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Walter Battiss Art Museum

Walter Battiss Art Museum

Although Prof. Walter Battiss died 40 years ago, his memory and his astounding legacy live on in the Walter Battiss Art Museum in Somerset East, in the historical building in which he played, and began to develop his quirky, creative body of work as a small boy.

Battiss was born in Somerset East; and moved with his family to the Free State when he was eleven.  There he began his long association with Rock Art, first finding petroglyphs, and later the cave paintings of the early man.  This became one of many inspirations for his large body of art.

In 1981 he brought a collection of over 70 of his oils, watercolours, and silkscreen prints; and many of the books he authored, and often printed himself.  As well as there are works donated by his colleagues and friends for the opening.

The Museum also holds Battiss family items, letters, furniture, and Fook Island memorabilia, and photographs.


Battiss is still considered to be the best South African watercolour artist ever, and one room is filled with his luminous watercolours, painted all over the world.

Some visitors are already Battiss fans, others are seeing his work for the first time; and they are all amazed, enthralled, challenged, and entertained – especially if they watch the DVD in which he talks about his life and his art, and introduces  his fantastical world of Fook Island.

The Walter Battiss Art Museum is administered by the Not for Profit Organisation, the Walter Battiss Foundation, and is wholly dependent on donations and gate takings for it's existence.

The Museum is open from 10.00 until 14.00 on weekdays, but visits can be arranged at any time.

For more information about Walter Battiss, visit


Mrs Ros Turner
042 243 1448


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