The Tatham Art Gallery is a Pietermaritzburg landmark with a fine reputation for its treasures. One of the top art galleries in the country, this is a must-see tourist destination for those visiting the city. Located across the road from Pietermaritzburg’s famous City Hall, the gallery is housed in the old Supreme Court Building and Presbyterian Church, dating back to 1875 and 1852, respectively.
Tatham Art Gallery has a notable collection of donated and valuable pieces, acquired over time both locally and abroad. It contains works by the likes of Picasso, Renoir, Matisse, Degas and Hockney. The gallery has endeavoured to complete many of its collections, including 19th- and 20th-century French and British works.
In service to the local community, the gallery has also accumulated some of the most notable local art. This includes traditional as well as contemporary pieces, and covers beadwork, pottery and ceramics. Through them visitors gain a clear sense of the traditional craft mastery in the area.
These permanent collections are supplemented and enhanced by temporary exhibits – helping the gallery retain a sense of freshness. It also helps to cater for the next generation of artists and crafters. Displays of University of KwaZulu-Natal art students’ works are on show at the Chef’s Table Coffee Shop on the top floor, and are available for purchase. The gallery also runs educational programmes that include guided tours, art classes and forums.