Revival tributes for Edward Seaga

Sunday, June 09, 2019

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The National Gallery of Jamaica will be paying tribute to former Prime m inister Edward Seaga with an exhibition which opens to the public this Tuesday.

Dr Jonathan Greenland noted that it will be a small exhibition since the gallery is part of the Institute of Jamaica and each arm of the institute will take a different kind of approach to remembering Seaga's contribution to culture and the arts.

“Over at the National Museum, they are doing something about his life with artefacts and exploring his relationship with the Jamaica Journal. Over at the Natural History Museum they are looking at his contribution to the organic practices. We are not doing a biographical tribute; we are examining his interest in the art world. We are focusing on the Larry Worth Collection and the John Pringle Collection, because of Seaga's relationship with revivalism and the artist Mallica “Kapo” Reynolds. That is our little focus.”

The local art scene is deeply indebted to Seaga. It was he who saved Devon House from destruction. The colonial mansion, located on the corner of Hope and Waterloo roads in the Corporate Area, would in 1974 become home to the National Gallery.

Meanwhile, The African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica will be hosting a 'Revival Tribute' in Seaga's honour come tomorrow. This will take place between 12 noon and 1:00 pm at Orange Park, in downtown Kingston.

The hour of celebration will be centred on revivalism. The Mount Salem Revival Mission Church located in Denham Town will perform by showing some of the rituals of their religious practice, and there will also be a revival table set up as a showpiece for those who are curious and want to learn more about the revivalist culture and faith.

Seaga, who was an anthropologist by training, did extensive research on revivalism, publishing several articles on his work. The African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica, which has the responsibility of preserving our African and Caribbean culture, wants to focus on this contribution from Seaga with the goal of continuing to transmit knowledge of this part of our heritage, as well as to honour his legacy.

M. Seaga's work is also featured in volume 32 of the IOJ's Jamaica Journal, in which he writes about revivalism. Up until his death, Seaga also served as a Fellow of the IOJ.

— Richard Johnson


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