This building was the second church built by the London Missionary Society in 1880. It was nicknamed the "Klein London". It was established to serve the needs of the South Sotho refugees who had fled to Graaff-Reinet to escape tribal battles. Since their language differed from that of the local inhabitants the London Missionary Society decided to minister to this group as a separate congregation. When the mission was closed the building deteriorated but was restored in recent years. It now houses the Pierneef Art Collection, a must see!
Jacobus Pierneef (1886-1957) was considered to be one of South Africa's master landscape artists. He was inspired by the South African highveld and simplified these landscapes in his art by using flat planes, lines, geometric structures and colour.
In 1929, Pierneef was commissioned to paint 32 panels for the new Johannesburg Railway Station. He completed the panels in 1932. The panels are thought to be some of this best work and can be viewed at the museum in Middel Street.
Completed in 1931, they hung in the concourse of the brand new Jo’burg station. They were meant to encourage the railway commuter to buy the long distance ticket and see the scenic virtues of South Africa. They got dirty and after some restoration by the artist went to the Jo’burg Art Gallery. In 2002 they were installed in the Pierneef Museum in Graaf Reinet, under the care of the Rupert Art Foundation.