The University of Pretoria Museums manage, conserve and curate a diversity of museum collections and associated archives that are held at various university locations. Key museum collections are publicly displayed in two historical buildings on Hatfield Campus in the Old Arts Building (1910) and the Old Merensky Building (1937). These university museum collections are iconic, since they are unique and valuable, comprising of a vast art collection, ceramics from southern Africa and signature ceramics from around the world. Collections include South African sculpture and iconic Mapungubwe Collection, a declared national treasure of South Africa.
To honour a long 110-year history, the past decade has focused on wider, more inclusive public engagement, digital access and better access for the disabled to these heritage collections beyond academia. The UP Museums first and foremost serve as a professional service internally for the University of Pretoria, and for society to engage with art and to appreciate UP as a steward of some of South Africa’s finest collections. The museums continue to support academic training, research, and teaching drives, yet increasingly strive to improve, expand, and contemporise the university museums as a greater social responsibility.
We are proud to have numerous high-quality permanent gallery spaces dedicated to the Mapungubwe Galleries, the Ceramics Galleries, and the Sculpture Gallery. New curatorial plans are underway to develop, enhance digital and online content of the galleries devoted to the promotion of the institution’s art collection and museum archives.
The UP Museums have also launched the UP GLAM initiative, which is a first in South Africa, and are collectively working with internal partners such as Alumni Relations and UP Campus Tours in promoting UP’s Galleries/Gardens, Libraries, Archives and Museums. This is futurising the UP Museums and the impact they have on society.
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