You can’t talk about world-class art museums without mentioning the Zeitz Museum Of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) in Cape Town, South Africa. The museum is the largest public art property to open on the African continent in over 100 years. 

South Africa isn’t only home to the Zeitz MOCAA. This African country has annual art fairs in Cape Town and Johannesburg, an abundance of art galleries, and a never-ending list of events featuring art from local artists. 

The market for art in South Africa has been on the rise since the ending of apartheid in 1994. 

The FNB Art Joburg fair in Johannesburg is known to be the most vital contemporary African art exhibition in Africa. The art fair will be celebrating its 13th edition from September 4th to 23rd and this year will be completely virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Johannesburg’s FNB Art Joburg fair has been extremely important for changing the narrative of art galleries being for affluent white people. 

The fair direct Mandla Sibeko says to Forbes, “The South Africa art scene is flourishing and growing. The South African collector base is becoming more astute, and each year we see new collectors emerging. The secondary market is very healthy and we have seen multiple artists achieving sales records.”

Sibeko goes on to say, “The South African fine art galleries are also growing from strength to strength, and as international museum acquisitions are made from their stables, new local collectors and emboldened to start more considered collections.”

Art galleries in South Africa such as Stevenson, Goodman Gallery, and SMAC have been supporters of African artists who are now international names such as Zanele Muholi, Nelson Makamo, and Nandipha Mntambo

The South African art scene is really carving out a name for itself that international companies such as BMW have partnered with FNB Art Joburg and Zeitz MOCAA to raise awareness of the importance of art on the continent. 

Dr. Thomas Girst, Head of BMW Group Cultural Engagement tells Forbes, “We want to be at the forefront when it comes to art and design. We have been engaged int eh arts now for almost five decades, so long enough to have a substantial dialogue that is truly a conversation.”

While only time can tell how galleries and museums will pivot the times of the COVID-19 pandemic, one this is for sure — the South African art scene is on the rise.