Enjoy a superb cappuccino and cake at Cafe Tatham, browse for gifts and carefully selected craft in the Tatham Shop and if you are lucky, take in a music concert. Or simply enjoy the display of artworks in carefully curated exhibitions!

Tatham Art Gallery

The Tatham Art Gallery is one of the major art museums in South Africa. Situated in Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal, the Tatham Art Gallery serves the Msunduzi region through the Visual Arts.

The Tatham Art Gallery hosts a range of Art Exhibitions. These include travelling and researched exhibitions as well as exhibitions initiated by the Gallery based on art works in the permanent collection.

A major function of the Tatham Art Gallery, established in 1903, is to display art. This is accomplished through the organizing and hosting of temporary exhibitions and ongoing changes in the permanent display areas.


The Fabulous Picture Show 2018
FINAL AUCTION was concluded
Friday 23 November!

Visit www.fotag.co.za for all the images auctioned. The Fabulous Picture Show is FOTAG’s major fund-raising event for the year. Results to be published shortly.

Temporary Exhibitions

 Above: Muzi Ndlela, Haunted Home, pastel on paper

Above: Muzi Ndlela, Haunted Home, pastel on paper

Muzi Ndlela and Sibusiso Mvelase:
Akulahlwa mbeleko ngakufelwa (Don’t despair in adversity)
Schreiner Gallery
Opens Sunday 14 October 2018 at 11h00
Closes Sunday 25 November 2018 at 17h00

This exhibition presents a collaboration between Muzi Ndlela and Sibusiso Mvelase, who both had the unique opportunity of attending a special art course at the University of KwaZulu-Natal this year. Their themes revolve around ancestral beliefs. 

The artists are proud to showcase these recent works after being introduced to various elements in art making including art theory at the Centre for Visual Art in Pietermaritzburg.They will be artists-in-residence from Tuesday 16 to Friday 19 October 2018.

 Bronwen Findlay (b.1953), Bullfinch and Weeping Cherry Tree (2018), oil on canvas

Bronwen Findlay (b.1953), Bullfinch and Weeping Cherry Tree (2018), oil on canvas

Flowers in Art: From our Collection
Schreiner Gallery
Opens Friday 30 November 2018 from 09h00
Closes Sunday 27 January 2019 at 17h00

This exhibition, drawn from the Gallery’s permanent collection, was inspired by a recent acquisition. Earlierin 2018 the Friends of the Tatham Art Gallery purchaseda work by Bronwen Findlay from her exhibition in Johannesburg, for the Gallery’s collection. Bronwen is well-known for her unusual depictions of flowers in paint and prints. Other works on this exhibition include paintings and objects with flower themes from other South African and international artists.

Visit the Tatham Shop for gifts, crafts, ceramics and artworks!

Current Exhibitions from the Collection

 Alfred Sisley (1839 – 1899), The Orchard, oil on canvas

Alfred Sisley (1839 – 1899), The Orchard, oil on canvas

Time - Place - Culture

This eclectic display of European and South African art works spans more than three centuries. Each art work has its own story to tell. The example is by a famous Impressionist artist, and the painting has travelled as far as Japan for major exhibitions.

Born in Paris of British parents, Alfred Sisley probably decided to become an artist while living in London from 1857 to 1859. He trained as an artist and worked in France. Here he developed his mature style of varied surface texture by using looser, freer and more rhythmical bush strokes, as seen in this work.

  • Perimeter Gallery

 Bonisiwe Magwaza, Ukhamba, earthenware

Bonisiwe Magwaza, Ukhamba, earthenware

Containers for Liquid

Part of the current display is a historic overview of 20th century South African commercial potteries. These potteries, of which few still operate, played an important part in South African society between the two World Wars. Viewers interested in the history of design will find a fascinating fusion of European and African influences. 

In this display liquid holders representing different cultures, purposes, designs and materials are juxtaposed. On display are several uphiso and ukhamba vessels, hand made by traditional Zulu potters as containers forwater and especially beer. The example below shows a deviation from tradition. The pot is not blackened, and the floral design is unusual. The vessel is probably influenced by the requirements of the tourist trade.

  • Ceramics Room

Bertha Everard (1873 – 1965), Edith Picking Flowers (1900), oil on canvas.

The South African Landscape

This English landscape forms part of this exhibition for a special reason. It was painted by well known South African artist Bertha King Everard. Bertha and her sister Edith King were both born in South Africa but lived and studied art in England before their return to South Africa early in the 20th Century.

Edith Picking Flowers was possibly painted in Kent. Valerie Leigh wrote, “The prominent feature in this painting is the cliff. The inclusion of Edith in this painting has a special poignancy. The small figure is placed near the cliff which provides a sunny, flower-filled setting, emphasizing the figure’s femininity, vulnerability andmortality.”

  • Lorna Ferguson Room

Walkabouts & Lectures

Artists from "Five degrees of separation" lead a walkabout of the exhibition on Thursday 10 May 2018

The Tatham Art Gallery was thrilled to host Prof Federico Freschi in two presentations at the Gallery.  Prof Freschi is Executive Dean: Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture at the University of Johannesburg and was the South African curator of the recent Matisse Exhibition at the Standard Bank Gallery. Johannesburg.

On Friday 1 September 2017 Prof Ian Calder presented an illustrated talk and walkabout on Rorke’s Drift Ceramics.   A well-known craft centre was established there by Scandinavian missionaries and teachers in the 1960s, The ceramics studio became well-known for its unique fusion of African and Western styles and techniques. 

Sunday Concerts

Selected Sundays at 11h30

The Friends of the Tatham Art Gallery (FOTAG), in association with Music Revival, present a regular monthly concert which usually takes place on the last Sunday of each month.

Visit www.musicrevival.co.za 

FREE TICKETS - Starting July all Music Revival Sunday concerts at the Tatham Art Gallery will now offer free tickets for children and students. Children under 16 should be accompanied by an adult and booking is still preferred. 

The Fabulous Picture Show 2018

It’s that time of the year again! The Fabulous Picture Show, an annual auction held in the Gallery to raise funds for the purchase of new art works for the Tatham Art Gallery permanent collection. .


Friday 23 November at 18h00 for 18h30

bryony.clark@msunduzi.gov.za or 033 392 2825 (mornings only) FOTAG website: www.fotag.co.za

 Introductory talk before a film screening

Introductory talk before a film screening

Film Club

Lecture Theatre
Season Three: Tuesdays 25 September to 27 November at 19h00

Lovers of good movies meet on Tuesday nights at the Tatham Art Gallery. Each screening is preceded by ashort introduction that draws viewers’ attention to the salient aspects of the film they are about to see. From 18h00 patrons can enjoy a light supper at Café Tatham for R45, excluding drinks. FilmClub charges a nominal R35 per show, with subscribers enjoying a substantial discount. Booking is essential as the lecture theatre has limited seating.


For FOTAG to continue publicising the Gallery activities, we need your subscription. Subscriptions run from July 2018 until the end of June 2019. If you join now, your subscription will be valid until the end of June 2019. The subscription form can be found below.

Annual General Meeting Wednesday 17 October 2018 Enquiries bryony.clark@msunduzi.gov.za or 033 392 2825 (mornings only)

The Permanent Collection

A selection of the Tatham Art Gallery's permanent collection is always on display. Work by South African and European artists is displayed upstairs. The work of KwaZulu-Natal artists is displayed downstairs. A selection of ceramics is displayed in the Ceramics Room.

The Main Exhibition Room

The Tatham Art Gallery displays major exhibitions in the Main Exhibition Room downstairs. Exhibitions change on a regular basis. These include travelling and researched exhibitions showing the works of groups or individual artists of significance. There are also exhibitions organised by the Gallery that draw on the works in the permanent collection or from artists of KwaZulu-Natal.

The Schreiner Gallery

The Schreiner Gallery is an exhibition space dedicated to smaller temporary exhibitions. Artists may apply to use this space for solo or group exhibitions.

Visit the EXHIBITIONS page here for more and for requirements if you wish to apply.


The Tatham Art Gallery has an extensive Education and Outreach programme, including art classes for the youth, Art Educator training , an Artist’s Forum and Lectures and talks.   Continue reading →



Find out more about your possible experience at the Tatham! Go to VISIT!