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About the Foundation

Norval Foundation is a centre for art and cultural expression. We are dedicated to the research, education and exhibition of 20th- and 21st-century visual art from South Africa and beyond. Located in the Steenberg area of Cape Town, adjacent to Table Mountain National Park, the Norval Foundation combines the experience of art with an appreciation for nature.

Our Sculpture Garden, outdoor amphitheatre, purpose-built exhibition spaces and research library are situated in a unique setting that offers visitors a multisensory experience. This is complemented by the Skotnes Restaurant and Bar, a bespoke shop and a children’s playground.

We aim to create high-quality exhibitions and public programming to broaden our understanding of the visual arts. The Norval Foundation is honoured to be the custodian of the Gerard Sekoto Foundation, the Edoardo Villa Estate Collection and the Alexis Preller Archive. We believe that art has the power to enrich our lives and that artists contribute to our communities in a profound way.

The Norval family are the founders and initial funders of the Norval Foundation. Their aim is to make art widely accessible to local and international visitors by creating a self-sustaining centre for art. The proceeds from capital donations will be used to secure the foundation for future generations.

The Homestead Collection

Assembled by the Norval family over the past two decades, the Homestead Collection is one of the leading 20th-century South African art collections. It is committed to an expanded narrative of South African art that includes both African voices and archival materials of established South African modernists.

The Homestead Collection has acquired the Alexis Preller Archive, the Edoardo Villa Estate Collection and the Bruce Campbell Smith Revisions Collection, among others, and also includes in-depth holdings of artists such as Dumile Feni, Peter Clarke, Sydney Kumalo, Maggie Laubser, Ezrom Legae, Trevor Makhoba, John Muafangejo, George Pemba, Gerard Sekoto, Cecil Skotnes, Anton van Wouw, Deborah Bell, Irma Stern, Alexis Preller and Edoardo Villa. It also has a significant collection of books on South African art.

The Architecture

The Norval Foundation was envisioned by DHK Architects as a modern pavilion for art. Set against a mountain and vineyard landscape, it is a pure expression of form.

The building is constrained by its linear site, between a busy road and an existing wetland. The linear shape of the building is a direct response to this, with the galleries and public spaces facing the natural landscape, capturing framed views of the wetland, vineyards and mountains beyond.

The building therefore shields the wetland, creating a private space for the sculpture park, forming a threshold between public and private zones. A triple-volume atrium establishes a deliberate visual connection between these zones, one urban, the other natural, and provides a physical transition between contrasting environments.

The Norval Foundation is experienced in a linear sequence: visitors are greeted by a triple-volume restaurant with a gift shop beyond, flanked by a generous reception area which calmly directs guests to the central atrium that introduces the main galleries.

The gallery spaces comprise a large exhibition venue and a series of six small galleries, culminating in a dramatic triple-volume sculpture gallery. The upper level accommodates offices, library, bar and artist’s residence. Externally there is a large sculpture garden, with an amphitheatre, picnic area and timber deck serving the restaurant.

The Norval Foundation is a celebration of art, architecture and landscape.

The Foundation and Nature

Uniquely situated on the edges of a natural wetland, the Norval Foundation has become the custodian and protector of its indigenous plants and animals.

Specifically, the Foundation has recognised its duty to the western leopard toad, an indigenous species that has come under threat from rapid urbanisation. The toads travel great distances to find safe areas to breed, and in so doing take on the perilous task of crossing major roadways.

The survival of the endangered western leopard toad has been safeguarded through the construction of concrete culverts underneath the Steenberg road to allow the toads safe access to the Norval Foundation wetland for mating.

The building has been specifically designed so as to minimise its environmental impact. A large solar plant on its roof provides the Foundation’s power and feeds excess energy into the local power grid. There is also a grey-water purification system that allows a high degree of independence from municipal water supplies.

Board and Governance

Board of Trustees

Louis Norval – Chair

Steve Kettle

Mareli Voster

Nonkululeko Nyembezi

Carol Bouwer

Gary Vogelman

Elana Brundyn

Karel Nel (Ex Officio)

Owen Martin (Ex Officio)

Sculpture Garden
28 April 2018 – ongoing

The Sculpture Garden at the Norval Foundation features three-dimensional installations by artists from South Africa and the rest of Africa. The unique site, bisected by a protected Cape lowland freshwater wetland and surrounded by the natural beauty of the Western Cape, features flora indigenous to the area. The placement of artwork takes the site into consideration, using the contours of the garden to hide and reveal work, creating an experience of discovery for the viewer. The building has been designed so that the western side gives way onto the Sculpture Garden at multiple points, allowing visitors access from the galleries to the Sculpture Garden and creating connections between exhibitions taking place both inside and outside. The exhibition programme in the Sculpture Garden aims to represent a plurality of practices currently taking place in the region, including artists working with the figure, narrative and mythology, abstraction and post-minimalism, and craft. Artworks will be a mixture of long term loans and work from the Homestead Collection, which are installed permanently.

Norman Catherine
Joyride, 2016
Bronze
155 x 250 x 125 cm

 

Homestead Collection

Mark Swart
Voyage, 2016
Mild steel and stainless steel
351 x 171 x 217.5 cm

Homestead Collection

Yinka Shonibare CBE
Wind Sculpture SG (III), 2018
Steel armature with hand painted fibreglass resin cast
700 x 254 x 200 cm

 Homestead Collection

Michele Mathison
Volition, 2017
Steel
375 x 95 x 162 cm

Collection of the artist

Edoardo Villa
Africa, 1959-60
Steel and enamel paint 
670 x 220 x 260 cm

Courtesy of Exxaro Resources Ltd.

William Kentridge
World on its Hind Legs, 2010
Steel and paint
432 x 312 x 495 cm

Homestead Collection

William Kentridge
Action, 2018
Bronze
345 x 265 x 285 cm

 Homestead Collection

Nandipha Mntambo
Ophelia, 2015
Bronze and mild steel
303 x 121 x 25 cm

Collection of the artist

Marlene Steyn
Arching Type, 2019
Fibre glass, resin and automotive paint

Edoardo Villa
Bird Form, 2004
Painted steel
290 x 275 x 140 cm

Homestead Collection 

Angus Taylor
Holderstebolder, 2018
Belfast Gabbro granite and steel
645 x 605 x 423 cm

Homestead Collection

Joni Brenner
Kin, 2015 - 2016
Bronze
82 x 90 x 110 cm

Collection of the artist

Brett Murray
Again Again, 2015
Bronze
250 x 180 x 260 cm

Homestead Collection 

Speelman Mahlangu
Riding the Bull I, 2004
Bronze
182 x 143 x 72 cm

Homestead Collection 

Jake Michael Singer
And All Birds Flew With A Harsh Scream (Marmara), 2020
Stainless Steel
358 x 206 x 189 cm

Courtesy of the artist and THK Gallery, Cape Town

The Zanzibari Years: Irma Stern

  The Zanzibari Years: Irma Stern Gallery 1 3 November 2021 – 28 March 2022 The Zanzibari Years: Irma Stern focuses on a small body of significant works produced by Irma Stern during her two stays in Zanzibar and the period surrounding 1939-1945. This exhibition...

Congress: The Social Body in Three Figurative Painters

  Congress: The Social Body in Three Figurative Painters Gallery 9 2 October 2021 – 10 January 2022 Congress: The Social Body in Three Figurative Painters is a thematic exhibition that places the work of three multigenerational South African painters — Trevor...

The Reunion: Georgina Gratrix

  The Reunion: Georgina Gratrix Gallery 1 13 February 2021 – 18 October 2021 Norval Foundation was proud to present The Reunion: Georgina Gratrix, the first solo exhibition at a museum of the South African artist’s paintings. Bringing together 27 major artworks,...

As Yet Untitled: James Webb

  As Yet Untitled: James Webb Sculpture Garden 2021 – 2023 Norval Foundation is pleased to present James Webb’s As Yet Untitled (2021), a site-specific, sound installation, on view until 2023. Obscured within the Cape Lowland Freshwater Wetland of Norval...

Mixed Company

  Mixed Company Gallery 9 13 February 2021 – 28 June 2021 Mixed Company is a thematic group exhibition exploring the act of gathering, pictured through the eyes of eleven modern and contemporary artists from southern Africa: Omar Badsha, Jody Brand, David...

The Zanzibari Years: Irma Stern

  The Zanzibari Years: Irma Stern Gallery 1 3 November 2021 – 28 March 2022 The Zanzibari Years: Irma Stern focuses on a small body of significant works produced by Irma Stern during her two stays in Zanzibar and the period surrounding 1939-1945. This exhibition...

Recent Acquisitions by the Homestead Collection

  Recent Acquisitions by the Homestead Collection Gallery 9 2 September 2020 – 25 January 2021 Recent Acquisitions by the Homestead Collection brings together a series of artworks that speak to the evolving identity of the Homestead Collection, a major resource...

And then you see yourself: Zanele Muholi

  And then you see yourself: Zanele Muholi Zanele Muholi Gallery 1 2 September 2020 – 25 January 2021 Zanele Muholi, born in 1972 in Durban, is a self-described visual activist, working primarily through photography. Their stated mission is to “re-write a black...

iiNyanga Zonyaka (The Lunar Songbook): Athi-Patra Ruga

  iiNyanga Zonyaka: Athi-Patra Ruga Athi-Patra Ruga Atrium 2 September 2020 – 14 March 2022 Athi-Patra Ruga, born in Mthata, Eastern Cape in 1984, uses myth, of his own invention and in public circulation, in order to respond to contested histories as well as the...

Alt and Omega: Jackson Hlungwani

  Alt and Omega Jackson Hlungwani Gallery 7 29 August 2020 to 10 January 2022 Jackson Hlungwani: Alt and Omega offers an immersive and inclusive look into Hlungwani’s artistic practice. Jackson Hlungwani’s artistic practice was spiritual, innovative, and...

The Zanzibari Years: Irma Stern

  The Zanzibari Years: Irma Stern Gallery 1 3 November 2021 – 28 March 2022 The Zanzibari Years: Irma Stern focuses on a small body of significant works produced by Irma Stern during her two stays in Zanzibar and the period surrounding 1939-1945. This exhibition...

#CTABF21

Cape Town Art Book Fair 2021 is proudly sponsored by Coronation Fund Managers. Over three days in September, Norval Foundation’s Atrium will be transformed into the second edition of the Cape Town Art Book Fair. Bringing together galleries, writers, publishers,...

Congress: The Social Body in Three Figurative Painters

  Congress: The Social Body in Three Figurative Painters Gallery 9 2 October 2021 – 10 January 2022 Congress: The Social Body in Three Figurative Painters is a thematic exhibition that places the work of three multigenerational South African painters — Trevor...

The Reunion: Georgina Gratrix

  The Reunion: Georgina Gratrix Gallery 1 13 February 2021 – 18 October 2021 Norval Foundation was proud to present The Reunion: Georgina Gratrix, the first solo exhibition at a museum of the South African artist’s paintings. Bringing together 27 major artworks,...

Zine Space at Cape Town Art Book Fair 2021

  Open Call: Zine Space Submissions: 14 - 27 June 2021  Norval Foundation, in collaboration with Dream Press, is proud to present Zine Space.  Zine Space invites artists to apply for a four-session risograph printing workshop with Dream Press. The workshops will...

As Yet Untitled: James Webb

  As Yet Untitled: James Webb Sculpture Garden 2021 – 2023 Norval Foundation is pleased to present James Webb’s As Yet Untitled (2021), a site-specific, sound installation, on view until 2023. Obscured within the Cape Lowland Freshwater Wetland of Norval...

Happy Birthday: Mmakgabo Mapula Helen Sebidi

Happy Birthday, Mmakgabo Mapula Helen Sebidi The celebrated South African artist was born #OnThisDay, 5 March 1943 🎉 Born in Marapyane near Hammanskraal in the Northern Transvaal area (Gauteng and Limpopo today), she grew up with her grandmother who was a traditional...

Easter Weekend 2021

We have some entertaining family-friendly programming over Easter Weekend (2 – 5 April). Get all the details below: Easter Egg Hunt 4 April | 10:30 Enjoy a covid-friendly traditional easter egg hunt. R95 entitles your child to a milkshake and an easter egg hunt around...

Mixed Company

  Mixed Company Gallery 9 13 February 2021 – 28 June 2021 Mixed Company is a thematic group exhibition exploring the act of gathering, pictured through the eyes of eleven modern and contemporary artists from southern Africa: Omar Badsha, Jody Brand, David...

The Zanzibari Years: Irma Stern

  The Zanzibari Years: Irma Stern Gallery 1 3 November 2021 – 28 March 2022 The Zanzibari Years: Irma Stern focuses on a small body of significant works produced by Irma Stern during her two stays in Zanzibar and the period surrounding 1939-1945. This exhibition...

The Zanzibari Years: Irma Stern

  The Zanzibari Years: Irma Stern Gallery 1 3 November 2021 – 28 March 2022 The Zanzibari Years: Irma Stern focuses on a small body of significant works produced by Irma Stern during her two stays in Zanzibar and the period surrounding 1939-1945. This exhibition...

Congress: The Social Body in Three Figurative Painters

  Congress: The Social Body in Three Figurative Painters Gallery 9 2 October 2021 – 10 January 2022 Congress: The Social Body in Three Figurative Painters is a thematic exhibition that places the work of three multigenerational South African painters — Trevor...

The Reunion: Georgina Gratrix

  The Reunion: Georgina Gratrix Gallery 1 13 February 2021 – 18 October 2021 Norval Foundation was proud to present The Reunion: Georgina Gratrix, the first solo exhibition at a museum of the South African artist’s paintings. Bringing together 27 major artworks,...

As Yet Untitled: James Webb

  As Yet Untitled: James Webb Sculpture Garden 2021 – 2023 Norval Foundation is pleased to present James Webb’s As Yet Untitled (2021), a site-specific, sound installation, on view until 2023. Obscured within the Cape Lowland Freshwater Wetland of Norval...

Mixed Company

  Mixed Company Gallery 9 13 February 2021 – 28 June 2021 Mixed Company is a thematic group exhibition exploring the act of gathering, pictured through the eyes of eleven modern and contemporary artists from southern Africa: Omar Badsha, Jody Brand, David...

The Zanzibari Years: Irma Stern

  The Zanzibari Years: Irma Stern Gallery 1 3 November 2021 – 28 March 2022 The Zanzibari Years: Irma Stern focuses on a small body of significant works produced by Irma Stern during her two stays in Zanzibar and the period surrounding 1939-1945. This exhibition...

Recent Acquisitions by the Homestead Collection

  Recent Acquisitions by the Homestead Collection Gallery 9 2 September 2020 – 25 January 2021 Recent Acquisitions by the Homestead Collection brings together a series of artworks that speak to the evolving identity of the Homestead Collection, a major resource...

And then you see yourself: Zanele Muholi

  And then you see yourself: Zanele Muholi Zanele Muholi Gallery 1 2 September 2020 – 25 January 2021 Zanele Muholi, born in 1972 in Durban, is a self-described visual activist, working primarily through photography. Their stated mission is to “re-write a black...

iiNyanga Zonyaka (The Lunar Songbook): Athi-Patra Ruga

  iiNyanga Zonyaka: Athi-Patra Ruga Athi-Patra Ruga Atrium 2 September 2020 – 14 March 2022 Athi-Patra Ruga, born in Mthata, Eastern Cape in 1984, uses myth, of his own invention and in public circulation, in order to respond to contested histories as well as the...

Alt and Omega: Jackson Hlungwani

  Alt and Omega Jackson Hlungwani Gallery 7 29 August 2020 to 10 January 2022 Jackson Hlungwani: Alt and Omega offers an immersive and inclusive look into Hlungwani’s artistic practice. Jackson Hlungwani’s artistic practice was spiritual, innovative, and...
Library

The Norval Foundation research library is a quiet place of study and academic research. It houses a comprehensive collection of publications, documents and catalogues related to 20th-century South African artists, including primary and secondary sources.

Researchers are welcome to make an appointment to view material in the library. Kindly send an email to curatorial@norvalfoundation.org