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 modern South African art from 1940 to early 2000.
The Rupert Museum houses the private art collection of well-known South African industrialist the late Dr Anton Rupert and his wife Huberte. An electrical short at the Rupert home, that almost caused a fire, led to Huberte Rupert’s decision to establish the art museum.
She 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 a highlight visiting the Rupert Museum has been the exhibition of JH Pierneef’s Johannesburg Station Panels – considered to mark the highpoint of his career. This national treasure, the property of the Transnet Foundation, was relocated in 2009 from Graaff-Reinet to Stellenbosch where they now fill one of the four 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 Park 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.
As of 2018 granddaughter Hanneli Rupert has taken over the mantel with a dedicated vision to make the museum an inclusive space for the community. The short and intensive renovation project that started October 2018 had a firm goal in mind “a museum without walls”. Since the reopening of the Rupert Museum in May 2019, the museum has featured various exhibitions, relooking and rehanging the known favourite works inclusive of the Johannesburg Station Panels.
The museum’s public programmes includes a diverse spectrum of activities for everyone. Programmes include the vibrant Museum Saturday’s (taking place on the last Saturday of each month) that boosts artist talks, walkabouts, master and kid workshops, a pop-up menu for the day from the Museum Café and live music with tastings ranging from wine, whiskey, beer and champagne. Our next Museum Saturday will be on 29 January 2022. Join our newsletter to be the first to know about our upcoming workshops & events.
For those looking to get more active – Yoga Thursday’s might just be the thing for you. Presented from the MakerStudio every Thursday, 13h00 – 14h00 (bookings essential), if you are working from home or not close by, no problem, these classes are also streamed live. Find out more by visiting our social media pages.
The vibrant Museum Café is open for all to enjoy. On Tuesdays & Thursdays students can present their student cards and enjoy our coffee & breakfast special for R50. The library is a space that promotes literature and offers a quiet space for studying and working. The library, gallery spaces, café and MakerStudio can also be hired exclusively for a meeting, presentation, training, workshops or private functions. View our VENUE HIRE tab on our website to find out more.
We have an exciting opportunity for a Museum Intern to join our team!
Rupert Art Foundation Internship Programme
Internship position available: Museum Assistant
Deadline: 12 January 2022
We are offering an 11-month, paid internship at the Rupert Museum in Stellenbosch from 1 February 2022. The successful candidate will work closely with the museum’s curatorial team in the areas of art collections management, exhibitions, tours, media, marketing and events. There will also be an opportunity to assist in developing educational and general public programming. The range of duties will give the candidate valuable experience and exposure to a wide variety of museum related roles.
To find out more visit www.rupertmuseum.org and head to CONTACT US to view the requirements.