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The Duggan-Cronin Gallery

The Duggan-Cronin Gallery

Alfred Martin Duggan-Cronin was born in Innishannon, County Cork, Ireland on 17 May 1874, and at the age of 23 travelled to Kimberley, South Africa, to work for De Beers Consolidated Mines. Duggan-Cronin worked for the security department on one of De Beers "Native Compounds" which obviously sparked his interest in the indigenous people of Southern Africa. Hid legacy began in 1904 when he bought himself a simple camera, which was the start of his passionate interest in photography and the South African People. Over the years he travelled over 128 000 km on photographic expeditions. In 1919 he travelled to Langeberg to photograph the San people living there and thereafter made another approximately 18 similar expeditions. He died in August 1954 and is buried in Kimberley, which he considered his home. Duggan-Cronin was appointed the first curator of the Duggan-Cronin Gallery after the building was donated by De Beers in 1938 to the Kimberley City Council to house the Duggan-Cronin Collection.

The building in Egerton Road, Kimberley, was built in 1889 for the manager of the London and South African Exploration Company, John Blades Currey. The building which was more commonly known as "The Lodge" was later sold to De Beers and used as the residence for William Pickering, the Secretary and later Director of De Beers.

Today the Duggan-Cronin Gallery is a photographic museum which displays the works of its namesake as well as the works of Aubrey Elliot, Jean Morris and Alice Mertens. The collections are photos which were taken of the indigenous peoples of southern Africa, between 1919 and 1980. The photos show aspects of traditional life and dress which have now almost completely vanished. The Duggan-Cronin collection consists of negatives and prints, as well as artefacts of material culture of the tribes, including beadwork, costumes, pottery, iron tools and wood carvings. The publications The Bushmen Tribes of Southern Africa and The Bantu Tribes of South Africa are just some of the publications which feature the works of Duggan-Cronin.

The gallery is a satellite museum of the McGregor Museum and is open to the public from Monday to Friday, from 09:00 to 17:00 but is only open on weekends and public holidays by appointment.

For more information please contact:

Tel: +27-53-8392722
Fax: +27-53-8421433

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