The Museum, established in 1971, is governed by the University of Cape Town and the Irma Stern Trust. It aims to promote an understanding and appreciation of the life, work and travels of Irma Stern, a major South African artist, by displaying a collection of her art and artefacts in the domestic setting of her home. The collection shows Irma Stern's development as an artist, who worked as a painter, sculptor and ceramist. Her life-long interest in depicting people is evident in the predominance of portraits and exotic figures interspersed with lush landscapes and vibrant still lifes. Her two illustrated journals published of travels undertaken in Zanzibar and the Congo vividly convey her experiences, while the private writings in German kept during the period (1917-1933) were translated into English and published posthumously, provide another insight into her personality. Irma's zest for life expressed in her love of abundant colour is evident everywhere in each of the rooms in which she lived, worked and enjoyed entertaining. Visitors to the museum can experience this uniquely furnished interior when viewing the sitting room, dining room and studio retained in the manner left by the artist.