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!
DSC_6535 (Large).JPG

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 →

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

Sunday Concerts

Sundays at 11h30

Lorna Ferguson Room
28 April - Aristide du Plessis (cello)

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.

Current Temporary Exhibitions

KZN Midlands Matric Art 2019


Main Gallery
From Wednesday 06 March 2019 Opening speaker: Brendan Bell Closes Sunday 26 May 2019

The KZN Midlands Matric Art  exhibition  will  take  place earlier than usual this year. The exhibition is a combination of the best art works from the previous year, produced in about 18 schools in and around Pietermaritzburg that teach art for Matric, and includes a school for the deaf.

This exhibition is one of the Gallery’s annual highlights. It always produces fascinating ideas and new methods from our young artists. Most of the works are pre- selected at the end of the previous year, when education staff go around to the different schools to see their Matric works on display. The final selection is made by an external selector.

Enquiries/Bookings pinky.nkabinde@msunduzi.gov.za or 033 392 2811

Current Temporary Exhibitions

Siyabonga Ngubane

The Suffering of the People

Schreiner Gallery
Opens Sunday 31 March 2019
Closes Sunday 19 May 2019

Siyabonga Ngubane is a young artist who is passionate about making linoprints. He draws directly onto  the lino and then carves out intricate designs in different textures. He is a quiet person who thinks deeply about life, and is interested in people and their reactions. He is also grateful to his mother and grandmother who taught him good values in life. They are both deeply religious supporters of the Christian faith. However, Siyabonga is tolerant of all religions, and other religious groups, such as Muslims, Zionists, Shembe, Buddhists, etc , are also represented in his work.

Siyabonga will be artist-in-residence from Tuesday 09 to Friday 12 April 2019. He will also conduct two workshops on Tuesdays 07 & 14 May 2019 where he will share his printmaking skills and show participants that Linocut is an easy-to-learn method for making prints that requires only a small amount of space and just a few tools and materials. Once you've learned the basics you can easily do this at home. Join this fun printing workshop.

Contact Reena Bhoodram for more information. reena.bhoodram@msunduzi.gov.za or 033 392 2823

Current Exhibitions from the Collection

Migrations: Time - Place - Culture

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

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

This eclectic display of European and South African art works spans more than three centuries. Each art work has its own story to tell.

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.”

The example below 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

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

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

Containers for Liquid

Bonisiwe Magwaza, Ukhamba, earthenware

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

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.

These 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.

  • Ceramics Room

Limoges,  19th Century Teacups , porcelain

Limoges, 19th Century Teacups, porcelain

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

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

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 (above) is a rich source for such exploration.

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, 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.”

  • Lorna Ferguson Room

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

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

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’.


Film Club

Lecture Theatre
Season One
Tuesdays 5 February to 16 April (except 2 April)

On Tuesdays from 18h00, FilmClub patrons can enjoy a light, inexpensive supper in Café Tatham. FilmClub charges a nominal R35 per show, with subscribers enjoying a substantial discount. Booking is essential as the venue can only hold 50 people.

FilmClub aims to foster an understanding and apprecia- tion of cinema as an art form. Each screening is preceded by a short introduction that draws viewers’ attention to the salient aspects of the film they are about to view.

antonvdhoven@gmail.com or 033 343 1355/083 233 2663

Lectures, Talks and Workshops

From time to time the Gallery arranges lectures, talks and creative workshops or master classes for artists by highly skilled teachers and speakers. Please contact Reena to add your name to the list of interested participants, and she will let you know when the next opportunity arrives or join the FOTAG email list Enquiries/ Bookings reena.bhoodram@msunduzi.gov.za or 033 392 2823


Litter Bin Design-and-Painting Workshop
with Jono Hornby

Monday 18 to Wednesday 20 March 
09h00 to 15h00
Lorna Ferguson Room
As part of its Outreach Programme, the Tatham Art Gallery invited e a number of artists to participate in an exciting new project.  In two three-day workshops in March, facilitated by designer Jono Hornby, energetic artists designed and painted images on large prepared litter bins for the city centre. 

Individuals who sponsor bins, and businesses who contribute to the cost, will be acknowledged. For contributions, contact vimla.moodley@msunduzi.gov.za.

Kobie.venter@msunduzi.gov.za or 033 3922 819/084 824 7217 (except Tuesdays)



Tatham Reference Library

NOTICE: The Library remains closed to the public until further notice


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)

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