Tourist Attraction in Harare: National Gallery of Zimbabwe
The National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) is a gallery in Harare, Zimbabwe, dedicated to the presentation and conservation of Zimbabwe's contemporary art and visual heritage. The original National Gallery of Rhodesia was designed and directed by Frank McEwen, a British citizen credited with bringing Shona Sculpture to the spotlight. The Gallery was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother on 16 July 1957 and Queen Elizabeth II attended the sixth Zimbabwe Heritage Exhibition there in October 1991. McEwen was curator of the Gallery from 1957 until his resignation in 1973. The next curator was Roy Guthrie, who founded the Chapungu Sculpture Park in 1970. In 2007, the gallery celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. The well-known Zimbabwean sculptor Dominic Benhura is a member of the Board of Trustees. The National Gallery of Zimbabwe has been in existence since 1957, witnessed the shift from colonialism to independence, and has been central to the rise of Zimbabwean artists in the world art market. The Gallery was initially planned in the 1930s, but the outbreak of the Second World War impeded the colonial government's involvement in its progress. However, the idea was given new life when in 1943, Sir James McDonald, a friend and colleague of Cecil John Rhodes, left a bequest of £30,000 "in trust for the people of the colony" to establish an art gallery and art museum in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia. At the end of 1953, the Inaugural Board of the Gallery was established, chaired by the Governor of Southern Rhodesia. The passing of the National Gallery Act of Parliament in early 1952 saw the dissolution of the Inaugural Board and the establishment of the Board of Trustees. Major (later Sir) Stephen Courtauld presided as Chairman of the Board until 1962. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the Gallery from its inception, and after his departure from the Board he and his wife became the first patrons of the Gallery.