Henry Ward Paints Portrait Of Dr Wingate

May 11, 2022

On Saturday [May 7] a dedication event was held at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo to present Dr. David Wingate with a portrait, painted by local artist Henry Ward.

A spokesperson said,  “The painting features Dr. Wingate assisting a fledging Cahow from its nest, with two Cahows in flight behind him.

“The painting was created for Henry Ward’s Bermuda National Gallery exhibition, ‘From Darkness to Light: Portraits by Henry Ward’, which captures key figures in Bermuda’s diverse communities.

“Ward’s approach to portraiture is inspired by techniques developed over the centuries by the Old Masters, yet stylistically he aims to blend the old with the new. The exhibition opened at the Bermuda National Gallery earlier this week.”

Dr. David Wingate stands next to his portrait in BNG, photo courtesy of Brandon Morrison

Dr David Wingate Bermuda May 2022 (1)

“Bermuda National Gallery [BNG] is deeply honoured to receive this generous donation, from the Bermuda Zoological Society, of the portrait of environmentalist and ornithologist David Wingate by artist Henry Ward,” said Peter Lapsley, Executive Director of the Bermuda National Gallery.

“This artwork not only honours Wingate, a Bermudian whose work has had such substantial and positive impact on our Island but provides BNG with important exhibition and learning opportunities for the community for future generations. It is a wonderful addition to BNG’s collections.”

A spokesperson added, “Dr. David Wingate has spent a lifetime dedicated to understanding and preserving Bermuda’s native terrestrial flora and fauna. Fascinated by nature from childhood at only 15 when he joined Dr. Robert Cushman Murphy and Louis Mowbray [Curator of the Bermuda Aquarium] in the rediscovery of the Bermuda Petrel or Cahow [Pterodroma cahow], thought to be extinct for over 300 years – an event that would help define his future.

Dr David Wingate and artist Henry Ward looking at Ornithologist during the presentation at BAMZ

Dr David Wingate Bermuda May 2022 (3)

“Buoyed by this amazing discovery and his natural interest, he pursued a BSc degree in Zoology from Cornell University in 1957. Following graduation, he returned to Bermuda and took charge of the Conservation Programme for the Cahow on grants from the New York Zoological Society and the Bermuda Government.

“This challenge became the driving force of his career during which time he conceived and almost single handedly transformed Nonsuch Island into a ‘Living Museum’, on which he took advantage of the island’s isolation to replicate the precolonial ecosystem of Bermuda. This was all done under the umbrella species of the Cahow which he passionately dedicated himself to bringing back from the edge of extinction.

“Under his watch, the Cahow trebled in population and Nonsuch Island has attained international recognition as a leading example of restoration ecology. Both these projects required tremendous hard work, commitment and self-sacrifice to accomplish and have provided Bermuda with not one, but two jewels, that will only further enrich Bermudians and visitors now and going forward.”

Henry Ward’s painting, Ornithologist, on display at BNG, photo courtesy of Brandon Morrison

Dr David Wingate Bermuda May 2022 (4)

Speaking at the event, Dr. Walwyn Hughes, former Director of Agriculture and Fisheries and a friend of David’s for 65 years, remarked, “When faced with challenges in the field of conservation, David Wingate has had the rare ability to visualize big picture solutions.

“And he has been prepared to commit the effort, energy and time necessary to implement these solutions, as evidenced by the hugely successful cahow recovery and Nonsuch Island projects.”

Dr. Wingate’s portrait, ‘Ornithologist’ is currently on display as a part of ‘From Darkness to Light – Portraits by Henry Ward’ at Bermuda National Gallery, open to the public Tuesday to Saturday through mid-October 2022. More information is available at www.bng.bm.

A spokesperson added, “The shared mission of BZS and BAMZ is to inspire appreciation and care of island environments, and as the support charity for BAMZ, the BZS is an example of a highly successful non-profit/public partnership.

“Each year the BZS provide more than 8,000 free educational experiences through our Stempel Foundation BZS Schools Programme in addition to popular community programmes for all ages, development of BAMZ exhibits, and conservation and research programmes. Each year, BZS Volunteers contribute over 10,000 hours of valuable husbandry support to the Aquarium and Zoo with all programmes being accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.”

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Comments (2)

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  1. Kim Smith says:

    A wonderful tribute to a man who has worked hard for the majority of his life to protect Bermuda’s natural environment! I look forward to seeing the portrait in person.

  2. JC Jones says:

    Go see the original painting & the others at the City Hall Gallery – low resolution computer monitors just do NOT do justice to the original oil painting. The others on display are equally striking.