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

Osmond Watson (1934-2005)

Osmond Watson, Freedom Fighter (1973), Collection: National Gallery of Jamaica

This post is our tribute to Jamaican painter and sculptor Osmond Watson, who passed away in 2005,  at age 71. This post is adapted from a paper by O’Neil Lawrence, Curatorial Assistant, and an obituary for Osmond Watson written by Veerle Poupeye, Executive Director.

As an Afro-Caribbean man who resides in the Caribbean and is faced with Caribbean problems, my philosophy on art is simple. My aim is to glorify Black people through my work with the hope that it will uplift the masses of the region, giving dignity and self-respect where it is needed and to make people more aware of their own beauty.

– Osmond Watson, 1995

It is one of the most frequently quoted statements by the artist Osmond Watson; most likely because it is one that resonates as strongly now as it did in 1995. The identity of the Afro-Caribbean man/woman is one that is in a permanent state of flux but few of us even properly understand or acknowledge the unique position that Caribbean people hold within the African Diaspora. Jamaica is populated by a people whose ancestors struggled to maintain their cultural history and who are now willingly letting that history be subsumed by North American influences.

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The 2009 NGJ Christmas Cards Have Arrived!

Our new Christmas cards are now in stock in our gift shop, along with a wide selection of other note-cards. The new cards feature works by Carl Abrahams, Osmond Watson and Michael Lester. Individual cards cost Ja$ 100 retail and Ja$ 80 wholesale (10 or more). Packs of four retail at Ja$ 300 and wholesale at $ 250. Our gift shop is also freshly stocked with original Jamaican art and craft , art reproductions,  books on art and related subjects, and other gifts. Profits from gift shop sales provide much-needed support for the programmes and art acquisitions of the NGJ.

For more information, call Tiffany Martin at 922-1561/-3 or 618-0654/-5 or e-mail