Nairobi gallery is located at the intersection of Kenyatta Avenue or Uhuru Highway in the heart of Nairobi City, the gallery was built in 1913, this was the old PC’s office building fondly referred to as ‘Hatches, Matches and Dispatches’ because of the births, marriages and deaths that were recorded here. Currently the building is a safari National Monument and serves as a museum holding, its permanent collection is based on the Murumbi African Heritage collection Rendile and folk art from the includes ancient, sculptures, paintings and artifacts of daily life from diverse African cultures, temporary art exhibitions. The Nairobi gallery in Swahili it means (Nyumba ya saan aya Nairobi), the gallery is dedicated to showcasing the African art safari.
From 1963, the building was used as the provisional commissioner’s office until 1984.The building was later used as Kanu’s branch office of Nairobi until in 1997.In 1995, the building was declared as a national monument, then in 1997, ownership of the building was passed to the National Museums of Kenya. In 1999 the state corporation began the process of renovating the building, and in 2005, the renovation work was completed and the gallery opened for its first time. During 2019, the National Museums of Kenya collaborated with Google to digitize the Nairobi gallery’s exhibits to the Google Arts and culture platform as well as add an adapted version of Google Street View to the museum’s rooms.
The Nairobi gallery got various collection of pan-African stamps from different countries of the continent as well as a collection of Joseph Murumbi’s photos. In the ‘’Joseph and Sheila Murumbi’s Room’’, there are several pieces of furniture such as Lamu sofa, a Zanzibar cupboard and posters about African heritage. The gallery also contains African stools, traditional weapons, containers used by the different Kenyan communities to store things or cook.
Nairobi gallery also contains Nubian baskets and wood carvings, also there are sculptures and painting by the artists from the different parts of Africa like Nigeria with works by Bruce Onokbrakpeya, Joseph Olabode, Asiru Olatunde Osogbo, the gallery also contains the traditional clothings such as Egunguns.
The gallery contains traditional textiles like the collection of the Kangas, in the year 2015, the gallery showed work by Kenyan artist Peterson Kamwathi, then in 2018 the gallery organized an exhibition featuring works by nine East African women artists, including artwork by Margaret Trowell, Rosemary Karuga, Magdalene Odundo, Theresa Musoke, Robin Anderson, Yony Wait-e, Joy Adamson, Geraldine Robarts, Nani Croze, then in 2019, the gallery exhibited Tinga Tinga paintings which organized in Tanzania and also in 2019 the gallery presented an exhibition with artists from Tanzania that included works by artists Robina Ntila and Muzu Suleiman.
What to see and do at the Nairobi Gallery.
On a safari to the Nairobi Gallery, the main activity at the gallery is looking at the beautiful art collection of the African culture that leaves you inspired and impressed, every piece of art in this gallery is such eye catching and amazing. At this gallery you also realize how African were very creative, their traditional fashion, the wood carvings, furniture and untencils all leaves you surprised how they managed to make such beautiful piece of art.
The gallery also houses the home of Murumbi, the private art collector. This home had various art collections owing to the fact that the owner was an art collector, this home had an African theme which shows how Murumba loved Africa and so the need for preserving the culture for the future generations, one can also come to this gallery to specifically shop for the African artifacts that are sold relatively at the fair prices.
Entrance fees at Nairobi Gallery.
Kenyan citizen only needs to have Ksh 150 for entry while the residents and non-residents need Ksh 600 and 1000 respectively. Night safari and guides are also available. The Nairobi gallery opens at 8:30 am to 5:30 pm daily.
The Nairobi gallery can be easily accessed because it is located in the heart of the Nairobi city nest to Nyayo House and is easily accessible by Uhuru highway and Kenyatta Avenue as it is located at the intersection of the two roads.
Nairobi gallery is famous in Kenya it was built in 1913, the gallery was formerly a civil service building, fondly referred to as ‘ Hatches, Matches, and Dispatches’ because of the births, marriages and deaths that were recorded , today the building serves as a safari destination, that is well it is well known as a museum and a national monument. Currently the Nairobi gallery continues to the country’s development.
The building is a National Monument hosting numerous exhibitions of works by both foreign and the local artists, it is part of the historical Kenya safari of the city of Nairobi. The visitors to this historical site use an innovative GPS audio walking safari app published by the Voice Map. The formidable structure of the building is most certainly an undervalued piece of Kenyan history and culture, the authorities would gain nothing by not giving it its deserved attention and in fact, would only conceal its true splendor.