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National Gallery hails Facey as man of vision, effective action

Friday, April 05, 2013    

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THE National Gallery of Jamaica yesterday expressed regrets the passing of its founding chairman, Maurice Facey, describing him as a man of vision and effective action who played a crucial role in the establishment and development of the gallery.

Below is the gallery's tribute to the late businessman, who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 87:

"Maurice Facey was a significant patron and champion of the arts in Jamaica. He chaired the committee established by Prime Minister Michael Manley to establish a National Gallery and subsequently, from 1974 to 1977, chaired the National Gallery of Jamaica's first board. He was again named chairman in 1980 and continued to serve in this capacity until 1992, after which he served on the board for an additional seven years.

"Under Mr Facey's leadership, the National Gallery secured its first home at Devon House and relocated in 1982 to its current building in downtown Kingston. His tenure was characterised by particularly rapid growth for the National Gallery, such as its collections, programmes and the establishment of its permanent galleries in the 1980s.

"Facey was a pioneer of development in Jamaica, whose many contributions include some of the nation's most iconic buildings, including the Scotiabank Centre, which is now a defining part of the downtown Kingston skyline.

"A leading entrepreneur and developer of the post-Independence period in Jamaica, Maurice Facey was active in the fields of real estate development, life insurance, banking, tourism, manufacturing and agriculture and was the chairman of the Pan-Jamaican group of companies for some 45 years.

"Facey was a passionate advocate for urban renewal and also chaired the Kingston Restoration Company. He received many honours and awards for his contributions to national development, including the Order of Jamaica.

Avidly encouraged by his wife, Valerie, he was an active art collector and cultural philanthropist. The National Gallery received important donations to its collection, including Barrington Watson's famed Mother and Child (1958), which was donated by Valerie Facey and the Cecil Boswell Facey Foundation, and Edna Manley's Faun (1972), which was presented to be part of the Edna Manley Memorial Foundation by the Pan-Jamaican Investment Trust. Through the Cecil Boswell Facey Foundation -- charitable arm of the Pan-Jam Group -- Maurice Facey has also facilitated the development and training of young artists with scholarships to the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts. Notable recipients of the Cecil Boswell Facey Scholarship include Miriam Hinds, who is the current assistant director of the School of Visual Arts at the Edna Manley College, and Esther Chin, who recently graduated from the college and participated in the 2012 National Biennial.

"Mr Facey also showed a keen interest in the applied arts, offering scholarships to the University of Technology's Caribbean School of Architecture and championing modernisation and improvement of architectural standards throughout his own professional life.

"The board and staff of the National Gallery extend their sincerest condolences to Maurice Facey's widow, Valerie; his son, Stephen Facey, who sits on the National Gallery's Board; his daughter, the critically acclaimed artist Laura Facey, and his other family members and friends.

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