William Campbell Furniture and Picture Collection

William Campbell provided much of the furniture which is now on exhibition in the museum as he added pieces formerly kept in his home at Umhlanga when he moved to Muckleneuk in his old age. The Campbell family had over the years attempted to acquire furniture that was uniquely southern African.

entrance hall Muckleneuk contains beautifully crafted 17th and 18th century Cape Dutch linen cupboards, chests, 'rustbanke' and tables with features typical of their period. Most are made of indigenous woods such as stinkwood and yellowwood, some with contrasting inlays of exotic Indonesian woods like satinwood and beefwood. Recent restoration has brought out the subtlety and beauty of the woods and the sombre majesty which is characteristic of the quieter furniture styles of the colonies, styles which provide an interesting contrast with the more ornate pieces from Europe, typified by inlays and veneers.

The picture collection grew out of Dr Killie Campbell's library collections, being yet another expression of South African history in its rich and diverse forms. The art collection focuses upon historical and social documentary content rather than the aesthetic value of the works. For this reason biographical information about the artists forms an important adjunct to the collection. The picture collection has two main sections, namely historical artwork and contemporary African art.