About Walter Battiss Art Museum

Your Somerset East accommodation is right on the doorstep of pretty landscapes and some unusual Eastern Cape attractions. The Walter Battiss Art Museum is one of these attractions, and is particularly lovely for the whole art-loving family.

Professor Walter Battiss is an acclaimed South African artist that has changed the face of watercolours and abstract art with his innovative approach to creating beauty. In fact, some have called him the best watercolour painter in the country.

The Walter Battiss Art Museum is situated in an old building in the heart of Somerset East. This building, the Officer’s Mess, was built in 1818. By 1914, the Battiss family had hired the building as and converted it into an elegant hotel, offering visitors accommodation here. In 1973, the mayors got control of the building and they donated it as a museum in 1981. Then, between 1999 and 2004, the museum was again closed for major renovations.

Professor Battiss died in 1982, but not before donating more than 70 pieces of his art. In addition, he donated some precious personal mementoes, books that he loved from his personal library, and even some of his clothing to create a museum that really told the story of this incredible artist.

The Walter Battiss collection is not only about his watercolour paintings. There are also sketches, screen prints, and oil paintings on display. They range from abstract creations to realistic portrayals. Art-lovers are spoilt for choice when it comes to appreciating the sheer diversity and depth of one creative mind.

Somerset East is a little town, situated about two hours inland of Port Elizabeth in one direction, and just over two hours from Hogsback in the other direction.

Need to Know

WhereWalter Battiss Art Museum, Corner of Beaufort Street and Paulet Street, Somerset East, Eastern Cape, South Africa

WhenMonday to Friday from 10h00 to 14h00.

How muchPrices on request.

OvernightStay nearby in Somerset East, in Eastern Cape


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