University of Pretoria Museums

All great universities have great museums

A diversity of art, heritage and culture on your campus doorstep

The University of Pretoria Museums manages, conserves, curates, and interprets 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 the Hatfield Campus the Old Arts Building (1910) and the Old Merensky Building (1937). These university museum collections are iconic, since they are unique and valuable, comprising a vast art collection, ceramics from southern Africa, and signature ceramics from around the world. Collections include South African sculpture and the iconic Mapungubwe Collection, a declared national treasure of South Africa.

To honour our 110-year history and 30 years of democracy, recent years have 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. 

The UP Museums have also launched the UP GLAM initiative, which is a first in South Africa and is 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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