Irma Stern Museum

a south african art icon

Anyone who knows anything about South African art will be well acquainted with the works of Irma Stern. A prolific Expressionist painter, Stern achieved fame as an artist in South Africa and abroad in the early 20th century through her striking figures, portraits, landscapes, still lifes and ceramics.

The Irma Stern Museum is housed in “The Firs” in Cecil Road, Rosebank, which was the artist’s home for almost 40 years.

The museum contains a permanent collection of her own work, as well as her private collection of antiques and African art. There is also a monthly temporary exhibition programme that showcases the work of contemporary South African artists.

Visitors can purchase books, prints, posters and wrapping paper at the gift shop, and spend time enjoying the beautiful gardens in which the museum is located.

About the artist

Irma Stern was born in 1894 in Schweizer-Reneke, in what is now called the North-West Province of South Africa. During the South African War at the turn of the century, her parents returned with her to their native Germany. As a young adult she studied art at the Weimar Academy and the Levin-Funcke Studio in Berlin, and held her first solo exhibition in that city in 1919.

In 1920 the family returned to South Africa and settled in Cape Town. Stern’s work was initially dismissed in South Africa, but by the 1940s she had established herself as an important artist in the country.

Stern travelled extensively throughout her life, and was particularly fond of visiting the Congo and Zanzibar. Her trips to these countries had a distinct influence on her work, which is often referred to as exotic.



Address: Cecil Road, Rosebank, Cape Town

Telephone: +27 (0)21 685 5686


Operating hours: 10h00 to 17h00 on Tuesdays to Fridays; 10h00 to 14h00 on Saturdays

Entrance: Adults – R10; Pensioners and school pupils – R5

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