Julius Gordon Africana Centre in Riversdale, Western Cape
Art & Artefacts
Nestled at the foot of the Langeberg Mountains, in the town of Riversdale, is the internationally recognised Julius Gordon Africana Centre, also known as Versfeld House. The Centre is an exceptionally interesting art and history Museum that collects pieces of the life of people from Riversdale and its surrounds.
One of the most popular attractions in Riversdale, the Julius Gordon Africana Centre, was once the home of Julius Gordon, born in 1892, who went on to study medicine and law, but made his money in the diamond fields of the West Coast. In the 1960s, Julius was able to indulge his taste for South African art and unusual antiques and upon his death in 1974 he bequeathed this collection in trust to the people of Riversdale.
Visitors can wander through the rooms of the beautiful 19th century house and admire the impressive collection of art from the likes of Pierneef, Irma Stern, Tinus de Jongh and Maggie Laubser. The Centre is also proud to have South Africa’s largest collection of Thomas Bowler pieces. Bowler, a British artist, lived in the Cape of Good Hope and produced many beautiful pieces that portrayed the Cape Town of yesteryear.
In addition to the amazing art from these local Riversdale and internationally acclaimed South African Artists, visitors can also enjoy the simplicity and beauty of the Khoisan rock art and the stone tools produced by these hunter-gatherers which are believed to be, in some cases, tens of thousands of years old. Beautiful antique furniture and household items are scattered through the rooms and some fascinating time pieces, typical of the late 1800’s, can be found such as cabinets displaying a hand-sewn trousseau, organs, old phone switchboard, hand powered washing machines and so much more…something fascinating for everybody and of any age!
Things to see and do
- Permanent SA Paintings Exhibits
- Thomas Bowler Collection
- Khoisan Rock Paintings
- Stone Artefacts
- Wooden Furniture & Household Items
Currently the Museum is free however, please contact the Museum directly to confirm as Admission requirements may change
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