Tribute to the Hon. Maurice Facey, O.J.

Maurice Facey at the National Gallery's 10th anniversary celebrations

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 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.

Edna Manley - Faun (1972), Edna Manley Memorial Collection, NGJ (gift of the Pan-Jamaican Investment Trust, 1989)

Edna Manley – Faun (1972), Edna Manley Memorial Collection, NGJ (gift of the Pan-Jamaican Investment Trust, 1989)

Avidly encouraged by his wife, Valerie, Maurice Facey was an active art collector and cultural philanthropist and the National Gallery received important donations to its collection through the Pan-Jam group, including Barrington Watson’s famed Mother and Child (1958) and Edna Manley’s The Faun (1972). Through the Cecil Boswell Facey Foundation (the charitable arm of the Pan Jam Group of Companies) Maurice Facey has also facilitated the development and training of young artists with scholarships to the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts. Notable recipients of the Cecil Boswell Facey Scholarship include Miriam Hinds, who is the current assistant director of the School of Visual Arts at the Edna Manley College, and Esther Chin, who recently graduated from the College and participated in in the 2012 National Biennial. Mr Facey also showed a keen interest in the “applied arts,” offering scholarships to the University of Technology’s Caribbean School of Architecture and championing modernisation and improvement of architectural standards throughout his own professional life.

The Board and Staff of the National Gallery extend their sincerest condolences to the Hon. Maurice Facey’s widow, Valerie; his son, Stephen, who sits on the National Gallery’s current Board; his daughter, the critically acclaimed artist Laura, and his other family members and friends. It was our privilege to have served with him and the National Gallery is forever in his debt.

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