Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Patrice Minors hosted a press conference with Bermuda National Gallery Director Lisa Howie, BNG Curator Sophie Cressall and Chairman of the Bermuda Fine Art Trust Gary Phillips to highlight a partnership regarding the Watlington Collection.
The Watlington Collection is owned by the Government of Bermuda and is on loan to the Gallery. It consists of 17 European paintings and was a gift to the people of Bermuda bequeathed by the Hon. Hereward T. Watlington in 1989.
Minister Minors said: “I am pleased to be joined by BNG Director Lisa Howie, Curator Sophie Cressall and Gary Phillips, OBE, Chairman of the Bermuda Fine Art Trust to highlight a very special partnership that we intend to enter into as a demonstration of this Government’s commitment to the Bermuda National Gallery and the arts as a whole.
“Today we will conclude discussions that will inevitably lead to the establishment of a Memorandum of Understanding that seeks to re-affirm a long term agreement with the Bermuda National Gallery to protect a very special art collection known as the Watlington Collection.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the Watlington Collection is owned by the Government of Bermuda and is on loan to the Gallery. It consists of 17 European paintings and was a gift to the people of Bermuda bequeathed by the Hon. Hereward T. Watlington in 1989, with the stipulation that the paintings be housed in a climate-controlled facility to the standard of the Metropolitan Museum of New York.
“The establishment of a National Gallery of Art in Bermuda had long been a dream of Mr. Watlington. And since a proper climate control facility did not exist in Bermuda at that time, this was the catalyst for the founding of the BNG here at City Hall – which opened its doors in March 1992.
“Hence, this Collection has been in the care and custody of the National Gallery for 20 years. During this period the National Gallery has continually received Government funds that were for the upkeep, housing and care of this very special collection.
“So ladies and gentlemen, in recognition of the 20th Anniversary of the BNG and in determining a way forward as it relates to the ongoing housing of the collection, it is our goal to ensure Government’s commitment to the preservation of Watlington Collection for the benefit of the people of Bermuda.
“Ladies and gentlemen, since 1992 the BNG has been dedicated to bringing the world of art to Bermuda and Bermuda’s art to the world. As one of Bermuda’s leading art museum, the BNG has built a diverse collection and exhibition programme of past and present works by local and international artists.
“And as the Minister responsible for Community and Cultural Affairs I recognise that by supporting the BNG we are making a sound investment in preserving and promoting Bermuda’s rich and diverse culture and heritage for future generations to come,” concluded Minister Minors.
Details about the Watlington Collection[PDF here]: