconstruction of Tyrannosaurus Rex and realistic diorama exhibitions. The Natural Science Museum Research Centre offers the public access to the third largest collection of birds in Africa! Open Mon-Sat 08:30-16:00; Sun & holidays 11:00-16:00.
Durban Holocaust Centre
Education on the Holocaust and other human rights abuses at Durban Holocaust Centre (Durban Jewish Centre, 44 KE Masinga Rd 031 368 6833 or email@example.com).
Natal Maritime Museum
Explore nautical historyat the Natal Maritime Museum (Small Crafts Basin 031 311 2230), with regional culture & history at the Campbell Collections (220 Gladys Mazibuko Rd: tours 031 207 3432, library 031 207 3711) and southern African artefacts at Phansi Museum (Cnr 41 Cedar & Esther Roberts roads 031 206 2889).
Kwa Muhle Museum
There’s apartheid history at Kwa Muhle Museum (130 Braam Fischer Rd 031 311 2213) and Cato Manor Heritage Centre (750 Rick Turner Rd 031 261 3216); Indian culture at Durban Cultural & Documentation Centre (Cnr Epsom Rd & Derby St 031 309 7559); colonial & pre-colonial history at Old House Museum (31 St Andrews St 031 311 2261) and Old Court House Museum (77 Samora Machel St 031 311 2225); and information on the 1848 German settlersat Bergtheil Local History Museum (16 Queens Ave, Westville 031 203 7107).