A multi-sensory experience at the Norval Foundation in the Steenberg region

Nestled between the beautiful greenery in the southern suburbs of Cape Town, The Norval Foundation is one of the Mother City’s most sought after research and exhibition centres. This one-of-a-kind centre combines nature and fine art in the sublime Steenberg region, offering visitors a space where they can immerse themselves within a unique cultural experience.

Deeply infused in its deep cultural roots, The Norval Foundation celebrates the cohesion between artistic expression and the natural wetlands in the area. Home to a Sculpture Garden, outdoor amphitheatre, purpose-built exhibition spaces and a research library, The Norval Foundation illuminates a multi-sensory experience.

The gallery building – perched on the stretch of site between Steenberg Road and the wetland –  has a simple but sophisticated, sculptural longitudinal shape. Glazed ends to the north and south capture spectacular views from the double volume sculpture gallery and restaurant respectively. The naturally lit atrium entices visitors into the space, offering incomparable views of the wetland sculpture park.

The museum emphasises the research and exhibition of modern, contemporary art, showcasing the work of 20th and 21st-century artists. Under the guidance of executive director Elana Brundyn, each exhibition is curated with the utmost care and attention, resulting in world-class, contemporary and varied displays.

The most prominent The Homestead Art Collection is a leading 20th-century South African collection assembled by the Norval family themselves and features work by artists such as Deborah Bell, Peter Clarke, Dumile Feni, Trevor Makhoba, and Cecil Skotnes.

“Art had the power to enrich lives and artists contribute to the communities in a profound way” – The Norval Foundation.

Further,  the Norval Foundation are the custodians of the Gerard Sekoto Foundation, the Edoardo Villa Estate Collection and the Alexis Preller Archive. These sought-after artworks render The Norval Foundation unique in what it presents to Cape Town, making the museum one of the largest private art collections in the country where the works of both local and international visual artists will feature.

The foundation celebrates the importance of the natural wetlands in the area as it was one of the most intricate considerations made when designing and constructing the site. To protect and retain the sensitive freshwater wetland area, horticulturist, Keith Kirsten, was brought in to guide the removal of invasive plants and to landscape a biodiverse garden.

Complementing the Foundations’ multi-sensory offering is the Skotnes Restaurant and Bar. The culinary leg of the gallery is the final artistic touch to this unique setting. The Skotnes Restaurant was recognised by Eat Out Readers as “Highly Commended” in the Best Everyday Eatery Awards 2018.

‘The Norval family are the founders and initial funders of the Norval Foundation. They aim to make art widely accessible to local and international visitors by creating a self-sustaining centre for art. The proceeds from capital donations will be used to secure the foundation for future generations.’


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