The Johannesburg Art Gallery, often referred to as JAG, is located in the centre of Joubert Park in downtown Johannesburg. The building was designed by Edward Lutyens, the British architect also responsible for the city’s Anglo-Boer War Memorial and houses one of the biggest art collections in the country. It's a huge point of interest for all who love art and history, something that South Africa offers in bucket loads, so JAG is one of the places to visit in Johannesburg.
It is home to an impressive historical art collection that includes 17th-century Dutch paintings, 18th and 19th century European artworks and South African art from the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries. The collection was established by Florence Phillips, wife of the mining magnate Lionel, in 1910 and was originally housed at the University of the Witwatersrand until the construction of the art gallery was completed in 1915.
The biggest gallery in sub-Saharan Africa, JAG boasts over 9,000 works of art, displayed in 15 exhibition halls and sculpture gardens. In fact the collection is so large that only 10% of the exhibits are ever on display at any one time, the rest are kept in storage. On the walls you can view masterpieces by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Gerard Sekoto, JH Pierneef, Walter Battiss and Salvador Dali and the collection also includes remarkable sculptures by artists such as Rodin, Henry Moore and William Kentridge. Much of the gallery space is also devoted to temporary exhibitions that feature the works of some of Africa’s best contemporary artists.
In 2015, in time for the gallery’s 100th anniversary, a massive R42 million restoration project was completed, restoring the magnificent building to its former glory. JAG's extensive collections of art ensures that it's one of the major tourist attractions in South Africa, with something new to see each time you visit.