The Walter Battiss Art Museum

The Walter Battiss Art Museum



Walter Battiss was a master of oil painting and is still considered to be the best watercolour artist South Africa has ever had. He pioneered silkscreen printing in the country, was the best abstract artist of his day and drew with a mastery few can copy.

Examples of all his techniques can be seen in the Walter Battiss Art Museum in Somerset East.

The Museum is open from 10am to 2pm on weekdays.
Other times, Public Holidays and weekends can be arranged by appointment.

The history of the museum building:

The two-storied house with its long shaded verandah was built as an English officers’ mess in the early days of Somerset, and was hired by the Battiss family, who ran it as the Battiss Private Hotel between 1914 and 1917 when the recession which followed the First World War forced them to close and move to Koffiefontein.  It lies under the benign gaze of the Boschberg Mountain, and is a familiar landmark in this small Karoo town.  It still functions as an art museum housing the large collection of Battiss’ work, as well as family items, books, letters, and some of Professor Battiss’ clothing and personal items.

The Museum was fully restored when serious deterioration of the building was identified in 1999, and it reopened in 2004.