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William Fehr Collection

Venue:Corner of Darling and Buitenkant Streets,
Cape Town
Contact:021 464 1260

Located in the Castle of Good Hope, and comprising both the B Block and Good Hope galleries, the William Fehr Collection is a permanent display of historical paintings and decorative arts from the 17th to mid-19th centuries reflecting social life, events and the natural environment, mainly in Cape Town, the Western Cape and Eastern Cape. There are also archaeological displays of artefacts excavated in the Castle and a number of furnished interiors. Gallery spaces are occasionally used for historical and contemporary art exhibitions

The collection reflects the outlook and aesthetics of a single collector, William Fehr (1892–1968), and his social context, and so differs from most museum collections that are the result of selection by museum staff over an extended period. William Fehr’s private collection was first displayed at the Castle in 1952 during the Van Riebeeck Tercentenary Festival. Here a large proportion remained on loan until the whole collection was acquired by the South African government in the years 1964–5 and then distributed between the Castle and Rust en Vreugd. The portion of the collection at Rust en Vreugd was presented by William Fehr as a gift to the nation.