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.

Tatham Art Gallery Piano Series set to wow

TAG Piano Series c  med .jpg

The Tatham Art Gallery, Friends of the Tatham Art Gallery, in association with Music Revival, present a series of four piano-focused concerts in Pietermaritzburg to celebrate the arrival and installation of a new grand piano. The concerts will take place every Sunday in October 2018 at 3:00 pm.

Commenting on the launch of the series, Music Revival director and  Chairperson of the Friends of the Tatham  Art Gallery Christopher Duigan says : “The Tatham Art Gallery has always offered a wonderful concert space for small to medium sized concert audiences.  The generous acoustics, inspiring artworks and creative  atmosphere coupled with pristine up-keep to world-class art museum standards is exemplary.  The fact that the gallery also now also boasts an ideal concert instrument in the form of a hand-built Shigeru Kawai  piano, supplied and prepared by leading  Cape Town-based  concert technicians Ian Burgess-Simpson Pianos, places it in a unique position ahead of all concert venues locally.”

The Siberian Trio play Beethoven - Sunday 21 October
 Lara Kirsten - The Resonating Pulse - Sunday 28 October

Tickets to each concert are R100 per person. There is secure, guarded parking available on Sundays in the legislature parking adjacent (on the left of the gallery). Booking is preferred : booking@musicrevival.co.za  or Music Revival 083 417 4473 (sms or WhatsApp only) Make a day of it and enjoy coffee or lunch at Cafe Tatham open from 10 am and for lunch. Booking for lunch is essential - Call Cafe Tatham 033 342 8327. Visit www.tatham.org.za

Temporary Exhibitions


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 fromTuesday 16 to Friday 19 October 2018.

Contact Pinky Nkabinde for more information.pinky.nkabinde@msunduzi.gov.za or 033 392 2811

 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.

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 or 15h00

The Friends of the Tatham Art Gallery (FOTAG), in association with Music Revival and other organisations, present a regular monthly concert which usually takes place on the last Sunday of each month. The planned concerts for this quarter are as follows:

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 Tatham Art Gallery, Friends of the Tatham Art Gallery in association with Music Revival present a series of four piano-focussed concerts to celebrate the arrival and installation of a new Shigeru Kawai grand piano.  The piano is supplied and prepared by Ian Burgess-Simpson Pianos in Cape Town. The concerts will take place every Sunday in October 2018 ay 3:00 pm.


Sunday 7 October - Mariam Batsashvili
Sunday 14 - Christopher Duigan
Sunday 21 October - Siberian Trio
Sunday 28 October - Lara Kirsten

TATHAM ART GALLERY, Pietermaritzburg
Tickets: R100

The Fabulous Picture Show 2018

It’s that time of the year again! The FOTAG Committee invites all artists to start planning for 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. Your donation as an artist will assist the continued growth of this collection.

The final submissions deadline is Saturday 29 September 2018, between 09h00 and 14h00.


Sunday 18 November 10h00, until Friday 23 November 16h00. Exhibition is open 09h00 – 16h00 daily, including Monday 19 November.


Friday 23 November at 18h00 for 18h30 (doors open at 18h00).
All art works will be sold on the night. There is a reserve price of R250 on every art work and the auction is silent up to R800, after which art works are sold by live auction. Should you be unable to attend, proxy bids can be arranged for amounts over R800.

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

CLIVE HATTON (1944 – 2018)

  Clive Hatton designer of the Tatham Art Gallery and FOTAG logos.

Clive Hatton designer of the Tatham Art Gallery and FOTAG logos.

Clive Hatton, who died on 21 August 2018 in Mpumalanga,  is fondly remembered by Tatham Art Gallery staff members for his support and  long association with the Friends of the Tatham Art Gallery (FOTAG). 

Valerie Maggs, past Chairperson of FOTAG, remembers Clive as a valuable member of the FOTAG committee on which he served from the late 1980s for more than ten years. Clive ran a vibrant studio in Pietermaritzburg,  Hatton Design Studio, and during this time he won a competition  for the design of the FOTAG logo, which is still used today. 

In 2002 Clive, who was a respected and versatile artist and designer,  held a highly successful exhibition at the Tatham Art Gallery. When he moved to Hazy View he continued producing art works. 

He leaves two daughters, Jane and Caitlin  who are both based overseas. He will be missed by his many friends in KwaZulu-Natal.

Tatham Logo high res.jpg


Else Schreiner died at age ninety-six on 2nd August this year. At the request of her family, a celebration of her life was held at the Tatham Art Gallery.

Else will be remembered in the public domain for her energetic socio-political and gender activism. Her interest in the arts generally, and the visual arts in particular, was a more private indulgence she shared with her husband Deneys. They collected art throughout their life together, and Else continued collecting after Deneys’ death in 2008. She described their art collecting in an interview of 2003:

‘There were no decisive factors in our collecting habits apart from fun. Did it make us laugh, was it beautiful, and could we afford it? So here it is scattered throughout the house, portraits, etchings, watercolours, drawings, sculptures, ceramic and weavings. A lot of stuff, gifts rugs, maps and porcelain came to us from our families. I think the gross diversity of its parts gives meaning and identity to the collection. Each piece has a story. But it wasn’t planned!’

Importantly, the art works were respected but not objects of veneration. The wooden sculptures were often playmates of children and grandchildren.

Many of these sculptures were made by KwaZulu-Natal artist, Vuminkosi Zulu, with whom Deneys and Else established a firm friendship. Following Vuminkosi’s death in 1996 the Schreiners set up a trust, of which his family are the beneficiaries. In collaboration with Vuminkosi’s family and the Caversham Press they produced a posthumous print portfolio of etchings, the sale of which has provided the family with much needed income.  Some years ago the Schreiners made a substantial financial contribution to the Tatham Art Gallery Board of Trustees. As a token of appreciation, the Board decided to name one of the display areas The Schreiner Gallery. This space is used extensively for temporary exhibitions by artists from KwaZulu-Natal.

During the early 2000s Deneys and Else’s daughter-in-law, Heather, conducted post-graduate research based on what has since been called the Schreiner Collection. The research culminated in a major temporary exhibition, curated by Heather, at the Tatham Art Gallery in 2006. Exhibition is perhaps a misnomer. The display area was transformed very deliberately into an installation which suggested quite brilliantly the domestic setting in which the art works belonged. Needless to say the family home, Highwood, was virtually stripped and relocated in the Gallery for the duration of the show. 

In 2010 Else approached the Tatham Art Gallery with a generous offer of bequeathing the “African” items in the collection. Over the next six years Gallery staff spent time with Else, always over coffee, learning about the collection and refining the selection of art works in the bequest. It was important that all parties understood two underlying principles. Firstly, family members had first choice. Secondly, each art work in the final selection must add value to the Tatham Art Gallery permanent collection as a whole. For example, whilst the Gallery collection contained a wealth of prints by Vuminkosi Zulu, it contained only one very early sculpture. The Schreiners had acquired seven sculptures from Vuminkosi over the years.

By 2016 it was apparent that the Gallery had a serious art work storage challenge. As museum professionals it was necessary to bring this to Else’s attention. She was philosophical and understood the need to trim the final selection to thirty-two items. These have been accessioned into the permanent collection, a lasting tribute to Deneys and Else’s collecting `habit’.

Film Club

A FOTAG Fund Raising Event

THE FAMOUS ANNUAL FOTAG QUIZ was scheduled for Friday 27 JULY 2018  and once again was be a major affair and  a grand success.  

A FOTAG Fund Raising Event

THE FAMOUS ANNUAL FOTAG QUIZ was scheduled for Friday 27 JULY 2018  and once again was be a major affair and  a grand success.  

A capacity audience vied  for the top prizes were  entertained by Quiz master and sports commentator and music/art aficionado Andy Capastagno. A soup smorgasbord  for a wintry evening was  included from Cafe Tatham.

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.

antonvdhoven@gmail.com or 033 343 1355 / 083 233 266

 Introductory talk before a film screening

Introductory talk before a film screening


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!