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Museum Africa through the ages

NEWTOWN – Check out the timeline of Museum Africa.

Museum Africa is an exciting local tourist attraction, but what was it before?

Find out all about the museum which houses a number of exhibitions covering topics from apartheid to geology and everything in between.

In 1935, Museum Africa is opened at the top of the Johannesburg Public Library on Beyers Naude Square in Johannesburg City. It is called Museum Africana at this time and is established with a focus on the private collection of Dr John Gaspard Gubbins. The geological exhibition, which was collected in 1895, then becomes part of the Africana Museum.

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In 1963, the James Hall Museum of Transport branch of Museum Africana is opened. Then in 1969, the Bensusan Museum of Photography and the Museum of South African Rock Art is incorporated as part of the museum

IN ITS GLORY: Museum Africa stands strong in Newtown since 1994.
IN ITS GLORY: Museum Africa stands strong in Newtown since 1994.

The Bernberg Museum of Costume is opened in 1973 as part of the museum, while in 1974, the Market Building and the popular Potato Sheds in Newtown are earmarked for development and it is decided that this will be the new venue of the Africana Museum. Unfortunately no action was taken for 20 years and the building remained abandoned for that time.

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In 1994, the museum is moved to its current location, with the collections being revised to reflect the political climate at the time; a dialogue is opened between South Africa and international arts communities and the venue is renamed, Museum Africa.

This year, the museum celebrates 130 years of being one of Johannesburg’s heritage sites.

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