What a cultural gem!
If you find yourself visiting Pietermaritzburg you cannot afford not to visit this gem of a cultural hub. The gallery has a cross-cultural permanent collection with regular ad-hoc exhibitions relevant its mission of providing a bridge between the colonial past and the new democratic dispensation and its idealistic future. Grounded in the KZN ethos but speaking to an international set of artistic ideas this museum with surprise you with the depth and variety of its offerings. The museum shop is well-stocked with unique items of interest and the restaurant offers suitable well priced fare.
— Review from Tripadvisor

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Tatham Art Gallery

The Tatham Art Gallery is one of the major art museums in South Africa. This art museum is funded by the Msunduzi Municipality and belongs to the residents of Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal. The Tatham Art Gallery serves the Msunduzi region through the Visual Arts.

A major function of the Tatham Art Gallery, established in 1903, is to display art. This is accomplished through the hosting of a range of art exhibitions. These include travelling and researched exhibitions as well as exhibitions initiated by the Gallery, and based on art works in the permanent collection.

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 →

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A FOTAG Fund Raising Event!
Please join us for our QUIZ EVENING!


Friday 23 AUGUST at 7:00 pm
Tickets: R140 pp
Includes a delicious meal from Cafe Tatham.
Tables up to 8 persons. 
Cash Bar

PLEASE BOOK EARLY - Bryony 033 392 2825 (mornings only) or Bryony.Clark@msunduzi.gov.za
A FOTAG Fund Raising Event.

We are thrilled to have TV sport commentator, art aficionado, music trivia fanatic, general knowledge genius and qualified chef, Andy Capostagno (@cappyZN) once again as our quizmaster! Certainly a good start for any quiz evening!  Expect a barage of varied questions on politics, arts, culture, 'live music' and the famous gallery scramble plus a suitably nourishing selection of dishes for dinner from Cafe Tatham.

It is that time of year again!

The FOTAG Committee invites all artists to start planning for the Fabulous Picture Show - an annual auction held to raise funds for the purchase of new art works for the Tatham Art Gallery’s permanent collection. Your donation will assist the continued growth of this art collection.

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SUBMISSION DATES Gallery staff will be available to accept work from 14h00 to 16h00, on the following Tuesdays 03, 10,17 September 2019.
FINAL SUBMISSIONS DEADLINE Saturday 28 September 2019, between 10h00 and 14h00.

1. Artists donate up to three original, unframed works of art to FOTAG.
2. Signed, editioned, original digital prints are welcomed, but not prints of existing originals.
3. Boards and canvases may be any size up to a maximum standard A4 only,  21 x 29.7cm.
4. Works on paper: the image should be no bigger than 13 x 21.7cm, to allow for mounting and framing.
5. All 2D art works in the prescribed sizes will be framed by FOTAG, and hung by Gallery staff.
6. 3D works are also welcome, size not to exceed A4 dimensions.
7. Acceptance of art work is at the discretion of the FOTAG Committee.
8. Art works will be loaded onto the FOTAG website as they are submitted, so keep checking www.fotag.co.za for the latest entries.
9. Artists will be offered first option should their art works not be sold at the auction.

EXHIBITION DATES Sunday 17 November 10h00, until Friday 22 November 16h00.
AUCTION Friday 22 November at 18h00 for 18h30 (doors open at 18h00).
ENQUIRIES reena.bhoodram@msunduzi.gov.za or 033 392 2823 (between 09h00 and 10h00 daily)

Visit www.fotag.co.za

Visit the Cafe Tatham for the best cappuccino and cake in town!

Current Temporary Exhibitions

Hermine Spies Coleman, Henge of Stone in Time, oil on canvas

Hermine Spies Coleman, Henge of Stone in Time, oil on canvas

Hermine Spies Coleman: The Power of Loss and Gain

Schreiner Gallery
Opens Sunday 21 July 2019 at 11h00
Closes Sunday 15 September 2019 at 17h00

The artist has drawn and painted over existing paintings, obliterating segments. This takes courage, as one does lose what is held as precious; however, in the process one may gain a new image with fresh meaning. It is discovery, but not without the discomfort of losing and letting go.  Life is like  that: destruction in the process  of continually shaping the significance of the whole, a process symbolic of loss and gain. The artist will conduct two workshops, on Wednesdays 07 and 21 August. Between these times the artists will take turns to work on a collaborative art work in the Gallery to explore over-drawing in search of meaning.

reena.bhoodram@msunduzi.gov.za or 033 392 2823
pinky.nkabinde@msunduzi.gov.za or 033 392 2811


Hermine Spies: Over-drawing in search of identity and significance - 2 day workshop
Tuesdays 7 and 21 August (09h30 - 12h30). Cost: R150 per artist per day

reena.bhoodram@msunduzi.gov.za or 033 392 2823

Sunday Concerts Sundays at 11h30

SUNDAY 18 AUGUST 11:30 am  
TATHAM ART GALLERY, Pietermaritzburg 

A Song to Remember brings together beautiful melodies from the world of popular song, classic musicals and the world’s concert stages. Included are selections from Noel Coward, Cole Porter, Richard Strauss, Gabriel Faure along with Freschi’s popular renditions ‘You Raise Me Up’, ‘Granada’ and Figaro’s aria from Rossini’s ‘Barber of Seville’. Freschi. who has been an integral part of Music Revival concerts over the last 25 years, appearing in a solo capacity and also joining to great public acclaim with sopranos Angela Gilbert and Bronwen Forbay, will be leaving South Africa in September to take up an academic position in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Tickets: R80 Secure Parking
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.

Lorna Ferguson Room
25 August - Junnan Sun (clarinet) with Christopher Duigan (piano)

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.

The concerts highlight and showcase the Shigeru Kawai grand piano recently purchased by the Gallery. This ensures the continuation of highly successful and engaging concerts for local audiences at the Tatham.

Visit www.musicrevival.co.za for all details.

Sunday concerts at the Tatham Art Gallery 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 are saddened to hear of the recent passing of Eshowe-based artist Diamond Bozas, a long-time supporter and friend of the gallery. The Tatham Art Gallery honoured Bozas with a retrospective exhibition in 2013.

DIAMOND BOZAS (1923-2019)
Brendan Bell 

It is an honour for me to focus on his art making and his contribution to nurturing the visual arts in KwaZulu-Natal, and Zululand in particular.
But…. I want to start with Diamond’s interest and pursuit of floral art, because I think that much of what came later in his art work began when he was challenged to make a flower arrangement for the Zululand Show by a local lady whose arrangement he had recently criticised. 

That criticism revolved around Diamond’s belief that a flower arrangement should be constructed with floral material AND breathing space ………. “in which the butterflies could flit from bloom to bloom”. His first show entry was a “table decoration”. He told me that he didn’t quite understand what that really meant, so he did quite a nice loose arrangement placed on a table. The judge’s comment was: “This is lovey and loose, and satisfying, too large for a dinner table decoration, but please exhibit again”.

That encouragement started Diamond on a journey which saw him become a member of the floral art judging panel, entering competitions locally and nationally, giving workshops, and participating in international floral art shows in England, Australia, and Russia.

Floral art is a worthy relation to visual art, and many of the basic elements: composition, tone, colour, shape and line underpin Diamond’s paintings as they did his floral art compositions. Also, in his floral arrangements Diamond was adventurous and bold, often creating very large compositions.
In the early 1990s Diamond began painting floral compositions. These also tend to be large, adventurous and monumental in effect, as was his own garden. More importantly, they are underpinned by a solid knowledge and understanding of how best to translate three dimensional reality onto two dimensional surfaces.

Although he flirted briefly with abstraction, Diamond’s style is grounded in realism. His subject matter is largely still life, landscapes, and portraits. His style developed out of an admiration for the simple arrangement of domestic objects and foodstuffs he noted in the paintings of Chardin. To this he added something of the spatial complexity he observed in the paintings of Cézanne. His chosen media were oil on board, and watercolour, both of which he applied with thought and consideration.

Diamond had great respect for tradition. Whilst his paintings may appear “traditional”, they are informed by a highly developed aesthetic sense which gives them a unique solidity and grandeur. Yes, the subject matter is important, but ultimately it is the sound composition and masterful execution which gives them a satisfying beauty. They appeal to our sense of order in an otherwise chaotic world. In addition, his use of items of traditional Zulu domesticity helped widen an appreciation for this important part of our collective heritage.

Diamond’s involvement with the visual arts was not only confined to his own art production. From experience he knew all too well the isolation felt by aspiring artists, and set out to provide himself and others with opportunities for engagement beyond the confines of individual at making. For many artists his weekly art classes became an important part of many local artists’ lives. At their insistence these classes continued up until the weeks before his death.

Diamond was a member of the Natal Society of Arts from the early 1940s, eventually as a committee member. He participated in many of the society’s exhibitions. He founded the Zululand Society of Arts which allowed local artists the opportunity to participate and exhibit as a community. In 1984 he was a founding member of the Natal Arts Trust, whose aims are to foster the growth of art museums in the province, and to assist acquiring works for the its public art collections. He was pivotal in establishing the Empangeni art and history museum.

In 1991 he began motivating for the care of the Vukani Association’s collection of Zulu basketry and other traditional craft items. This led ultimately to the opening of the Vukani Museum here in Eshowe.
We all know that Diamond loved talking, and that he had an incredible memory up until the end. His final retrospective exhibition (one of many) would not have been such a success but for the long and fascinating conversations I had with him about all aspects of his life and work. I feel really honoured to have been part of that process, and to know that the detailed catalogue of that show pleased him immensely, and stands as a testimony to him. The catalogue is available at the Tatham Art Gallery shop.
I also know that Diamond could be a tartar of note at home. He could be very grouchy, and demanding of his family. The loss of his life-long love, Tasia, was a huge blow. But she was no walk-over, and created the environment and support which allowed Diamond to flourish. 

For much of his earlier life Diamond was forced to bow to his family’s wishes in respect of career. He was determined not to burden his children with the same treatment. He freed himself from the bakery in order to follow his vision, and h
as allowed his children to follow their own paths. That is love in action.
Ultimately Diamond was embracing of all those he encountered. He was interested in and generous to all. It would be too simplistic to refer to him as a great man. He was more that. He was a wholesome, huggable and loving human being. And for me, that is more important than any of his public achievements. Alex, Arthur, and Despina, thank you for allowing me to share the love of your father – and for accepting me as part of your family.


Friends of the Tatham Art Gallery

June 2019 - June 2020

FOTAG Membership Subscriptions

For FOTAG to continue publicising the Gallery activities, we need your subscription. Apart from joining the free e-mail lists you can become a member! Subscriptions run from July 2019 until the end of June 2020. If you join now, your subscription will be valid until the end of June 2020. The subscription form can be found here!

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

Current Exhibitions from the Collection

Migrations: 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 below is by a famous Impressionist artist, and the painting has travelled as far as Japan for major exhibitions.

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

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

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.

Edward Wolfe (1897-1982), Portrait of Gabrielle Soene, oil on canvas

Edward Wolfe (1897-1982), Portrait of Gabrielle Soene, oil on canvas

Edward Wolfe, although regarded as a British artist, was born in Johannesburg. He moved to London in 1916 where he studied at the Slade School of Art. In 1917 he was invited by Roger Fry to join the Omega Workshop, an arts and craft design studio. It was here that he came under the influence of the controversial Bloomsbury group. Gabrielle Soene, a French dressmaker, was an assistant at Fry’s Omega Workshop and exhibited her costumes there. Both Fry and Wolfe painted her portrait during the same sitting in 1919, a hundred years ago. Fry’s portrait is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Wolfe altered his painting, replacing the Bloomsbury interior with a landscape background.

John Nash (1893-1977), Still Life, oil on canvas

John Nash (1893-1977), Still Life, oil on canvas

This painting by John Northcote Nash, the brother of artist Paul Nash, is an example of early English Modernism. The dry application of paint is due to John Nash’s association with Harold Gilman at 19 Fitzroy Street, London, the rendezvous of a number of artists. Gilman warned Nash against mixing paint with oil. “There’s enough oil in the paint anyhow,” he said, “without adding more to the treacherous stuff.”

  • Perimeter Gallery

Containers for Liquid

This display is a juxtaposition of liquid-holding containers from the Gallery’s permanent collection, which represents different cultures, purposes, designs and materials.

R. Lalique, Baizes Vase, glass

R. Lalique, Baizes Vase, glass

Porcelain originated in the East and has been widely used to hold hot liquids. René Lalique (1860-1945) was a famous French designer of glass containers, often used as vases. The Nala and Magwaza families are renowned for their exquisitely decorated burnished earthenware forms, based on traditional Zulu beer vessels.

Bonisiwe Magwaza, Ukhamba, earthenware

On show are vessels made from materials as diverse as earthenware, porcelain, glass, wood, and bronze. We challenge you as the viewer to compare the various forms and functions.

Limoges, 19th Century Teacups, porcelain

Limoges, 19th Century Teacups, porcelain

The delicate Limoges cups and saucers arrived at the Tatham Art Gallery between 1923 and 1926 as part of the valuable Whitwell collection. This French town is famous for its fine 19th Century porcelain.

Matrinah Jiyane, Ardmore Teapot, ceramic

The two coffee pots on the exhibition are both examples of early South African studio pottery. See if you can find all ten teapots on display including the large Ardmore teapot (above).

  • Ceramics Room


This display, selected from the Gallery’s permanent collection, features landscape paintings by South African artists. For concert goers they have become a serene background to the world-class music performed in this room. While listening, the  audience could  focus  on  a painting and ponder on the meaning of land from different perspectives. One could ask: Who painted this landscape? How has the scene changed over the years? What impact did the changes have on people’s lives?

The Diamond Bozas painting of the sugarcane lands of Zululand (below) is a rich source for such exploration.

Diamond Bozas, Brooding Hills near Melmoth, oil on board.

Diamond Bozas, Brooding Hills near Melmoth, oil on board.

Edith Picking Flowers was possibly painted in Kent. Valerie Leigh, a previous Director of the Tatham Art Gallery, 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 and mortality.”

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.

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

Landscapes by South African artists can stir up different associations with the land for different viewers, such as elements of memory and place.

Mduduzi Xakaza, Mist at kwaMenyezwayo, oil on board

Mduduzi Xakaza, Mist at kwaMenyezwayo, oil on board

In his landscape, Mist at kwaMenyezwayo (above) , Mduduzi Xakaza depicts the richness of the mountains and hills of his birth place in Maphumulo, KwaZulu-Natal.

This was also the home of artist Vuminkosi Zulu.

When the piece was painted, Xakaza was meditating deeply about the late Vuminkosi Zulu's work, whose life was often affected by bloody skirmishes between two communities within the amaBomvu Tribal Authority of kwaMenyezwayo. At some point, in the late 1980s, Zulu had to flee his home due to such conflicts.

  • Lorna Ferguson Room

The Fabulous Picture Show

The annual fund-raising project

More than R77 000 was raised at the recent auction. Visit www.fotag.co.za for the results and images that were auctioned Friday 23 November at ‘The Fabulous Picture Show 2018’. See www.fotag.co.za for details on 2019’s edition!

Artist Siyabonga Sihosana with his donations to The Fabulous Picture Show (2016).

Artist Siyabonga Sihosana with his donations to The Fabulous Picture Show (2016).

Film Club

Lecture Theatre
Tuesdays at 19h00
Season Two: 04 June to 06 August 2019

At 19h00 on Tuesdays, lovers of good movies come togeth- er for film screenings, selected, introduced and shown by Anton van der Hoven and Jill Arnott. FilmClub aims to fos- ter an understanding for and appreciation of cinema as art form, and charges a nominal R40 per show, with subscribers enjoying a substantial discount. From 18h00 patrons can enjoy a light, inexpensive supper in Café Tatham. Booking  is essential.

Enquiries/Bookings antonvdhoven@gmail.com or 033 343 1355/083 233 2662

Images from the recent ‘Bin Painting Project’ led by Jono Hornby.

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Tatham Reference Library

The Library remains closed to the public until further notice


Ekkehard Hans at work

Ekkehard Hans at work

After the Flood: Film and Talk
Tuesday 14 May
Lecture Theatre
Booking- Essential, as space is limited
Coffee Shop: Open until 17h30

Almost two years ago, on 26 May 2017, the Tatham Art Gallery experienced a devastating flood which damaged a substantial number of paintings in our collection. Many friends of the Gallery came forward to help turn around this tragedy, and today we can look back on a remarkable rescue and recovery operation. You are invited to an overview of the events in the form of a documentary film and an illustrated talk by the painting restorer, Ekkehard Hans.

17h30 Closed because of the Flood, a documentary film by Gabriel and Thomas Bullen. 24 min
Brothers Gabriel and Thomas Bullen, who happened to be in Pietermaritzburg at that time, documented the events and called the film Closed because of the Flood. The cameras caught the action of the moment, but the film makers also returned to capture elements of the restoration process. This film was selected as the opening film for the 2019 Milkbusch International Short Film Festival earlier this year.

18h00 Restoration, an illustrated talk by Ekkehard Hans. 45 min.
Ekkehard Hans, who is a highly trained restorer, originally from Europe, has been working for weeks at a time on the restoration of paintings and frames ever since the flood in May 2017. He will give an illustrated talk about his work, and give insight into the guiding principles for a restorer of museum collections.

Entry to the film and talk is free, but booking is essential, as the venue has limited space.
To book, please contact Reena Bhoodram at reena.bhoodram@msunduzi.gov.za or 033 392 2823

A painting showing water damage : L- R images 1 & 2, After restoration: images 3&4.


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