The National Gallery of Zimbabwe is a gallery in Harare, Zimbabwe, dedicated to the presentation and preservation of contemporary Zimbabwean art and visual heritage.
The National Gallery of Zimbabwe has been in existence since 1957, witnessing the shift from colonialism to independence and has been instrumental in the rise of Zimbabwean artists in the global art market.
The museum was made possible by a donation of £ 30,000 from Sir James McDonald, specifically intended for «the creation of an art gallery and museum in the town of Salisbury, Southern Rothesia, for the people of the colony.» It was officially opened by Queen Mother Elizabeth on July 16, 1957.
The first director of this gallery was Frank McEwen, who organized the gallery’s inaugural exhibition with works on loan from the National Gallery of London, the Louvre Museum and the Tate Gallery, among others. During the first ten years of the museum’s existence, Frank undertook the task of creating a permanent collection of works from the various artistic periods of Europe, a heritage of African and Oceanian art, thus opening a workshop for local artists whose works would be presented at the Gallery’s Annual Exhibition and, in this way, the national gallery then called the Rhodes National Gallery began to form its permanent collection.
Today, the museum’s permanent collection consists of approximately 6,000 pieces, including specimens by the old masters of European art, an important collection of contemporary art by Zimbabwean artists, and African art.