Durban and KwaZulu-Natal Sights

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Campbell Collections

Campbell Collections Review

In the middle of bustling, suburban Berea, Muckleneuk is a tranquil Cape Dutch home in a leafy garden. It's much as it was when it was built in 1914 upon the retirement of Sir Marshall Campbell, a wealthy sugar baron and philanthropist who lived here with his wife, Ellen, and daughter, Killie. Today Muckleneuk houses a museum administered by the University of KwaZulu-Natal, including the William Campbell Furniture Museum. (William was the son of Sir Marshall.) The house is furnished similarly to when the Campbells lived here, and contains some excellent pieces of Cape Dutch furniture that belonged to them, an extensive collection of works by early European traveler artists, such as Angas, as well as paintings by prominent 20th-century black South African artists, including Gerard Bhengu, Daniel Rakgoathe, and Trevor Makhoba. The Mashu Museum of Ethnology displays the best collection of traditional Zulu glass beadwork in the country; African utensils, like tightly woven wicker beer pots; weapons dating from the Bambatha Uprising of 1906, during which blacks in Natal rebelled against a poll tax and were brutally put down; carvings; masks; pottery; and musical instruments. Paintings of African tribespeople by artist Barbara Tyrrell, who traveled around South Africa from the 1940s to 1960s capturing people in their traditional costumes and gathering valuable anthropological data, add vitality to the collection. The Killie Campbell Africana Library, which is open to the public, is a treasure trove of historical information on KwaZulu-Natal. It includes the papers of James Stuart, a magistrate and explorer during the early 20th century; the recorded oral tradition of hundreds of Zulu informants; a collection of pamphlets produced by the Colenso family in their struggle for the recognition of the rights of the Zulu people; and a good collection of 19th-century works on game hunting.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 220 Gladys Mazibuko (Marriott) Rd., at Stephen Dlamini (Essenwood) Rd. Berea, Durban, 4001 | Map It
  • Phone: 031/207–3432; 031/260–1722
  • Cost: Muckleneuk tours R250, library free
  • Hours: Muckleneuk tours daily at 11 and 2:30 (reservations essential); library weekdays 9–noon and 2–4:30, Sat. 9–noon
  • Website:
  • Location: Durban

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