The 22nd September 2017 saw the opening of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (Zeitz MOCAA), in Cape Town, South Africa, heralded as being the first major institution on the African continent dedicated to collecting, researching and preserving the art of contemporary Africa and its diaspora.
The museum building is a decommissioned historic grain silo located near to Cape Town’s most visited destination the V&A Waterfront, an upmarket mecca of retail, leisure, and business. The exterior and interior of the imposing grading tower and a block of 42-grain silo tubes have been transformed by British designer Thomas Heatherwick into a multi-level function space. The focal point of the building is the central atrium, where Heatherwick carved back the silo tubes to achieve a vast cavernous and cocoon-like space that draws the eye all the way up the building’s nine floors to the upper-level sculpture garden, which has been designed to allow in daylight. Thick layers of laminated glass are decorated with a pattern commissioned from the now late Togolese artist El Loko. Each floor leading off the central space leads to a total of 80 white cube galleries housing the museum’s permanent and temporary exhibitions. The space also includes a museum shop, retail shops, restaurants, a boutique hotel and a rooftop sculpture garden.
The Zeitz MOCAA is the result of a privately funded collaboration between the V&A Waterfront and German-businessman Jochen Zeitz, one of the world’s leading collectors of African art. Jochen’s collection and that of his Zeitz Foundation have formed part of the Zeitz MOCAA’s permanent collections.
The Zeitz MOCAA will offer a range of programmes and events, and open Wednesday to Monday, offers free entry for African citizens every Wednesday, between 10 am – 1 pm.
– Tapiwa Matsinde
For further information about the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art visit: https://zeitzmocaa.museum
[Image credits: The images shown are sourced from/belong to Zeitz MOCAA. If downloaded and used elsewhere please credit accordingly.]