The National Gallery of Jamaica houses a surprisingly delightful collection of art, with examples of pieces from each tumultuous era of the island’s history since about 1000 a.d.
The Edna Manley collection is especially impressive, of course. I have been here almost two months, and already the Bogle image is very recognizable. The meaning and iconography, however, is something I didn’t really understand before seeing the well constructed gallery, on display through November, that steps visitors through the history and current discourse surrounding the man turned icon.
Also amazing is the neighborhood that the National Gallery calls home. Downtown Kingston has undergone a good deal of revitalization the past years, but it is still striking to see some of the most prominent state institutions – the Supreme Court, many national agencies – tucked in the midst of stinky market places, hardly legal “wholesale” markets, and wandering goats.