Things To Do in KimberleyDuggan-Cronin Gallery
Where? Edgerton Road, Kimberley, Northern Cape
When? Monday to Friday from 09h00 to 17h00.
Weekends and public holidays by appointment.
How? Call +27 (0)53 839 2743
How much? Donations appreciated
The Duggan-Cronin Gallery is one of Kimberley’s little treasures, and showcases some of the country’s best photographic pieces. Kimberley is the capital of the Northern Cape Province in South Africa, and has a number of popular tourist attractions, most of which relate to mining. However, this gallery gives visitors (whether local or international) the opportunity to learn about and experience the deep culture and history of this area in a very personal, meaningful way.
Duggan-Cronin was an Irish miner that moved to Kimberley in 1897, first as a guard and then in the prison hospital. He bought his first camera seven years later and began taking photographs of the mine workers. Soon, he began to travel in search of more beautiful, real images. In his travels, he was nicknamed Thandabantu, which means “someone who loves people” in the Matabele language. This name became that of the permanent exhibition at Duggan-Cronin Gallery, which showcases the faces and lives of South Africans during the early 1900’s. Incredibly, there were more than 7 000 negatives being stored at this gallery.
Eventually, Duggan-Cronin and his partner, Richard Madela, travelled beyond the borders of South Africa to the neighbouring countries, capturing priceless images and meeting unique folk as they went along.
Today, the Duggan-Cronin Gallery is managed by the McGregor Museum, and Robert Hart is the custodian of the Duggan-Cronin collection.
This gallery is a must-see for visitors to South Africa, whether their interest lies in local culture, the history of this multifaceted land, or the sheer art behind the photographic exhibition.