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.
In a tribute, the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Honourable Olivia Grange, MP (who has ministerial responsibility for the National Gallery) said: “Guy McIntosh was a great supporter of Jamaican art and made a tremendous contribution to national cultural development by means of his work as an art promoter and collector. He was a true friend to our National Gallery and we are forever grateful for the Guy McIntosh Donation, his donation of eighty works of art from his private collection to the National Collection. I want to take this opportunity to pay homage to Guy McIntosh’s vision and generosity and to extend my sincere condolences to his family.”
Guy McIntosh had recently donated a selection of 80 works from his private collection to the National Gallery and this major donation, which included work by Milton George, Omari Ra, Barrington Watson, Milton Harley, Kofi Kayiga, Carol Crichton, Cecil Cooper, Fitz Harrack, Stanford Watson, David Boxer, Netifnet Maat and Byron Bowden. The donation, along with four other works of art Guy and his wife Charmaine had previously donated to the Gallery, had its inaugural exhibition at the National Gallery from April to June 2011. About the donation, the art historian and curator Petrine Archer wrote: “It is a collection donated by Guy McIntosh that speaks perfectly to his dedication to Jamaican Art for half a century. In this selection we see the maturation of Jamaican art beyond its nationalist origins towards a form that is contentious, challenging and very contemporary. The collection represents a defining moment in our art and we are grateful to Guy McIntosh for the opportunity to revisit that moment and its meaning.”
The Frame Centre Gallery was a gathering place for all who were interested in Jamaican art and Guy’s office was a place were artists could share their concerns and artistic queries more privately. Margaret Reckord Bernal, who served as the Frame Centre’s curator in the 1980s, reminisced: “Available and open to all comers especially artists who wanted a respite from long nights of solitary introspection, soul-searching angst and innumerable preparatory sketches, maquettes, models and moulds, the private chair, in that private inner office was irresistible. Whether the office door was closed discretely or not, was indicator of the need for privacy, and therefore the depth of the dilemma being shared within! That chair was in constant use!”
The Board of Director and Staff of the National Gallery join with Minister Grange in paying tribute to Guy McIntosh and extend condolences to his widow, Charmaine, and daughters Dominique and Tracey.