Albert Huie - Crop Time (1955), Collection: NGJ
On January 31, 2010, Jamaica received the news that Albert Huie, a major figure in the development of Jamaican art and, indeed, one of Jamaica’s most outstanding painters and printmakers, had passed away in Baltimore. Nearly one year later and on the eve of what would have been Huie’s ninetieth birthday, the National Gallery of Jamaica pauses to pay tribute to this outstanding Jamaican Master and pioneer of modern Jamaican art.
The National Gallery’s tribute to Huie will take the form of an informal function on Thursday, December 30, starting at 12:30 pm, in the presence of the Artist’s daughter Christine Huie-Roy and some of his closest friends. We will also open, on that occasion, a special tribute exhibition consisting of works of art by Albert Huie from the National Collection. The exhibition provides an overview of Huie’s oeuvre from the late 1930s to the late 1990s, essentially spanning his entire artistic career, and illustrates Huie’s unparalleled ability to capture, in print and in paint, the beauty of the Jamaican environment and the spirit of its people – an artistic legacy we cherish and honour.
Members of the public are invited to join us for the Albert Huie tribute on December 30, which will include special tribute, poetry and music, and a reception, as well as the opportunity to view the Albert Huie tribute exhibition and the 2010 National Biennial.
This post is the NGJ’s tribute to Jamaican master painter and printmaker Albert Huie, who passed away on Sunday. It was written by David Boxer, Chief Curator, and Veerle Poupeye, Executive Director.
Albert Huie - Crop Time (1955), Collection: National Gallery of Jamaica
Albert Huie was born on December 31, 1920 in Falmouth, Trelawny, and moved to Kingston in 1936. Within months of his arrival in Kingston he completed his first painting The Dancers. This precocious painting by the sixteen year old was to be the “launching pad” of a prodigious career. Huie himself related his “discovery” by H. Delves Molesworth, the then Secretary of the Institute of Jamaica:
In the beginning I bought enamels in small tins from a hardware store and this was the medium I used to paint The Dancers after I had observed the scene in a downtown piano bar. Not long afterwards, I took this painting along with a couple others and my sketches, to the Institute of Jamaica to show them to Delves Molesworth. I was almost thrown out of the Institute. Mr. Molesworth himself interceded, looked at what I had brought to show him and expressed an interest. He invited me to his house and commissioned a portrait to be done of his wife. During this time he began introducing me to his circle of friends, which included the Manleys. His property adjoined Drumblair. My long association with the Manleys began after this.
Albert Huie’s first landscape was painted at Drumblair and is in fact titled Drumblair. A regular visitor to Drumblair in the late thirties, Huie also recalled that his first woodcut was done in Edna Manley’s studio.