Jamaica’s Art Pioneers: Karl Parboosingh (1923-1975)

This post – another in our series in Jamaica’s art pioneers – was researched and written by Monique Barnett, our new Curatorial Assistant. Monique is a graduae of the Edna Manley College (Painting) and has previously worked with Ardenne High School and the MultiCare Foundation.

Karl Parboosingh - Cement Company (1966), A.D. Scott Collection, NGJ

At the opening of the Karl Parboosingh Retrospective, held posthumously at the National Gallery of Jamaica on December 15, 1975, the Honourable Michael Manley, Prime Minister and guest speaker, spoke these words about the painter:

Parboo felt strongly that art should be functional…the viewer…must somehow be brought into the situation which the artist’s brush described and must find himself reacting to the message of the artist. And Parboo insisted – there must be a message.

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Jamaica’s Art Pioneers – David ‘Jack’ Pottinger (1911-2007)

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With this post, we launch a new series of features on the pioneers of modern Jamaican art. This article was written by O’Neil Lawrence who acts as Assistant Curator.

Born on September 13th 1911 in Kingston, Jamaica, David “Jack” Pottinger is considered by many to be one of Jamaica’s finest painters. He grew up on Prince Street in downtown Kingston, influenced by the rhythm of life vendors and many Pocomania meetings that took place there. He took a course in house painting, paid for by his mother so that he could do it professionally, and also embarked on the enterprise of sign painting at the encouragement of a Mr. Bailey: a butcher who believed there was something more to this young house painter. And there was; he was to become a central figure in the early defining years of the nationalist movement. Continue reading

Remembering Albert Huie (1920-2010)

This post is the NGJ’s tribute to Jamaican master painter and printmaker Albert Huie, who passed away on Sunday. It was written by David Boxer, Chief Curator, and Veerle Poupeye, Executive Director.


Albert Huie - Crop Time (1955), Collection: National Gallery of Jamaica

Albert Huie was born on December 31, 1920 in Falmouth, Trelawny, and moved to Kingston in 1936. Within months of his arrival in Kingston he completed his first painting The Dancers. This precocious painting by the sixteen year old was to be the “launching pad” of a prodigious career.  Huie himself related his “discovery” by H. Delves Molesworth, the then Secretary of the Institute of Jamaica:

In the beginning I bought enamels in small tins from a hardware store and this was the medium I used to paint The Dancers after I had observed the scene in a downtown piano bar. Not long afterwards, I took this painting along with a couple others and my sketches, to the Institute of Jamaica to show them to Delves Molesworth. I was almost thrown out of the  Institute. Mr. Molesworth himself interceded, looked at what I had brought to show him and expressed an interest. He invited me to his house and commissioned a portrait to be done of his wife. During this time he began introducing me to his circle of friends, which included the Manleys. His property adjoined Drumblair. My long association with the Manleys began after this.

Albert Huie’s first landscape was painted at Drumblair and is in fact titled Drumblair. A regular visitor to Drumblair in the late thirties, Huie also recalled that his first woodcut was done in Edna Manley’s studio.

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