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This donation was a paramount importance because of its composition and because the gift was coupled with the condition that a suitable building be constructed to accommodate the collection. this put the onus on a recognized, established, and government-funded body to bring such a project to fruition. Had this not been so, it is likely that the Humphreys Bequest would have continued to hang indefinitely on the walls of the Northern Cape Technical Collage.  In addition to these large collections, many excellent works of art have been donated to the art gallery over the years.  

The art gallery, which bears William Humphreys’s name, was opened by Mr Harry Oppenheimer on 6 December 1952. Although an appendage of the Northern Cape Technical College, it was run independently by its own committee with Mr Humphreys at the helm of affairs in his capacity as chairman of the Art Gallery Committee. In the absence of professional ad clerical staff, he managed the gallery with the help of his son Basil, sub-committees to attend to such matters as finance, the acquisition of works of art and temporary exhibitions, as well as many enthusiastic and able volunteers.  

So keen an interest did William Humphreys take in the development of “his” art gallery that he frequently brought from his home in Carrington Road additional works of art to fill gaps and enhance the collection already there. Eventually this large collection, similar in composition to the bequest, became known as the Humphreys Loan Collection and added to the stature of the gallery.  

On his death in July 1965, the loan collection was, with the concurrence of his brother and sisters, bought from William Humphreys’ estate by Basil Humphreys and given to his son Anthony to ensure that it would be retained in Kimberley. During this period, it was known as the Anthony Humphreys Loan Collection. Some five years after Basil’s death in 1971, the art gallery was again in danger of losing the collection when it was offered for sale. Neither the institution not the Department of National Education had funds available to purchase it and an approach was made to De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd to come to the aid of the art gallery. With customary generosity, they bought the collection and in 1977 an agreement was signed by the company and the Art Gallery Council wherein it was agreed that, subject to certain conditions, these works of art would be lent to the gallery for an indefinite period and would be known as the Humphreys Collection on loan from De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. 

This then, was the nucleus and the solid foundation upon which successive Art Gallery Councils have been able to expand and consolidate the collections, with the emphasis being placed on the acquisition of South African works of art. 
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