The Lodge - now the Duggan Cronin Gallery
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The house was built for John Blades-Currey, manager of the London & South African Exploration Company. It was taken over by De Beers Consolidated Mines and used as a guest house. Soon after it was fortified during the Siege of Kimberley. In 1937 it was donated to the McGregor Museum as an ethnographic museum to house the collection of photographs taken by AM Duggan-Cronin who had come to Kimberley in 1897 working for De Beers. It is now part of the McGregor Museum, a Provincial Heritage Resource of Northern Cape since 1999.
Notice on the wall of the Museum
"The Lodge" Egerton Road was designed by the architect Sydney Stent in 1889 for the London and South African Exploration Company as the private residence of their manager, John Blades Curry who lived here until 1899. In that year "The Lodge" was taken over by the De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd along with the other properties of L and SA Exploration Co. and from 1901 to 1933 was occupied by William Pickering, a Secretary and later Director of De Beers. On his death his widow vacated "The Lodge" which was then used by De Beers for social functions and also as a guest house.
When Mr Duggan-Cronin presented his framed photographs to the city of Kimberley, and deeded the rest of his photographic material to the Mc Gregor Museum, De Beers generously made "The Lodge" available for exhibiting the collection. In 1938 it was officially opened as the Duggan-Cronin Bantu Gallery with Mr Cronin as first curator in an honorary capacity.
Although a separate building the Gallery falls under the management of the Trustees of the Mc Gregor Museum, who were able to renovate and alter it for Museum purposes in 1994-5, under the direction of D.W.B Yuill of Goldblatt, Yuill and partners.
On the Strength of its historical associations, and architectural features, it was proclaimed a National Monument on 17 August 1984 (Government Notice no 1758).
All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.
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