In 1948 William Humphreys donated to the city a substantial portion of his personal collection of 16th and 17th Century Dutch and Flemish Old Masters, British and French paintings, antique furniture and other objects d’art.
This gift combined with the South African works of art brought together by members of the Art Section of the Kimberley Athenaeum and The Max Greenberg Bequest formed the nucleus of the collection. The Humphreys Loan Collection and Timlin Collection on indefinite loan from De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited, augment it.
More recently the Meyer Collection of European and Oriental Porcelain and the Lawson Collection of Old Master Drawings and Prints have been acquired.
At present the Art Gallery concentrates on collecting South African works of art. Apart from its primary function as a museum of art, this Gallery serves the community as an educational and cultural centre. Its activities include temporary exhibitions, art workshops mainly for children, development stimulation classes for pre-school children, craft workshops for unemployed women, lectures, video shows and concerts.
They also have a successful outreach programme in which they take graphic exhibitions to the small towns of the Northern Cape province where learners are exposed to world of art. Guided tours are arranged on request.