The Ron Belling Art Gallery was established in 2000 in Port Elizabeth. The focus has gradually shifted over the years with the changing times and the growing interest in the visual arts arena. The Gallery name has since been changed to the Gutsche Family Investment Art Gallery (GFI Art Gallery) and the building has over the years been sensitively adjusted to accommodate its ever changing role.
The Gallery is a landmark building on Park Drive in Port Elizabeth and is one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the city. In 1936, Axel Stockelbach, then managing director of Ford South Africa, commissioned the first woman Architect to qualify in South Africa, Gertruida Brinkman, to design his house, “Ridgewood”.
The house was purchased in 1988 by Port Elizabeth businessman, Philipp Rowland Gutsche Senior. On his death in 2000, leaving behind a legacy of charity and goodwill, it was his wish that the residence be converted into an art gallery.
The purpose at the time was to house the Ron Belling Military Aviation Collection of Oil Paintings which had been acquired by the Gutsche family.
To this day Mr Gutsche’s daughter, Dorothea Moors, chairs the Gallery Board and together with the Board Members and Gallery Staff, Mr Gutsche’s legacy is upheld through the passionate promotion of visual arts in the Eastern Cape and beyond.