National History Museum
 
 

News

  • Batho celebrates a century

    16 October 2018

    This year Mangaung’s well-known Batho-township is hundred years old. In 1918 the then Municipality of Bloemfontein decided to demolish the old Waaihoek location and move all residents to a new township situated south of the Cape Town-Johannesburg railway track. Batho, which was considered a so-called ‘model location’, had been one of the National Museum’s focal areas during the past ten years mainly because of the Batho Community History Project that was launched there.

    To celebrate Batho’s centenary a special commemorative event was held at the National Museum on 21 September. Song and dance items, which focussed on Batho’s history and culture, were presented by pre-schoolers from Susanna Ollemans Créche, learners from Mangaung Primary School and Sehunelo Secondary School, and a choir which consisted of 40 elderly from Batho. The proceedings were concluded with the opening of a new temporary exhibition on Batho’s gardens and gardening culture. The exhibition may be viewed until the end of December 2018.

  • INVITATION TO SOUTH AFRICAN ARTIST TO SUBMIT ARTWORK FOR EXHIBITION AND/OR ACQUISITION

    1 October 2018

    Art Bank of South Africa

      Fresh from a successful launch exhibition in Bloemfontein December 2017 the Art Bank of South Africa (artbankSA) will be exhibiting in Johannesburg in November 2018. ArtbankSA will be showcasing the best of South African contemporary art, primarily the work of emerging artists. This is a call to South African artists to submit artwork to be considered for the exhibition.  

    Background

      The Art Bank of South Africa is a national programme of the Department of Arts and Culture as part of the Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) strategy implementation. ArtbankSA is hosted by the National Museum Bloemfontein, an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture. The vision of the artbankSA is to promote, foster and stimulate a vibrant market for the collection of South African contemporary visual art.   ArtbankSA will achieve this vision by;
    • Curating a definitive collection of contemporary South African visual art.
    • Promoting financial sustainability for the artists and Art Bank of South Africa through the leasing.
    • Nurturing emerging South African artists by expanding the market for their work and providing skills development opportunities.
    • Fostering an appreciation for contemporary art by making art accessible to the broader public in their workplaces, shared spaces, and homes.

    Invitation to apply for artwork to be considered for the exhibition and/or acquisition by the Art Bank of South Africa

      South African artists are invited to apply for their contemporary artwork to be showcased at the Johannesburg launch exhibition. Artists who are selected to participate in the exhibition will be profiled and showcased. In addition, their art will be made available for sale during the Launch Exhibition. The artbankSA annually considers acquiring special pieces of art for its own growing permanent collection. The acquisition will be made from the artworks that will be selected for exhibition.  

    Criteria for submissions

      All submissions are to be made electronically. Artists are required to meet the following criteria:
    • A detailed submission form is required with each submission. Submission forms can be found on the National Museum Bloemfontein website
    • Artists may submit a maximum of five original artworks for consideration.
    • Artwork can be submitted in any medium.
    • Artwork must have been created by the artist in the last 24 months.
    • Artwork must be of a superior quality and representative of South African contemporary art. The decision of the Acquisition Committee will be final and no further correspondence will be entered into concerning any submissions.
    • Three dimension submissions must be accompanied by images which are sufficient to portray the image in all its dimensions.
    • Indicate the sale price of the artwork including VAT (where applicable) and any other costs.
    Non adherence to the above criteria will result in the application becoming disqualified. Only original, ready for purchase, artwork will be considered.  

    The artbankSA Acquisition Committee

      The acquisitions committee will oversee the selection process; approve and make recommendations of artworks for to be exhibited and/or purchased.  

    Closing Date

      The deadline for submissions is 12pm on Friday, 12 October 2018. All completed submissions must be emailed to artbank2 [at] nasmus [dot] co [dot] za">artbank2 [at] nasmus [dot] co [dot] za Queries must be submitted in writing to the same address. Only successful applicants will be contacted about collection and couriering of artwork to the exhibition venue within 14 days after the closing date.
  • New temporary exhibition | Ancient monster: A look at the origin of mammals.

    10 July 2018

    The Karoo Palaeontology Department at the National Museum, Bloemfontein is proud to announce a new temporary exhibit showcasing the department’s exceptional fossils that demonstrate one of the most significant transitions in evolutionary history – the evolution of mammals. Known as therapsids, they are the precursors to modern mammals and represent some 75 million years of pre-mammalian evolution. Although not as big as some of the largest dinosaurs, they still include some of the most frightening carnivores of the time, such as the sabre-toothed gorgonopsians, as well as the tiniest non-mammaliaform cynodonts, the closest relatives to mammals.Come and see these amazing fossils from the South African Karoo, many of which were discovered in the Free State, and learn about the ancestors of mammals.

  • Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa (PSSA) NEWS

    3 July 2018

    The National Museum is proud to be hosting the 20th Biennial Conference of the Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa (PSSA) from 4-6 July 2018. It is the largest palaeontological meeting in southern Africa and attracts scientists from all around the globe. This year more than 80 scientists from seven countries will be presenting their latest, exciting research from 260 million year old insect-plant interactions and the transition from fish to amphibians, to early dinosaur and pre-mammalian palaeobiology, and the evolution of endurance running in the first humans.

    The National Museum boasts three departments, namely Karoo Palaeontology, Florisbad Quaternary Research and Archaeology that are actively involved in South African palaeozoological and palaeobotanical research. Researchers in the Archaeological Department use fossil plants to reconstruct ancient palaeoenvironments. The Karoo Palaeontology Department houses more than 4000 vertebrate fossils ranging from 260-190 million years old and fully equipped fossil preparation and osteohistology laboratories. The Florisbad Quaternary Research Department manages the world-renowned Florisbad research site, from where the 260 000 year old archaic human skull of “Florisbad man” was discovered, and holds the largest modern mammal osteological collection in South Africa.

    Many exciting fossil discoveries have been made and considerable new important research conducted since the PSSA was last held in Bloemfontein in 2002, making the National Museum the ideal venue for the 20th PSSA in 2018.

  • New temporary exhibition | Ancient monster: A look at the origin of mammals.

    29 June 2018

    The Karoo Palaeontology Department at the National Museum, Bloemfontein is proud to announce a new temporary exhibit showcasing the department’s exceptional fossils that demonstrate one of the most significant transitions in evolutionary history – the evolution of mammals. Known as therapsids, they are the precursors to modern mammals and represent some 75 million years of pre-mammalian evolution. Although not as big as some of the largest dinosaurs, they still include some of the most frightening carnivores of the time, such as the sabre-toothed gorgonopsians, as well as the tiniest non-mammaliaform cynodonts, the closest relatives to mammals.Come and see these amazing fossils from the South African Karoo, many of which were discovered in the Free State, and learn about the ancestors of mammals.

  • NATIONAL MUSEUM: Opening of a new Temporary display entitled, ‘Illuminated Manuscripts’.

    15 February 2018

    Our newest temporary display, which will run from February until May 2018, is up! ‘Illuminated Manuscripts’ is a uniqueexhibitionresulting from a collaboration between four of Central South Africa’sheritage institutions; The National Museum (Bloemfontein), Oliewenhuis Art Museum (Bloemfontein), William Humphreys Art Gallery (Kimberley), and The McGregor Museum (Kimberley).

    The exhibit explores the predecessor of printed books by discussing the materials, techniques, tools and customs employed when producing hand-made books. On display are a variety of articles and works from the collections of the above institutions as well as many reconstructions of historic techniques, exemplars of available materials, and a wealth of technical information for those who wish to know more.

    In order to further explore this fascinating craft a bookbinding workshop will be presented at Oliewenhuis Art Museum in late February by specialist bookbinder and paper conservationist, Johann Maree.

    The exhibit will travel to Kimberley, and be on display at the William Humphreys Art Gallery from June 2018. They will present an additional calligraphy workshop and WHAGFILM will screen a beautiful movie inspired by medieval illuminated manuscripts.

  • Women’s Fashion through the Decades

    21 August 2017

    Woman’s fashion, like most art forms, has undergoneradical changes and growth throughout the twentieth century.Because fashion has always been key in how women present and express themselves to the world, it can be viewed in order to understand the customs and norms of a particular era or culture.

    In celebration of Woman’s Month, the National Museum has compiled an exhibition on the development of Woman’s fashion during the twentieth century. The exhibition, which will run until November 2017, covers most major developments in popular fashion and displays fashion items from the National Museum’s comprehensive historic collection.It shows the progression fromthe early 20th century, with itsmodest and constricting corsets, hoops, and innumerable petticoats that covered, compressed, and physically modified women's figures, to clothing thathad a more natural, comfortable and self-expressive quality.

  • Africa Month - The Year of OR Tambo

    28 June 2017
    African Masks
    African Masks

    In May, South Africa celebrates Africa Month under the theme: “The Year of OR Tambo: Building a Better Africa and a Better World”. Africa Month provides an opportunity to promote African unity, deeper regional integration and a recommitment to a common African destiny. A new temporary exhibit entitled ‘Africa’s Rainbow of Cultures’ has been installed in celebration of Africa Month.

    African Masks

    Africa is the world’s second largest continent and home to 1.2 billion people. The continent comprises 54 independent states of which Algeria is the largest in terms of surface area and Nigeria is the most densely populated state. Home to a diversity of ethnic groups, Africa boasts a rich variety of cultures. Various factors have influenced and shaped African cultures, including religion, the environment, politics, technology, innovation and inter-cultural interactions.

    African cultures are known for their traditional crafts, such as basketry, pottery, woodcarving, textiles (woven and printed), musical instruments and the making of tools and weapons. This exhibition aims to showcase Africa’s rainbow of cultures by means of a selection of artefacts from the National Museum’s anthropology collection. Objects and textiles from a variety of countries ranging from Egypt in the north, Nigeria in the west, Kenya in the east and Zimbabwe in the south, display the vast cultural diversity of a vibrant and fascinating continent.

    Two special exhibits have also been put up for Africa Day one presents the African Union flag and anthem and the other is a commendation to OR Tambo.