Edna Manley’s Bogle: A Contest of Icons – Tell Us What You Think!

Edna Manley - Paul Bogle (1965), Photograph: Amador Packer

LET US HEAR FROM YOU!

Since Independence, there have been several controversies about public monuments in Jamaica, starting in 1963 with the proposed National Monument for the Harbour View Roundabout, which was to be designed and sculpted by Alvin Marriott but which was never completed as a result. The other controversies pertained to Edna Manley’s Bogle (1965), Christopher Gonzales’ Bob Marley (1983) and Laura Facey’s Redemption Song (2003).

By far the most protracted controversy has been about the Bogle monument, which started at the time of its  1965 unveiling in front of the Morant Bay Courthouse, had resurfaced in 1971,  and flared up again in 2009, after the statue had been moved to Kingston for restoration.  A group of Morant Bay stakeholders requested that the monument should not be returned and replaced by a new monument, based on Paul Bogle’s presumed “true likeness” – the photograph reproduced below. The matter remains unresolved and the NGJ has made use of the presence of the recently restored statue in Kingston to present an exhibition on the subject, which opens on September 23 and continues until November 13.

Unknown photographer - portrait of Bogle (?), c1865?, copied from original tintype

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Press Release – Edna Manley’s Bogle: A Contest of Icons

Edna Manley - Bogle (1965), Photograph: David Boxer, 1970

The National Gallery of Jamaica is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition titled Edna Manley’s Bogle: A Contest of Icons, which will open to the public on Sunday, September 26.

This research-based exhibition examines the iconographies of Paul Bogle and the 1865 Morant Bay Rebellion, with a specific focus on Edna Manley’s Bogle monument and the assumed photograph of Paul Bogle. The photograph was uncovered in the late 1950s and, while there are unresolved questions about its attribution, has become the de facto official representation of Paul Bogle. Edna Manley’s Bogle was unveiled in 1965 as the official monument to the Morant Bay rebellion and was located in front of the historic Morant Bay courthouse until it was recently removed for restoration. A second, truncated version can be seen in the 1865 Memorial at National Heroes Park in Kingston. Continue reading