The holdings of the University of Cape Town art collection currently numbers 1100 works by 520 South African artists and continues to increase annually. It is comprised mainly of paintings and works on paper, with sculptures forming a smaller collection together with a few examples of ceramics and textiles, which have been obtained in various ways since the 1920s.

Initially dependent on donations and bequests, there is an active acquisitions policy and the allocation of a budget, which enables regular purchases to be made and work to be commissioned.

The collection is located in over fifty buildings extending across five main sites; ranging from Upper Campus on the slopes of Table Mountain in Rondebosch, to the Medical School in Mowbray and Hiddingh Hall situated in Orange Street, Cape Town. It is hoped that visitors, students and academics associated with UCT will be able to view the artworks placed in all these areas with enjoyment and appreciation.

An online database of the collection is available as a teaching and research resource. A pilot programme was introduced in 2010 and used by CAS.

Text: Mary van Blommestein