What is International Museum Day?
International Museum Day has celebrated annually since 1977. The objective of the day is to recognize the cultural significance of museums to educate and innovate in our society. This year's theme is "The Power of Museums", highlighting these landmarks as bastions of cultural discovery, exploration and change. This International Museum Day will spotlight the potential of museums to bring about positive changes in their communities by promoting sustainability, digital innovation, and community building through education. In previous years, over 37,000 museums from 158 countries have participated in the day. The Ditsong Museums of South Africa will be among this cohort in 2022. Here's where you can celebrate International Museum Day in and around Gauteng:
Ditsong Museums of South Africa
The Ditsong Museums of South Africa are an amalgamation of eight museums, seven situated in Pretoria and one in Johannesburg. These museums house diverse collections and artefacts, covering the fields of fauna and flora, paleontology, military history, cultural history, geology, anthropology and archaeology. All eight Ditsong Museums will be offering free entry from Wednesday, 16 May - Sunday, 22 May 2022 in honour of International Museum Day. We highly recommend visiting the Museum of Military History in Parktown to celebrate the day. If you are willing to travel a little further, the Museum of Natural History and the Sammy Marks Museum are must-sees. Read on to find out more about these prestigious museums and what they have to offer this International Museum Day.
Museum of Military History
The Ditsong National Museum of Military History is the only museum of its kind in South Africa. This military history memorial is one of eight world-class museums situated in Gauteng. Managed by the Ditsong Museums of SA Institution, it stands alone as Joburg's only Ditsong Museum. The museum boasts an impressive collection of more than 44 000 items. It is divided into 37 separate categories, including the official South African war art and photograph collections. The aviation collection contains some of the rarest aircrafts in the world. Another special feature is the museum library. Featuring a unique collection of books, journals and archival material, this library is a researcher's dream. Visit the Museum of Military History this International Museum Day to join the ranks of the 80,000 yearly visitors roll.
Details: (Tel) +27 12 492 5744 | [email protected] | 22 Erlswold Way, Saxonwold, Johannesburg.
Museum of Natural History
The Ditsong Museum of Natural History is the only natural history museum in Gauteng. It is one of the largest of its kind in South Africa. The museum is home to a variety of collections and exhibits. Come and marvel at their displays of hominid fossils from the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. These displays include fascinating skeletons, skins and mounted specimens of amphibians, fish, invertebrates, reptiles and mammals.
The museum will also commemorate the 75th anniversary of the discovery of Mrs Ples this International Museum Day. Visitors will be granted free entry into the vault to see the original fossil, carefully preserved for generations to come. We can't think of a better way to celebrate the outstanding work that the Museum of Natural History has done to teach us about our past and show us the potential for our future as a species. Don't miss this once in a lifetime experience!
Details: (Tel) +27 12 492 5744 | Email: [email protected] | City Hall, 432 Paul Kruger St, Pretoria Central, Gauteng.
Sammy Marks Museum
Travel back in time by visiting the Sammy Marks Museum this International Museum Day. Samuel Marks and his young wife, Bertha, moved to Zwartkoppies Hall in 1885. This is where they built a sprawling 40 room Victorian mansion for their family. The house eventually fell into disrepair but found its new life as a museum in 1986. You can now book a guided tour of the sprawling mansion. You may not be able to visit all the rooms during your tour, but be sure to pop into the piano room, the billiards room, the Marks' bedroom and the library. Here, you will find a treasure trove of Victorian and Edwardian trinkets, furniture and books.
The tour doesn't end there. You can choose from a range of outdoor activities as well. A game of croquet in the gardens, bird walks, a treasure hunt or a puppet show for the kids. Families are also welcome to book a Victorian style picnic in the rose garden. Sounds like the ideal way to appreciate the beauty and significance of our national museums in our opinion. Book yourself a tour as soon as possible!
Details: (Tel) +27 012 755 9542 | [email protected] | Bronkhorstspruit Rd, Savannah Country Estate, Pretoria, 0184.
Have you visited any of these Ditsong Museums of South Africa? Let us know about your experience in the comments below!