Maurice Facey at the National Gallery’s 10th anniversary celebrations in 1984
The National Gallery of Jamaica deeply regrets the passing of the Hon. Maurice Facey, O.J. and pays tribute to him as a man of vision and effective action, who played a crucial role in the establishment and development of the National Gallery and was its founding Chairman.
A leading entrepreneur and developer of the post-Independence period in Jamaica, Maurice Facey was active in the fields of real estate development, life insurance, banking, tourism, manufacturing and agriculture and was the Chairman of the Pan Jam group of companies for some forty-five years. The National Gallery’s current Chairman, Peter Reid lauded Mr Facey as “a pioneer of development in Jamaica, whose many contributions include some of the Nation’s most iconic buildings”, including the Scotiabank Centre, which is now a defining part of the Downtown Kingston skyline. Maurice Facey was a passionate advocate for urban renewal and also chaired the Kingston Restoration Company. He received many honours and awards for his contributions to national development, including the Order of Jamaica.
Maurice Facey at the National Gallery at Devon House, circa 1974
Maurice Facey was a significant patron and champion of the arts in Jamaica. He chaired the committee established by Prime Minister Michael Manley to establish a National Gallery and subsequently, from 1974 to 1977, chaired the National Gallery of Jamaica’s first Board. He was again named Chairman in 1980 and continued to serve in this capacity until 1992, after which he served on the Board for an additional seven years. Under Mr Facey’s leadership, the National Gallery secured its first home at Devon House and relocated in 1982 to its current building in Downtown Kingston. His tenure was also characterized by particularly rapid growth for the National Gallery, with the establishment of its permanent galleries and the expansion of its collections and programmes. Continue reading
The National Gallery of Jamaica deeply regrets to announce that the master sculptor Fitzroy (Fitz) Harrack has passed away on January 10, 2013.
Born in 1945 in St John’s, Grenada, Harrack received his early artistic training in Grenada and then Trinidad before attending the Jamaica School of Art (later Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts) on a scholarship. Upon his graduation in 1969, Harrack settled in Jamaica and began exhibiting in group and solo shows at well-known venues such as the Bolivar Gallery and the Institute of Jamaica. He was a regular exhibitor at the National Gallery of Jamaica where he participated as an invited artist in the Annual National exhibition and subsequently, the National Biennial. He was one of the artists selected for the prestigious Jamaican Art 1922-1982 exhibition, a major survey of modern Jamaican art which was toured in the USA, Canada and Haiti 1983 to 1985 by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. He most recently exhibited at the National Gallery in the 2008 National Biennial, to which he contributed a metal mask, and in the inaugural exhibition of the Guy McIntosh Donation, which included a major, untitled and undated abstract carving.
Fitz Harrack – The Disadvantaged (1973), Collection: NGJ
Petrine Archer-Straw – From the Magic Carpet Series (1987), Collection: NGJ, The Guy McIntosh Donation
The National Gallery of Jamaica deeply regrets the passing of Dr Petrine Archer-Straw, Jamaican art historian, curator, critic and educator. Dr Archer-Straw was a past Board and and a past staff member of the National Gallery.
Petrine Archer-Straw was born in Birmingham, England, to Jamaican parents, and her family moved back to Jamaica in the early 1970s. A graduate of the University of the West Indies-Mona and the Jamaica School of Art (now part of the Edna Manley College), she joined the Education Department staff of the National Gallery in 1983 and thus started what would become a distinguished international career as an art historian and curator. Petrine Archer-Straw was instrumental in developing the Education department’s lecture, panel discussion and film screening programmes and her input helped to turn the department into a lively center for discussion and research. One of her key contributions was a series of lectures on masterpieces from the National Gallery collection, such as Barrington Watson’s Mother and Child and Christopher Gonzales’ Homage to Bob Marley, which derived from her extensive research on these works of art, the artists, and their context.
Petrine Archer-Straw at a National Gallery function, circa 1997
After completing an M.Phil. in History at the University of the West Indies, which she did while working at the National Gallery, Petrine Archer-Straw continued her post-graduate studies in Art History at the prestigious Courtauld Institute, University of London, where she earned her Ph.D. in 1995. She was also a certified appraiser (New York University, 2010) and an Associate of the Appraisers Association of America. Continue reading
Gaston Tabois – John Canoe in Guanaboa Vale (1962), Collection: NGJ
I put out my effort. Hopefully I’ll die very old having accomplished a lot of good for mankind.
Gaston Tabois, 1987
The National Gallery of Jamaica deeply regrets to announce that the Jamaican Intuitive artist Gaston Lascelles Tabois passed away earlier this week, on November 20, 2012.
Gaston Lascelles Tabois, circa 2010
Gaston Tabois was born in Trout Hall, Clarendon in 1924 but grew up in the small community of Rock River. He spent quite a bit of time on his parents’ small farm, but it was the solid work ethic that was instilled in him by instruction and example particularly that of his mother who insisted on the importance of him taking his educational opportunities seriously.
Gaston Tabois – Road Menders (1956), Collection: NGJ
His artistic talent was apparent from an early age as his elementary school teachers regularly tasked him with making charts for the classes. His dedication to self improvement saw him teaching himself Latin, Spanish, History and Mathematics but it was art that remained a constant in his life, even with his entry into the civil service. Tabois eventually became the Acting Chief Draftsman in the Ministry of Construction but it was his artistic production that brought him national attention. As a self taught painter,he held his first solo show at the Hills Gallery in Kingston in 1955, where he was immediately hailed as one of the era’s most significant “primitive” painters. He continued exhibiting with the Hills Gallery for several years and his painting Road Menders (1956), which is now a prized part of the NGJ Collection, was originally shown there. Continue reading
The National Gallery of Jamaica regrets the passing of Jamaican artist Hylton Nembhard (1950-2011). This is our tribute to him, with thanks to Herman van Asbroeck for images of his recent work.
Hylton Nembhard (1950-2012) received early training at the Junior Centre of the Institute of Jamaica and later attended the Jamaica School of Art, now the Edna Manley College. He exhibited regularly over the years, starting with the Festival Fine Arts exhibition in the 1960s and the NGJ’s Annual National in the 1970s. He also exhibited his work at the Bolivar Gallery and Amaicraft.
Nembhard’s earlier work consisted of figurative woodcarvings, in local woods such as lignumvitae and cedar, but more recently he worked inventively with recuperated materials, especially sheet metal, which he hammered into relief shapes, combined with fibers and sometimes also painted.
Barrington Watson - Portrait of Guy McIntosh (1977), Collection: The McIntosh Family
The National Gallery of Jamaica deeply regrets the passing of the art collector and dealer Guy McIntosh on Monday morning, August 8.
Guy McIntosh’s involvement in the Jamaican art world dated from the 1960s, when he started framing art for local collectors and when he also started collecting. He set up a framing workshop at the Contemporary Art Gallery, the gallery of the Contemporary Jamaican Artists Association, and in 1973 became the owner and operator of the Frame Centre Gallery on Tangerine Place, one of the leading art galleries and custom framing establishments in Jamaica. In the 1980s especially, the Frame Centre Gallery played an influential role in the development of Jamaican art and many of the leading artists of the day, such as Edna Manley, Kapo, Milton George, David Boxer and Norma Rodney Harrack all exhibited there. Continue reading