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House Parker - The Firs - Irma Stern Museum
Mowbray, Cape Town, Western Cape

John PARKER: Architect

Date:n.d. : 1898


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33°57'11.54" S 18°28'10.09" E Alt: 32m

John and Susan Parker's first home was House Parker in Tamboerskloof. In 1898 they purchased The Firs, which at that time was a single-storey farmhouse standing on large grounds in Mowbray. Parker made extensive alterations, including changing it to a double-storey house, as he and his wife had eight children. They lived here until his death in 1921. It was sold to the Lauenstein family in 1922, who sold it on to the artist Irma Stern in 1927. She lived and worked here until her death in 1966. In her will she left the house and its contents in a trust for the advancement of Fine Art in South Africa and abroad. The planned museum was announced in June 1970. After two years of renovations the house opened as the Irma Stern Museum in July 1972. It is administered by the University of Cape Town in partnership with The Irma Stern Trust.

Writings about this entry

Berman, Esmé. 1983. Art and artists of South Africa: An illustrated biographical dictionary and historical survey of painters, sculptors and graphic artists since 1875. Cape Town : Balkema. pg 179, 180, 221, 439
Duncan, Paul & Proust, Alain. 2013. Hidden Cape Town. Cape Town: Random House Struik. pg 232-239
Fransen, Hans. 1978. Guide to the Museums of Southern Africa. Cape Town: Galvin & Sales (Pty) Ltd, for the Southern African Museums Association. pg 38-39
Keen, Adele. 1990. Under Devil's Peak : some old houses and the people who lived in them in Mowbray, Rosebank and Rondebosch (2nd enlarged issue). Cape Town: Private. pg 7-10
Parker, Howard. 2015. John Parker, 1866-1921 : architect and mayor of Cape Town. Wellington, New Zealand: Howard Parker. pg 22, 25
Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1977. Victorian Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: AA Balkema. pg 123