A major new cultural institution that will focus on collecting, preserving, researching, and exhibiting cutting edge contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora has been announced.
The museum will be named the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) in honour of the renowned Zeitz Collection, which will form the museum’s founding collection.
The museum will be housed in the historic Grain Silo at the V&A Waterfront, with the V&A committing over R500-million to the development required for the establishment of the Museum.
Built in 1921, and at 57m tall, the Grain Silo remains an icon of the Cape Town skyline. This investment will further the development of art in Africa and acknowledges the important cultural and financial contribution the visual arts sector makes.
Considered by many to be the leading collection of contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora, Jochen Zeitz will commit his collection in perpetuity, underwrite the running costs of the Museum and provide a substantial acquisition budget to allow the Museum to acquire new important artworks over time to remain on the edge of contemporary cultural production.
“Over the last two decades, Africa has played an important role in both my professional and private life. My collection has been strategically built over many years specifically with the goal to create an internationally relevant public contemporary art museum in Africa,” said Zeitz.
“After considering many cities across Africa, I am excited to partner with the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. It is an iconic location in an iconic city, and will be situated in a historic landmark building. This will make my collection accessible to a local, national, continental and international audience.”
As the most visited site in Africa, with over 24 million visitors annually, the V&A Waterfront is the perfect venue to share the cultural artifacts and ideas of Africa with the world.
Zeitz MOCAA will comprise over 9,500 square meters (102,000 square feet) placing it among leading contemporary art museums worldwide. Zeitz MOCAA will be spread over nine floors, of which 6,000 square meters (65,000 square feet) will be dedicated to exhibition space. Through an entire floor dedicated to education, the museum will develop a new art-loving, museum-going audience.
Zeitz MOCAA is set to welcome its first visitors at the end of 2016. Until the extensive renovations to the Silo complex are complete, selections from the Zeitz Collection will be presented at Zeitz MOCAA Pavilion, a museum-quality temporary exhibition space also at the V&A Waterfront. The inaugural exhibition which opens at Zeitz MOCAA Pavilion on 23 November, will present the work of Swazi artist Nandipha Mntambo.