Art and Galleries of the Cape
This specialist art tour to the Cape offers a comprehensive introduction to the South African art scene both past and present. Mixing visits to private art collections, curatorial visits of galleries and presentations by local artists the tour covers a variety of different genres including the South African masters, contemporary South African art and sculpture. On request the itinerary can be focused on individual art genres; can be broadened to include San rock art sites or be developed to include additional art related visits in Johannesburg.
Day 1: Cape Town
Morning arrival into Cape Town International Airport. Board private coach for a driven, scenic, city orientation tour en route to your hotel. Check in at the hotel and lunch are followed by an afternoon visit to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens for a guided walk around these famous and picturesque gardens. In the early evening gather for pre-dinner drinks, a welcome address and an introductory lecture on the history of South Africa followed by dinner at the hotel.
Day 2: Cape Town
Ascend Table Mountain for orientation and a guided walk. From this vantage point you will see the beautiful panorama of the whole peninsula spread out before you. Visit the Old Town House, home to the Michaelis art collection for a curatorial tour. View a world renowned selection of Nederlandish art from the 17th century Golden Age donated by Sir Max Michaelis in 1914. Paintings by Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Anthony van Dyck are among the masterpieces. After lunch walk up Government Avenue, past the Houses of Parliament, and through the Company Gardens to the National Gallery where the curator will give us a personal tour of the extensive collections.
Day 3: Cape Town
A private tour of Groote Schuur homestead with the curator. Built and donated to the state by the legendary colonist, diamond prospector and politician Cecil Rhodes, Groote Schuur has been home to generations of South African Heads of State and houses the Cecil John Rhodes collection – artworks, furniture, library. Lunch and visit of Groot Constantia estate, possibly the finest surviving example of Cape Dutch architecture and one of South Africa’s foremost historical monuments dating back to 1685. Afternoon visit the Stevenson and Goodman Galleries to view the work of some of South Africa’s and Africa’s leading contemporary artists and listen to a talk on influences on South African contemporary artists. Early evening visit to Ellerman House to view a magnificent private collection that encompasses an intriguing cross section of genres and subject matter, representing an overview of South Africa over the last hundred years. Originals span from the 1910 Volschenk of an undeveloped Camps Bay, to the contemporary new art forms of Vusi Khumalo and include works by Thomas Bowler, Maggie Loubser, Irma Stern and William Kentridge amongst others. Enjoy cocktails with the curator.
Day 4: Cape Town
Board the coach for the scenic drive to Cape Point Nature Reserve via the spectacular Chapman’s Peak. See Cape Point from the old lighthouse, stand at the Cape of Good Hope and enjoy a guided walk through the indigenous flora surrounded by spectacular scenery. After lunch and a brief stop at the Jackass penguin colony in Simonstown, visit Rodwell House a decorative and unusual 20thC house built by Randlord billionaire JB Tailor in the 1930’s. View the superb collection of South African Masters as well as more contemporary artists adorning the walls followed by drinks with the owner.
Day 5: Cape Town
A morning with the non profit organisation Uthando. Visit a selection of art related, township based, empowerment projects which might include dance, music, theater, mosaics or art. The money generated from this morning will go to Uthando and the projects it supports. Lunch in Cape Town is followed by a visit to the Castle of Good Hope, home to the William Fehr collection. Reflecting the outlook, esthetics and social context of a single collector the collection includes oil paintings, furniture and decorative arts dating from the late seventeenth to the early nineteenth century and constitutes a uniquely rich resource for many aspects of the history of the period. Late afternoon visit to an historical 18thC private house and garden including international contemporary art collection, furniture, ceramics – special private visit and drinks hosted by owners.
Day 6: Cape Town
A full day at leisure to explore some of the many attractions on offer in Cape Town: the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, the shops, galleries and markets and maybe visit Robben Island, enjoy a scenic helicopter flight or simply relax and unwind at your hotel.
Day 7: Stellenbosch
Check out of hotel with luggage. Visit the Gold of Africa Museum and learn about the ancient and often mystical relationship between this precious metal and the African continent. Travel to the historic town of Stellenbosch in the heart of the Cape Winelands and surrounded by magnificent mountain scenery, vineyards and wine estates. Tour of the town and lunch. Afternoon visit to the Rupert Museum of Art, home to the unique private art collection of Anton and Huberte Rupert. Regarded as the premier collection of contemporary South African art from the period 1940 to 1970 the collection includes over 350 paintings, sculptures and tapestries from South African artists such as Anton van Wouw, Walter Battiss, Jean Welz and Lippy Lipshitz. 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. Enjoy a guided tour hosted by the curator, Deon Herselman. Check into Stellenbosch hotel, and evening and dinner at leisure.
Day 8: Stellenbosch
Visit a privately owned 17thC homestead and garden on one of the finest private estates and wineries in the suburbs of Stellenbosch. After wondering through the delightful garden visit the house and its collection of objects d'art; furniture and paintings and enjoy tea with the owner. Continue to Rustenberg wine estate and sample some of the Cape’s finest wines including Rustenberg’s flagship wine ‘Peter Barlow’. Visit Vergelegen and listen to an historical overview of uproar and intrigue defining over three hundred years of history. After lunch tour the beautiful 17th century gabled homestead and the magnificent gardens. In the early evening meet with local sculptor Dylan Lewis at his shared foundry and enjoy a bronze pouring demonstration and talk, followed by wine and cheese. Dylan is one of South Africa's most famous living artists and one of the foremost figures in contemporary animal sculpture today.
Day 9: Stellenbosch
Visit the spectacular Delaire Graff wine estate where the ever growing private art collection represents some of South Africa’s finest artists including William Kentridge, Robert Hodggins, Deborah Bell, Dylan Lewis, Sydney Kumalo and Anton Smit. Enjoy a guided tour of the art housed in a magnificently stylish and contemporary building followed by drinks. Continue to the picturesque and charming village of Franschhoek enjoy time to explore the many boutiques and galleries in the village and lunch at leisure. Early evening visit to a private Cape home and enjoy ‘Old Cape’ hospitality, champagne and canapés with the owners, your hosts, in the pretty garden surrounded by magnificent mountain and vineyard views stretching all the way across to False Bay, Table Mountain and the setting sun. After sunset a farewell dinner will be served in a local restaurant.
Day 10: Flight Home
Late morning check out and transfer to the V&A Waterfront for an afternoon at leisure: visit to the Everard Read gallery where works from all around the sub-continent are on display or enjoy the shopping, restaurants and attractions before returning to the airport in time for your flight home.
Note: This tour itinerary is a sample only and can be adapted to suit the needs of your particular group.