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National Gallery celebrates 40 years

Sunday, August 31, 2014    

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THE National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ) kicks off its 40th anniversary celebrations today with the opening of a retrospective exhibition.

"The task we have set ourselves with In Retrospect: Forty Years of the National Gallery of Jamaica is to tell the story of that story, examining with a critical eye the role the NGJ has played in establishing how Jamaican art is understood," explained Dr Veerle Poupeye, executive director of the NGJ.

"The exhibition consists mainly of key works from our collection and features artists as diverse as John Dunkley, Edna Manley, Ebony G Patterson, Isaac Mendez Belisario, Mallica 'Kapo' Reynolds, Albert Huie, Barrington Watson, Eugene Hyde, Karl Parboosingh, Leasho Johnson, Carl Abrahams, George Robertson, David Boxer, Laura Facey, Maria LaYacona, Petrona Morrison, Omari Ra, Cecil Baugh, Matthew McCarthy, Everald Brown, Norma Rodney Harrack, A Duperly and Sons, Osmond Watson, Renee Cox, Marlon James and Colin Garland."

The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue publication with essays by Alissandra Cummins, Annie Paul and Veerle Poupeye.

As it presently stands, the National Gallery is the oldest and largest national art museum in the Anglophone Caribbean and its reach was further expanded recently with the opening of National Gallery West at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre.

When the original 262 paintings and sculptures from the Institute of Jamaica collection arrived in 1974, the Gallery inherited a set of artworks but not a cohesive art history and thus it became part of the NGJ's mandate to articulate a Jamaican art history.

Since then, the gallery has told the story about Jamaican art through several exhibitions and publications, through major donations and debates that have surrounded the National Gallery from its earliest years.

Today's exhibition opening coincides with the Last Sundays programme for this month and the gallery will be open to the public from 1:00 am to 4:00 pm.

The In Retrospect exhibition will continue until November 15, 2014.

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