Free night at museums and half-price at aquarium
FOLLOWING the success of its first event last year, Museum Night V&A Waterfront returns on Wednesday, when museums will offer free admission to visitors from 5pm until 10pm, and the Two Oceans Aquarium will have half price tickets.
When you think of the Waterfront, museums are probably not the first things that spring to mind but there are several within its borders (and one adjacent).
Participants include Chavonnes Battery Museum, Robben Island Jetty Museum, Iziko Maritime Centre, the Springbok Experience Rugby Museum, and the Cape Medical Museum.
The latter is in the Old City Hospital Complex in Portswood Road and its exhibitions centre around the medical history of the Cape and include: a doctor’s consulting room (furnished with items dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries); a dispensary room (a typical example of what could be found in a Cape dispensary in 1910);a disease room (commemorates the most prominent outbreaks of diseases throughout history, which included scurvy, leprosy, Spanish Influenza and the most recent, HIV/Aids); a hospital ward (which portrays a partial view of a typical hospital recovery ward from the early 20th century, including nurs- ing and midwifery equipment); and an operating theatre.
In addition to its exhibitions, the museum has an activity room that allows children and school pupils to discover more about the human body, see, touch and feel plastic models, and watch informa- tion videos on the human immune system and HIV/Aids.
The Springbok Experience is truly world class and, whether you’re a rugby fan or not, it’s an interactive, educational, moving, and fun way to spend a couple of hours. The entrance simulates a tunnel leading onto a rugby field, so you’re immediately thrust into the spirit of the game. On the ground floor there are all sorts of energetic activities, although it is suggested that you begin the tour upstairs.
Lining the walls of the stairwell are dozens of fabulous blockmounted action photographs and quotes about rugby. Upon entering the museum you will encounter more than 60 audio- visual displays, as well as memorabilia in glass cases that depict the history of rugby in South Africa, as well as that of the Springboks. Other teams and rugby unions are represented as well. Along the way are touch screens for an even more enriching experience.
The Iziko Maritime Centre features an overview of shipping in Cape Town, and the earliest existing model of Table Bay harbour, completed in 1885 by prisoners and warders of Breakwater Prison, is one of the exhibitions.
Images depicting Table Bay from the 17th to 20th centuries give an idea of the development of the harbour.
There is a collection of ship models and objects associated with shipping in Cape Town, in particular the era of mail ships. Large and medium-sized images support the exhibitions, with the emphasis on the Union-Castle Line.
The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), which opens in September, will host a programme outside the museum building.
Building on last year’s V&A Waterfront Museum Night event, attendees can expect to see new sites, new exhibitions, more performances, and scheduled walking tours during the evening.
See www.museum-night.co.za for more information, or email info@ waterfront.co.za or call 021 408 7600.
Explore the museums of the V&A Waterfront after dark.