Exhibitions

The Exhibition Department main objectives are to:
Maintain exhibitions; create new displays; design corporate identity; and design programmes, posters, business cards and invitation cards.

The Exhibition Department is actively involved in the Three (3) museums, namely: Observatory, History and Natural Science. It is also involved in the display process associated with the National Arts festival, the Science Festival and additional visiting exhibitions. Furthermore, it is actively involved with the acquisition of travelling / loan exhibitions; and overseeing contemporary exhibition space. Lastly, the department is responsible for cultural heritage, craft (including outsider art) and marginalized artists.

There have been a number of permanent and temporary exhibitions constructed in the Albany Museum during the last 30 years. The cave with Bushman paintings was completed in 1976 and the Children’s Wild Life Gallery and new Military Gallery in the History Museum in 1977. In 1985 the Meridian Room in the Observatory Museum was rebuilt, the Invertebrate Gallery in the Natural Sciences Museum was completed and improvements were made to the Military Gallery and the Settler Gallery in the History Museum. The Hall of Birds was opened in 1989. In 1990 the Museum received major sponsorship from Standard Bank to upgrade the art gallery in the History Museum. The “Dr Hewitt Gallery” in the Natural Sciences building was opened in 1990 and the amaXhosa Traditional Dress exhibition opened in the History Museum in 1991.

In 1991 the History of Man Hall (which was some 30 years old) was stripped to accommodate the travelling Anne Frank exhibition during the Festival. The Costume Hall in the History Museum was replaced by a travelling exhibition called `Ezakwantu – beadwork from the Eastern Cape’. Work continued on phase 2 of the Bird Hall and the reconstructed Paranthodon africanus by G Marx was unveiled in 1995. In 1995 work commenced on a temporary exhibition called The Journey of Clay. A major exhibitions programme included an inclusive look at the history of the Eastern Cape in a gallery called Contact and Conflict, and a temporary exhibition on the contribution of the Indian community to the Eastern Cape called Shadows of India. In 1997 the museum commenced with the Blue Planet Gallery, funded by the Working for Water and Learning to Value Water campaigns. By 2000, the museum had no exhibition staff. Despite this, work commenced again on the Palaeontology Gallery. In 2001 a traveling exhibition was commissioned and undertaken called `Traditional Leaders of the Eastern Cape’ and this was opened in 2002.