The National Gallery has been part of the Iziko collection of museums since 2001 and is managed by the Department of Arts and Culture. Its collection consists mainly of British, French and Dutch works from the 17th to 19th centuries. It grew from an exhibition of fine art, held in the school rooms of the Company’s Garden on 10 May 1851. A national collection was gradually amassed, particularly due to a bequest in 1872 from Thomas Butterworth Bayley (1744-1802), an English magistrate and philanthropist. A building on Victoria Street was bought in 1875 and taken over by the South African Government in 1895. Trustees were appointed to manage it in 1896. Foundations for the present building were laid in 1914, and the gallery was opened by the Governor-General, the Earl of Athlone (1874-1957) on 3 November 1930. The building was expanded to include works by South African artists in 1937, and since then there have been several substantial bequests from figures such as Sir Abe Bailey (1864-1940), the politician and gold tycoon.
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