The Building
The building in which the Stellenbosch University (SU) Museum is housed was erected in 1907 as Bloemhof Meisieskool (Bloemhof Girls' School). The architect FW Hesse designed the building in the Flemish Renaissance Revival style. It was a popular style in the second half of the 19th century which saw a global renewed interest in the Renaissance. Only a few examples of this style can be seen in South Africa. The exposed brickwork was a deep red. When the building was renovated in 1991, it was painted in a colour similar to that of the brickwork. White was also used to highlight detail in the building to achieve a polychromatic effect which emphasises the stylistic and structural elements of the style. In 1960 the older girls moved to a new secondary school building in the suburb of Krigeville and Bloemhof Meisieskool became Laerskool Bloemhof (Bloemhof Primary School). In 1977 Laerskool Bloemhof amalgamated with the boys' primary school, Laerskool Paul Roos, to become Laerskool Eikestad (Eikestad Primary School) - the school is still known by this name. In 1986 Laerskool Eikestad also moved to a new building in Krigeville.
The Museum
SU purchased the building in 1986. It was put to diverse uses for approximately three years. In 1989, thanks to a substantial financial contribution by Sasol, renovations started to convert it into a university museum. The renovated complex which for a time was known as the Sasol Arts Museum, was officially opened on 3 October 1991. The museum now houses a number of art collections as well as a cultural-historical and anthropological collection.