The Rupert Museum houses the unique and private art collection started by the Late Dr Anton Rupert and his wife Huberte Rupert in the 1940s. A South African businessman, philanthropist and conservationist, Anton Rupert, together with his wife, Huberte, were prominent figures in support of the visual arts, as well as promoting education, music and the preservation of historical buildings.
The inspiration for the museum has its origin in a fire at the Ruperts’ home, following which, Huberte Rupert made the decision to create an art museum which would provide an intimate experience of their extensive art collection. It certainly reflects the discerning eye and personal taste of Dr and Mrs Rupert, exhibiting a selection of what is considered a foremost collection of Modern South African art.
The broader collection spans paintings, sculptures and tapestries and includes work by Maggie Laubser, Irma Stern, Alexis Preller, Ernest Mancoba, JH Pierneef, Walter Battiss, Ezrom Legae, Jean Welz, Peter Clarke, Albert Adams, Lucas Sithole and Anton van Wouw. The collection also features works by major European artists such as Auguste Rodin and Kathe Kollwitz, along with French tapestries by Jean Lurcat. Today, this world-class collection by South African artists continues to grow and develop within the Rupert Art Foundation.
Located in Stellenbosch, the museum was commissioned by Huberte Rupert in 2003 and designed by the South African architect, Hannes Meiring. Huberte wanted the museum to be intimate and unpretentious, she wanted a building that fit into the landscape and spoke to the architectural style of the area. It was completed in 2005, approximately 2000 square metres, comprising of three main exhibition halls and an administrative space.
The building and grounds underwent renovations in 2018 and re-opened in 2019 with a fresh contemporary feel yet still retaining the founders’ and original architect’s aesthetic language. It now boasts a café, art workshop studio and beautifully landscaped indigenous garden. It is designed in the traditional ‘Boland farm architecture’ style, providing a cool space with simple clean white-washed walls. It’s set among vineyards and oak trees along the Eerste River and complements the architectural history and wine culture of the area.