Johannesburg is a cultural hub in South Africa and has a wide variety of cultural venues, making it a prominent area for many creative and cultural industries.
Johannesburg is home to the National School of Arts, The University of Witwatersrand's School of the Arts and the South African Ballet Theatre, as well as the Johannesburg Art Gallery and other prominent cultural landmarks, such as the Mary Fitzgerald Square and numerous other museums, theatres, galleries and libraries.
The Johannesburg City Library is located in the Central Business District of Johannesburg.
Museums and galleries
Specialist museums cover subjects such as Africana, costume, design, fossils, geology, military history, medical, pharmacy, photography and transportation networks such as railways. Gold Reef City, a living museum, was originally part of the Crown Mines Complex, where gold was mined to a depth of . The Market Theatre stages plays, comedy shows, and musical performances.
The following is a list of some of the museums and galleries that can be found in Johannesburg.
AECI Dynamite Factory Museum
:The AECI Dynamite Factory Museum, housed in the 1895 residence of a mining official, records the history of explosives, with particular emphasis on their use in the mining industry. It also provides a social commentary and insight into the part played by some of the world famous figures who helped shape the destiny of southern Africa.
Adler Museum of Medicine
:History of Medicine, brainchild of Dr Cyril Adler, was formally inaugurated 1962. The Museum's role was to collect and preserve for posterity all material that would illustrate the History of medicine in general and of South Africa in particular.
:Constitution Hill is the home of the Constitutional Court, but also the site of Johannesburg’s notorious Old Fort Prison Complex, commonly known as Number Four, where thousands of ordinary people were brutally punished before the dawn of democracy in 1994. Many of South Africa’s leading political activists, including Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, were detained here.
Hector Pieterson Museum
:The Hector Pieterson Museum in Soweto commemorates the 566 people who died in the student uprising that followed the events of 16 June 1976. The museum is named for Hector Pieterson, a 12-year-old boy who was the first person shot dead by police on that day, and is located near a memorial to his death.
James Hall Transport Museum
:The James Hall Museum of Transport is the largest and most comprehensive museum of land transport in South Africa. It was established by the late Jimmie Hall together with the City of Johannesburg in February 1964.
Johannesburg Art Gallery
:The Johannesburg Art Gallery is an art gallery located in Joubert Park, in the central business district of Johannesburg, South Africa. The building was designed by Edward Lutyens and consists of 15 exhibition halls and sculpture gardens. It houses collections of 17th century Dutch paintings, 18th and 19th-century British and European art, 19th century South African works, a large contemporary collection of 20th century local and international art and a print cabinet containing works from the 15th century to the present.
Madiba Freedom Museum
:Named after the former President Mandela's clan, the museums theme is Mzabalazo and charts South Africa's journey to democracy.
:Museum Africa is located in Newtown, and covers the history of both the city and the continent.
Origins Centre Museum
Bernberg Fashion Museum
:Bernberg Fashion Museum is a primarily a museum collection, consisting of objects, and explains why and how clothing has changed and how the fashions of the past influence those of today.
Museum of Military History
:The South African National Museum of Military History is the only museum of its kind in South Africa and provides a nucleus of Museum and military history expertise in southern Africa. At the Museum you can see all types of guns, tanks, armoured cars, aircraft and naval hardware, including a midget submarine
called the Molch used by the Germans in the Second World War (1939–1945).
:The Zoology Museum is the only natural history museum in Johannesburg which is unusual because all the other major cities in South Africa have large public natural history museums. It has retained a unique character as the display specimens are exhibited in finely crafted teak cabinets which allow the viewer to engage directly with scores of objects at close range.
Entertainment and performing arts
Johannesburg hosts many of South Africa's premier music events, such as RAMFest's Johannesburg leg, In The City and many international tours.
The Civic Theatre complex hosts drama, opera and ballet.
Johannesburg is home to an extensive portfolio of public art. A diverse and evolving city, Johannesburg boasts a vibrant art scene and a variety of works that range from sculptures to murals to pieces by internationally renowned artists like William Kentridge and Gerhard Marx's Fire Walker. Many pieces are developed through community workshops, such as the Vilakazi Street sculptures. Others are functional, such as street furniture found in Hillbrow and the City Centre.