Montagu Museum, Joubert House, Montagu Museum Gallery

Montagu Museum, Joubert House, Montagu Museum Gallery

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Montagu Museum, Joubert House, Montagu Museum Gallery

Location

Long Street Montagu

Contact info

Telephone
0236141950
Contact
Henna Flesch, Annette Cilliers
Email

The main aim of Montagu Museum is to research and portray the cultural-historical heritage of Montagu and its people.  Montagu prides itself on its architectural heritage. It should come as no small surprise that its museum is located in the heart of Long Street on Route 62 which boasts many declared heritage buildings. The museum is comprised of three beautiful historical buildings, namely, The Old Mission Church, Joubert House and the KWV Building Complex.

 

Montagu Museum

Tel: 023 614 1950

Email:

Open from 08h00 to 17h00 on weekdays,

10h00 to 12h00 on weekends and Public Holidays.

 

The main aim of Montagu Museum is to research and portray the cultural-historical heritage of Montagu and its people.

Montagu prides itself on its architectural heritage. It should come as no small surprise that its museum is located in the heart of Long Street on Route 62 which boasts many declared heritage buildings. The museum is comprised of three beautiful historical buildings, namely, The Old Mission Church, Joubert House and the KWV Building Complex.

 

Built in 1907, The Old Mission Church with its neo-Gothic elements has housed the Montagu Museum since 1975 and was declared a National Monument in 1976. The administrative hub of the museum is located here as well as the museum archives housing all documents, photographs and Afrikana relating to

the history of Montagu. It is fast becoming an important research centre for visiting academics and locals as well. The devastation caused by the flood of 25th January 1981 has been fully documented by the museum.

A collection of pulpit Bibles and church artefacts including old wedding dresses form the focal point of the church with its original pulpit, pulpit cloth and wall text painted by Mr Nico Adriaan van Tuhra. The museum has its own oval date stamp which is an exact replica of the postmark which was first used in Montagu in 1858.The T.O. Honiball collection of cartoons and books are also on view here. The museum has permission to print limited editions of these posters which are available to purchase.

Frequently changing temporary exhibitions form a showcase for the large and diverse museum collection.

In 2005 Montagu Museum celebrated it 30th anniversary by publishing “Montagu and its People”: 30 Stories by Heinie Heydenrych and launching the book at a fashion parade of 30 wedding dresses of yesteryear. The undoubted highlight was the beautiful museum collection of wedding gowns designed and made by Angelique Albertyn, permanent dressmaker of Brink Bros, Montagu.

 

Other important permanent exhibitions are the Indigenous Medicinal Plant research project displayed in one wing.  This research project of the museum is well known and is of great interest to South African and overseas botanists and pharmacologists, who regularly visit the Indigenous Medicinal plant garden which is located at Joubert House.

 

Joubert House

Tel : 023 614 1774

e-mail :

Open from 08h00 to 17h00 on weekdays,

10h00 to 12h00 on weekends and Public Holidays.

Melk Tert en tee – last Friday of the month (R20pp)

 

Built in 1853, Joubert House is thought to be the oldest dwelling in Montagu. In 1981 this historical monument was on the verge of collapse after the devastating floods of January that year, was saved from demolition by the Montagu Museum Board of Trustees and lovingly restored to its former glory. In 1983 this fine example of rural Cape gabled thatched house was officially opened.

The house museum depicts the lifestyle of the latter part of the nineteenth century. The wall paper in the Ken Birch room is unique in that it was specially printed from a sample of the original that was found in the room. The elberta peach pip floor in the kitchen and pantry is of special interest as it was laid according to a very old local method and recipe. The house was declared a national monument in 1975 and was re-opened on 14 October 1983 by State President Marais Viljoen, two and a half years after the flood and 130 years after it had been built.

Of special interest is a small side room which houses a comprehensive collection of toys from bygone days. Pride of place belongs to a unique collection of individually numbered handmade porcelain dolls. The costumes of the dolls are historically correct down to the last detail, including underclothing and leather shoes. 

 

Indigenous Medicinal Plant garden

Over the past 25 years the museum has been researching and recording the rich oral history and traditional uses of medicinal plants, in the Montagu district, passed down by the Khoikhoi, San and settler farmers from Europe.

 

The garden which was established behind Joubert House contains most of the more than 120 plants that have been researched and published in Herbal Remedies of Montagu Museum.

Medicinal plants are harvested sensitively by the museum from the surrounding areas and then cut, dried, and mixed into remedies for sale to the public.  This project not only sustains the museum, but also serves as a reminder of theincredible natural heritage in the region.

In 2011, the DCAS Museum Services launched the travelling Medicinal Plant exhibit at the Old Mission Church. The exhibit was opened by Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Dr Ivan Meyer and was well attended.

 

The Montagu Museum KWV Complex

The KWV buildings on the corner of Long and Kohler Streets that were acquired in the 1990’s are fine remaining examples of historical industrial architecture in a rural area. The museum restored the enormous façade to its former glory, and future plans include the permanent exhibition of the important Ar de Vries fossil collection in the building, and the museum collection of agricultural vehicles and artifacts in the enclosed courtyard behind the complex.

 

In 2007, the Museum Art Gallery was opened in the complex with an exhibition by world renowned artist and born Montaguer, Willy Bester which saw over 3000 visitors. The gallery although not entirely completed went on to exhibit works by many other renowned artists including local Montagu artists. In 2012, after work was completed which included an installation of a gantry by Willy Bester for monumental art works and the laying of a tiled floor, the gallery was re-opened during the Breyten Breytenbach Literary Festival and the museum’s Francois Krige collection was finally on view for the first time. Included in the collection is one of his major works "Begrafnis in die Karoo"(Burial in the Karoo) which he bequeathed to the museum.

The yard in the complex has become a much sort after space for community projects and now a very unique once a month night market is fast becoming a firm favourite for locals and visitors alike. 

The museum is fortunate to receive support from the Friends of the Museum Organisation who work alongside the Board of trustees to promote and maintain the towns heritage.

Visitors to the museum and other interested parties are free to enquire about joining the Friends of the museum for a nominal amount of R30 per annum or R300 for life membership to stay informed and be invited to the events that the museum offers during the course of the year.

                                                        


 

 

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