Inside this supplement Page 1
‘Welcoming Smile’ by Frank Small
A timeline of prominent events and Masterworks’ 25th anniversary schedule
Pages 4&5 Page 5 Pages 6&7 Page 8
‘Who could have foreseen this volunteer becoming Premier?’
The story of Masterworks - An interview with Tom Butterfield and Elise Outerbridge The Charman Prize, the Rick Faries Gallery, art education and other cultural offerings A visual journey The future of Masterworks
‘Two guiding spirits can buck convention and enthrall all’
hen Tom Butterfield bought a dozen pictures of Bermuda, 25 years ago, he spent his limited funds on a range of art rather than on one or two pieces of the most famous, and most expensive, artists. He took an inspired decision which has, I suspect, set the pattern for Masterworks’ acquisitions since 1987. Masterworks is rightly GOZNEY proud of the broadest range of art, 19th Century, 20th Century and the very modern, painted in Bermuda, or of and about Bermuda. Here on Langton Hill, Government House enjoys displaying some of Masterworks’ outstanding works of local artists. And for the Masterworks collection as a whole, works of famous artists have followed from their initial purchases of more modest works: Georgia O’Keeffe, Henry Moore’s drawings, E. Ambrose Webster and, perhaps most famous of all, the stunning Winslow Homer watercolours. When, 21 years later, Tom Butterfield, Elise Outerbridge and their team first opened their very special and permanent home for the Masterworks collected in a transformed arrowroot factory in
the Botanical Gardens, some of us wondered whether the museum would gather broad support across Bermuda. I believe that it has because twice I have seen the audience attending the opening night of the exhibition of the entries for the prestigious Charman Prize: everyone and anyone in Bermuda with a feeling for modern Bermudian art. The turnouts were, frankly, a thrill. What the next 25 years hold for Masterworks is impossible to predict. It would be lovely to think of more space in the Arrowroot Factory, in due course, to hang more of the Masterworks Collection. No-one expects little Bermuda to mimic the Tate Gallery in London or the Metropolitan Museum in New York. But perhaps a Bermudian echo of the Frick Museum of New York might form something of an aspiration: a high quality and eclectic collection of art, hung according to the personal tastes and associations of one or two guiding spirits, bucking convention and enthralling all who step over the threshold. SIR RICHARD GOZNEY, Governor of Bermuda.
Bermudians have always seen their country through the eyes of others – from its earliest days when seafarers steered clear of the “isle of devils”, to the first settlers who wrote back home to England of the island’s natural beauty and the benefits of its weather, to those who in describing some attraction to another discover their own pride in our history – so when Tom Butterfield set out on a crusade to repatriate works of art inspired by Bermuda and created by internationally famous artists, I looked forward to seeing what he would discover. As a St. Georgian, born and bred, we were used to people setting up their easels in our neighbourhoods, so I was used to seeing paintings of St. George’s – but Tom Butterfield’s crusade has unearthed a treasure trove of works that focus not just on landscapes and seascapes, but also on the people of this beautiful island. Someone once said that “…we discover our destinies in the smallest ways…” and this is true of Tom Butterfield and the story of the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art. Who would have thought that a Department of Community and Cultural Affairs exhibition in 1986 would have resulted in a purpose-built, world-class museum offering conservation, storage
and classroom facilities? One man on a mission, gathering support along the way: first from wife Gill, then in from right-hand Elise Outerbridge, then financial supporters, members and volunteer support. Tom’s enthusiasm is infectious and hard to deny and before I knew it, I became volunteer emcee for the regular fundraising Quiz Nights and then worked as a volunteer in the Front Street office. When we could no longer remain on Front Street, there was the challenge of looking for alternative premises. I along with the rest of the Masterworks family became disappointed that there seemed no hope of obtaining a centrally located facility. Everyone connected with Masterworks had looked and looked. We were disappointed so often that some had given up – but not Tom! The Gallery’s prime location in the Botanical Gardens, in the former Arrowroot Factory, next to the Premier’s official residence could only have happened by Divine Order. Who could have foreseen that the former volunteer would become the Premier and thus be in a position to answer Tom’s plea for a lease for the Arrowroot Factory? Tom walked Cabinet Members around the building, sharing his vision and gained an agreement from the
Government that support for the Arts is important. In agreeing to grant Masterworks a lease to the building, government agreed to share the space granted to the official residence of Camden. It is a match that has benefitted both sides leading to joint events SMITH and an increased appreciation for the arts among members of Government. In twenty-five years Masterworks has ingrained itself into the tapestry of Bermuda, celebrating artists both local and foreign, introducing children to the joy of art and challenging those who create to step out of their comfort zones - who knows what wondrous things will be achieved in its next twenty-five years! Congratulations to Tom, Gill, Elise, the Directors, Honorary Directors, Foundation Members, staff, volunteers and everyone who has helped over the years to make the vision a reality. Thank you for your lasting contribution to Bermuda’s artistic heritage which is helping to ensure that we also have an artistic future. THE HON. DAME JENNIFER Smith, DBE, JP, DHumL, MP, Minister of Education.
‘Congratulations to a true national treasure’ It was last month that Bermuda hosted the International Women’s Forum Executive Committee and a decision was made to hold an official reception for them at Camden. I felt that the occasion of the IWF visit and the use of my official residence formed the perfect backdrop to showcase our retail sector. The occasion would not have been the success it was without Masterworks stepping forward and offering their coffee room and adjacent art room which were transformed into miniature boutiques offering designer fashion, exquisite jewellery and fine art. It was an evening to remember and I confess it was a memorable occasion. COX This relationship between private and public entities and the meeting of the minds of many local retail partners in providing sheer magic to our corporate and leisure visitors is the very essence of who we are as Bermudians and is a vivid depiction of the love affair Masterworks has with Bermuda, Bermudian art and its local artists. Since the opening of the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art, the island’s first ever purpose built facility in 2008, the Bermudian public have experienced Bermuda as seen through the eyes of artists like Winslow Homer, Georgia O’Keeffe, Charles Demuth, Jack Bush and Albert Gleizes. Through their relation-
ships in Bermuda and abroad, the museum’s founder, Mr. Tom Butterfield, MBE, the Board of Directors and the Management team and volunteers have been able to create a culture of support that speaks to the Museum’s relevance and popularity. Encouraging our young people to sharpen their talents by embracing their craft through their expressions on canvas has blossomed and provided works that thrill their parents and classmates and inspire admirers one painting, one school, one exhibit at a time. Our students’ interest and efforts have been stimulated by many artists before them who give special shows and workshop opportunities to students of all ages and our art and culture communities have never been the same. On behalf of the Government and the people of Bermuda, I congratulate Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art on their 25th Anniversary and commend Mr. Tom Butterfield, MBE, the Board of Directors and the corporate team on being the toast of our art community You are truly a national treasure and we wish you well. HON. PAULA ANN COX, JP, MP Premier and Minister of Finance
‘We brought Bermuda into the living rooms of our minds’ I t is said that life is not old if you are forty and a tree; this is even truer for art. It has taken a generation – 25 years of building the Masterworks Museum and the Bermudiana Collection and it seems like a lifetime. A real lifetime, for 25 years ago art was not really on our collective minds. It was something tolerated, and gave us the opportunity to say we attended an opening BUTTERFIELD for the sake of attending. Art museums served the general public at their whim, and the notion that a collection about Bermuda would be viable was met with varying opinions. Some thought it was narcissistic, some embraced the
idea with a sense of pride, while others said “are you cuckoo?!”. Well, we thought we might as well give it a try as culturally the environment looked arid. Perhaps it would be an awakening, and a chance to share educational opportunities with students and visitors…something was afoot! We were consumed with how to bring Bermuda up to date and out of its insular sensibility to join the notion of art beyond the reef line. Names like O’Keeffe and Homer, well known to our visitors, were a daunting task, so the efforts were a little slow to gain credibility. But 1987 was all change – a “see” change. Some of us gathered together and brought Bermuda into the living rooms of our minds. What really changed was the art of survival. We were an orphan with
Website: www.bermudamasterworks.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 441-236-2950 Fax: 441-236-4402 Address: Botanical Gardens, 183 South Road, DV 04 Mailing address: The Masterworks Foundation, PO Box 1929, Hamilton, HM HX, Bermuda. Bus routes 1, 2 & 7
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm. Sunday from 11am to 4:30pm. Closed most public holidays.
no parentage, and no lineage, but resiliency. The call was “yes we can, and yes we will!” and so it was that a new “notion in the ocean” was born. 25 years later we ask if we can imagine a Bermuda without Masterworks? Names in the collection who are from the past, but are so familiar – aliens who have landed permanently on our shores and we share them with pride! A generation – 25 years of discovering an island so rich in treasures; there is no other collection in the world to emerge from a population of a mere 60,000.
TOM BUTTERFIELD MBE, Founder and Director of the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art.
Cost: General admission $5 or free for members and children under 12. Membership, sponsorship & volunteer information: visit www.bermudamasterworks.com Tours can be arranged by calling 236-2950 whether for an individual or a large group.
Founder and Director Tom Butterfield gives free tours every Wednesday morning at 10am.
Bermuda Sun 19 Elliott Street, Hamilton, Bermuda HM 10 Tel 295-3902 Fax 292-5597 E-mail email@example.com This special supplement is produced and published by Bermuda Sun Limited and printed in Bermuda by Island Press Limited.
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The Bermuda Sun publishes twice weekly and is a subsidiary of MediaHouse Limited. We are members of the Inland Press Association, International Newspaper Marketing Association and the Newspaper Association of America. We are located at: 19 Elliott Street, Hamilton HM 10; P.O. Box HM 1241, Hamilton HM FX Tel: 295-3902 Fax: 292-5597. Visit our website: www.bermudasun.bm
2 MASTERWORKS 25 YearsOur Heritage Through Arts
A brief history
❖ The capital campaign for the museum commences and the construction begins.
❖ In November a roofwetting ceremony is held. Michael Douglas helps pour the rum.
OF THE MASTERWORKS MUSEUM his supplement celebrates 25 years of the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art. From its humble beginnings as a travelling exhibition with no place to call home to becoming the preeminent gallery of Bermuda art, this is one of our greatest local success stories. Here are some of the highlights of that journey:
❖ Tom Butterfield purchases his first 12 works which he christens ‘The 12 Apostles.’
❖ Masterworks purchases Georgia O’Keeffe’s Banyan Tree Trunk with the proceeds of Tom Butterfield’s fourth
❖ The first Masterworks overseas exhibition is held at the Woodmere Museum in Pennsylvania and is followed by one held at the Richard York Gallery, NY. ❖ The Foundation secures the Marsden Hartley Sunken Treasure. Additionally it purchases Albert Gleizes Portrait of Juliette at Sotheby’s auction in November (pictured right).
2002: HOME SWEET HOME: In 2008, the museum opened it’s new home at the Botanical Gardens to the public.
❖ The Museum opens to the public March 2. ❖ Henry Moore sketches are given on permanent loan to Masterworks. ❖ The annual Charman Prize competition is held for the first time
completion of the London Marathon. ❖ Masterworks’ first educational initiative Artists Encounters is held at Admiralty House. ❖ A Bermudian family trust secures Winslow Homer’s Inland Water, giving it to the Masterworks on permanent loan.
❖ Masterworks moves to the Arrowroot Factory in April and starts the clean-up and renovation.
CUBIST WORKS: In 2000 Masterworks purchased Albert Gleizes’ Portrait of Juliette at Sotheby’s auction.
❖ Fifteen years after its conception, Masterworks opens its own gallery in the
Arrowroot Factory. ❖ Prince Charles becomes its principal patron.
❖ Masterworks receives the award for Best Museum from The Bermudian magazine for the first time. ❖ The We are Sailing exhibition opens to celebrate Bermuda’s 400th anniversary. ❖ Masterworks partners with the Jamestown Foundation in Virginia by lending art and artifacts to them for their 400th anniversary exhibition.
❖ Awarded VIP Best Visitor Attraction / Activity.
Anniversary schedule is one to remember The Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art made sure its 25th anniversary year was a memorable one with a year crammed full of festivities and special exhibitions. For the full schedule of events please go to www.bermudamasterworks.com Here are some of the highlights for the 2012 schedule:
2nd - 29th: Philatelic Stamp Exhibit — A history of Bermuda’s stamps in the Rick Faries Gallery. ■ 19th - 29th: Royal Stamp Exhibit —
Stamps from HRH Queen Elizabeth’s personal collection highlighting three Perot Bermuda stamps. Held in the Rick Faries Gallery.
May: ■ 3rd - through the summer: Captain Magnus Musson Exhibition — An exhibition of the last Captain of the Queen of Bermuda showcasing artworks, model ships, books and more. ■ 4th - 30th: James Toogood Exhibition — A retrospective and new watercolours in the Rick Faries Gallery. ■ 10th at 5:30pm: James Toogood slideshow and discussion.
June: ■ 1st - 7th: BPPA Biennial Exhibit — Bermuda Professional Photographic Association members showcase their work
in the Rick Faries Gallery. ■ 21st: John Lennon Tribute — The unveiling of Graham Foster’s statue and tribute concert and gala dinner in the Botanical Gardens. For info on tickets check out www.doublefantasybermuda.com ■ June 21st - July 4th: John Lennon Litographs — An exhibition of original, John Lennon Lithographs in the Rick Faries Gallery. Limited edition prints on sale.
6th – 25th: Artists in Residence Kevin Lombard and Judith Paixao ■ July 27th – August 29th: Celebrating 400 Years: St. Peter’s Church
August: ■ August 31st– September 12th: Masterworks Education Summer Student Exhibit
14th – 29th: Artist in Residence Melissa Wishart ■ September 30th – October 11th: Museum Closed for Show Change-Over
October 12th - November 24th: Charman Prize
November 25th – December 6th: Museum Closed for Show Change-Over
December: ■ 7th - 20th: Artist in Residence Suzanne Dickenson Albert ■ December 21st – January 10th: Masterworks Education Winter Student Exhibit
MASTERWORKS 25 YearsOur Heritage Through Arts 3
The making of a cultural institution ■ PHOTO BY Y SARAH LAGAN N
ANNIVERSARY SHOW: Tom Butterfield and Elise Outerbridge before the opening of Masterwork’s 25th anniversary exhibition A Rock And An Ocean.
The Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art serves as a cultural bridge connecting Bermuda to the rest of the world. Its mission has been to return important Bermuda-related art back to the island while supporting and nurturing artistic talent from within. This year the museum celebrates its 25th anniversary and this supplement has been created to touch on just some of its many achievements often in the face of adversity. By Sarah Lagan
assion and blind determination have been the driving forces behind the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art becoming the island’s preeminent gallery of locally-inspired art. Thanks to the vision and boundless energy of its founder and director Tom Butterfield MBE, it has become a treasure trove of beautiful works, an educational powerhouse, a welcoming host to overseas artists and a launching ground for our own thriving artistic community. As the museum celebrates its 25th anniversary, its collection is now home to more than 1,200 pieces of art and includes such greats as Winslow Homer, Georgia O’Keeffe, Henry Moore, Ross Turner, Ogden Pleissner, Marsden Hartley, Albert Gleizes and E. Ambrose Webster. It also has Royal connections — Prince Charles is its most distinguished patron while the Duchess of Gloucester opened its recent Floral Lane exhibition. During Masterwork’s formative years, Tom, along with his friend and curator Elise Outerbridge, battled against doubters, clambered over crippling debt and conquered tricky ac-
‘We were attempting to create something that was permanent, somewhere that people could go to refresh the spirit and soul.’ TOM BUTTERFIELD
Founder and Director of Masterworks
quisitions even during the most difficult of times. For many years the museum moved from one location to the next, carting a portion of its growing collection around in the back of a car. Its primary goal back then was to bring important Bermuda-related art back to the island with the long-term view of it helping to enrich the community. Moving along different locations on Front Street and encountering various unsettled periods alongside the Bermuda National Gallery, they never kept their eye off the next prize. Invention Using the famous adage, “necessity is the mother of invention”, Tom recalls: ”so here we
ROYAL CONNECTIONS: Tom Butterfield amuses the Duchess of Gloucester during her visit to the museum to open its Floral Lane art exhibition in 2012.
4 MASTERWORKS 25 YearsOur Heritage Through Arts
were, wildly in debt, paintings surfacing, and your passion drives you to believe that what you are doing is on the right path. There was not an opportunity I would turn down to raise funds for the museum. “When we had no home whatsoever the whole notion of taking our collection overseas was not only a great way to get our word out there, it encouraged people to bring paintings to us, it gave us overseas recognition and it was an important stepping stone for running the capital campaign. “Other organisations here saw us as a threat, they did not want us to exist and I still, in my mind, can not figure out why. We weren’t intimidating anyone’s efforts. “We were attempting to create something that was permanent, somewhere that people could go to refresh the spirit and soul.” Much of the early criticism is said to have stemmed from the museum’s focus on acquisition rather than exhibiting local artists. Tom and Elise would argue that the culmination of these works has helped to educate and support the local artists and the community at large. “Artists love that they can write on their CV that they have been in the same collection as Winslow Homer, Georgia O’Keeffe and Henry Moore,” Elise emphasizes.
TEAM EFFORT: Ever keen to involve the community, Masterworks invited school children to help with the construction of it’s new home at the Botanical Gardens. “They are on an equal status as a lot of international artists and we have sold a lot of their artwork through that. “The fact that so many people were inspired by the island meant there was a lot for Bermudians and visitors to learn about our culture through our
‘Our collection is a cultural awakening of what Bermuda has to offer.’ ELISE OUTERBRIDGE Curator and Collections Manager of Materworks
arts. Our collection is a cultural awakening of what Bermuda has to offer.” Little could demonstrate this more than its 25th anniversary exhibition A Rock And An Ocean which Tom affectionately describes as “the best exhibition we have ever had”. It brings together the most valuable and historically significant works in the museum’s collection along with other treasures that reflect Bermuda’s bond with the ocean. The show exhibits everything from the delicate brush
strokes of Winslow Homer’s Inland Water, one of only 21 watercolours he ever painted of Bermuda, to a little wooden boat called BooBoo donated by Austin Talbot of the legendary Talbot Brothers. Henry Moore’s rough charcoal sketches of Bermuda shells sit along side the strikingly bold colours in E. Ambrose Webster’s fauvist style paintings, and the early adopters of cubism from the Albert Stieglitz camp. The show is just one of many remarkable cultural events taking place throughout the anniversary year including an exhibit of original John Lennon lithographs and mounting of a tributary statue by artist Graham Foster. There is also a photographic exhibition of US Presidents in Bermuda and Bermudian Premiers in the States, as well as a philatelic exhibit including stamps from HRH Queen Elizabeth’s personal collection and examples of the rare Bermuda Perot stamps. The story of Masterworks began in 1987 when Tom had a choice of buying one painting for $60,000 (a Georgia O’Keeffe) or 12 paintings for the same price. His mother advised him he was better off getting the 12. “She was right,” he determines. “She more or less said to me ‘look smart ass, just because you know Georgia
O’Keeffe, it doesn’t mean the whole world does — so if you want to sell a concept you’ve got to broaden it out’. That was good advice.” These “12 Apostles” as he christened them, included a pencil drawing by George Ault of a park in St George’s, a watercolour by Ogden Pleissner of Shinbone Alley, St George’s and a Ross Turner watercolour of Fairylands. Incidentally, the gallery ended up getting the O’Keeffe — Banyan Tree Trunk — two years later. “People didn’t know how many famous artists had come to Bermuda and painted,” explains Elise. “At that time we hit the ground running. In 1992, a Bermudian family lent us the Winslow Homer (one of three Homers now owned by the gallery) and that really catapulted us into the international scene.” Once the collection was more established, the student art programmes and local exhibitions were able to flourish. Artists Up Front Street featured solo shows by our own local treasures such as Graham Foster, Chesley Trott, Jonah Jones and Otto Trott. Countless more acquisitions were made over the years bringing the collection’s current value to more than $9 million. But it wasn’t until 2008 that it finally found its permanent home in the inspi-
rational setting of the Botanical Gardens. This was in every way thanks to the support of a certain loyal volunteer who went on to become the Premier of Bermuda. In 2003, Dame Jennifer Smith found herself in a position to be able to offer the museum the governmentowned Arrowroot Factory for a peppercorn rent of $1 a year. “As life would turn out she said ‘this is one of the first things I am going to do’ and her legacy is here,” Tom gestures. “Had it not been for Dame Jennifer Smith, you and I might be having this conversation in a garage.” Elise adds: “In our wildest dreams I never thought we would be in a home like this. I knew it was going to a leave a legacy that we can continually be proud of.” Thanks to countless fundraising efforts and a momentous restoration project, its new home at the Botanical Gardens allowed Masterworks to truly blossom. It is now home to the spacious Butterfield Family Gallery displaying the permanent collection, a classroom for an array of art education classes, and the Rick Faries Gallery named after the late Chairman, which showcases local artists, community projects and special exhibitions. With the move, Masterworks was able to host the largest local art competition on the island — The Charman Prize. Thanks to the generosity of art lover and Axis Capital CEO John Charman, the prize offers $10,000 to the winner as well as runner up prizes. The museum runs an Artist in Residence programme allowing local artists to meet and share inspiration with visiting international
artists. What’s more, the collection is now securely tucked away in its own climate-controlled environment. All this achievement has not gone unrecognized in the art world. Masterworks is one of the few museum’s outside the US to have been featured in the prestigious American Arts Review – not least due to its emphasis on American art. A New York Times review lauded: “it will alert you to the civic passion that reigns within this island.” All this prestige comes without a hint of pomposity from its creator – Tom brings an informal, all-inclusive air to the museum leading free, personal tours each week. The 63-year-old is often seen wearing his trademark Converse sneakers, his clear baby blue spectacles and, no doubt, a neon sweater or wacky Tshirt to finish off the look. And he champions the efforts of the many volunteers and sponsors who have helped to make the museum what it is today along with the dedication of current Chairman Michael Hamer. He sees the museum’s commitment to the community as akin to that of a spouse. “It is really very important that we never lose sight of the fundamentals,” he stresses. “We are trying, through art, to bring the community together for better, for worse, for rich or for poor. It is a marriage to the community and I feel very strongly about that.” Who knows what the future might hold for this cultural institution. Tom and Elise have their ideas, but that is another story… FOR A FULL LIST of programmes visit: www.bermudamasterworks.com
FUNDRAISING: Elise Outerbridge, left, and Tom Butterfield, both dressed in women’s clothing at the Going South fundraiser in 1990.
Finding a home gave rise to a host of new cultural offerings By Sarah Lagan When Masterworks accepted the Arrowroot Factory as it’s new ■ PHOTO BY home, it wasn’t a case of sticking SARAH LAGAN the key in the door and getting back to business. What ensued at the Botanical NEW Gardens site was a momentous PROJECTS: renovation project that would Director take more than four years to and curator complete. of special The result was Bermuda’s first exhibitions purpose-built museum and the Kate Waters opportunity for Masterworks to outside the truly honour its pledge to serve Rick Faries the community. Gallery at the No sooner had the roof been Masterworks wetted, the museum launched the Museum of Charman Prize championing local Bermuda Art. artists and offering a grand prize of $10,000. The competition is named after Axis Capital CEO and avid art collector John Charman who generously donates a total of $21,200 in prize money each year changing monthly or even as well as supporting the overall weekly. Student exhibitions are event. also held in the gallery including Since it launched in 2008, the those from Masterwork’s own Charman Prize has exhibited 212 local artists. Director and curator educational programmes. “We’ve just introduced the of special exhibitions Kate Waters new 4+4=1 series to the gallery,” is responsible for whittling down explained Kate. “It’s four artists, the entries each year to put four different perspectives of the together the biggest single show same theme to make one exhibit. of locally created and Bermuda“We’ve tried to incorporate inspired artwork on the island. the group show structure and “Not only is it a time and give more local artists a place that we can an opportunity to celebrate the local formulate exhibitions artists who are together.” producing Bermuda’s Rhona Emmerson artistic legacy”, explains and three members of Kate, “but the winning the Plein Air art group work comes into the have so far participated collection so that we can as well as Manuel preserve it for future CHARMAN Palacio with three of his generations.” students. The prize appeals The anniversary year has a to different criteria that are high profile line-up of special related to technical skills and exhibitions not least the craftsmanship. Entries have exhibition of John Lennon spanned the mediums — the lithographs. “John Lennon is an winners so far have been Kathy icon, Kate beams. “We are thrilled Harriott’s mosaic statue, Graham to be hosting this tribute to him Foster’s painting depicting the and his work in Bermuda and environmental threat of long tracing that legacy is part of what line fishing, Sabrina Powell’s the museum does. Having Graham wire sculpture of a Gombey (Foster) create a sculpture for it dancer and Andrew Stevenson’s is a perfect synergy between the documentary film about music and the art and having it humpback whales. in the Botanical Gardens where Masterwork’s new premises John was inspired to write Double also made room for the Rick Fantasy.“ Faries Gallery named after Also based in the Faries devoted Masterworks supporter Gallery is work by the museum’s and the museum’s late chairman. continuing Artists in Residence The gallery was dedicated to series launched in 1997. Artists current local solo and group from around the world come to shows and special exhibitions use Bermuda as their muse and whereas the main Butterfield at the end of a three months stay Family Gallery is focused on the they hold an exhibition. They permanent collection. Faries also conduct public and school runs a busy schedule with shows
workshops relating to their work giving local artists the chance not only to make overseas contacts but also to find inspiration beyond the reef line. Residents have come from such far-flung places as Siberia, Africa, Russia and Spain. Importantly, the move to the old Arrowroot Factory allowed Masterworks to have its own classroom. There are now a multitude of classes run by Masterwork’s Robyn DeSilva with the help of a host of volunteers. While there are many paid for lessons, the schedule ensures that everyone has access to art
education. Its Super Saturdays offer free activities to children and their parents while Arts For All is run twice a year and offers free art workshops for all ages, and is a outreach programme designed to enrich the community. What it has ensured is that the next generation has a fighting chance of understanding and appreciating the arts. Maybe some of them will become painters or, who knows, will have the wild notion of building their own gallery for the artists of the future.
SOCIAL MESSAGE: Graham Foster’s Mechanics of Extinction about the environmental damage of longline fishing which won the Charman Prize in 2009.
Eliana’s MASTERWORKS 25 YearsOur Heritage Through Arts 5
‘Treasured works and how they found us’ Masterworks Mast Ma s errwork r s is home to than 1,200 mo e tha more an 1, ,20 00 pieces of Be Bermuda-inspired erm rmud udaa-in nsp s ir ireed artwork, only ly ffive ivee pe iv per ce cent of which can be d ispllayed there displayed at any given given time. Elise O b id and d Tom T Outerbridge Butterfield selected a few works from the permanent collection to reproduce in this supplement which have
intere an interesting story to tell. From how ho the museum acquired its most significant H work, Homer’s Inland r to the way locals Water, identifie with Dorothy identified S ’ Elliott Street, Stevens’ these treasures help offer a glimpse into this ever growing bounty.
> ”Inland Water” Winslow Homer 1901 This painting is one of 21 watercolors Homer did during his two visits to Bermuda in 1899 and again in 1901. They first were exhibited at the Buffalo Exhibition in 1902 where they were greatly admired. He considered his Bermuda work “as good a body of work as I have ever done.” It was on his trips to the tropics - Cuba, Nassau and Bermuda, that he perfected his skill in the medium of watercolour. He had previously been best known for the iconic marine oil paintings which pitted the struggle of man against the sea. Inland Water was owned by the US State Department who deaccessioned it as it was ”not of American content.” Masterworks acquired it first as a long term loan from the Chappell Family Trust in 1992. This single addition catapulted the foundation into a position of world recognition and truly put us on the map. Soon after the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art opened in 2008, the painting was given outright to be enjoyed by generations of Bermudians and visitors. (EO)
> “Sunken Treasure” Marsden Hartley 1935 Hartley first came to Bermuda in 1917 with his colleague from the Stieglitz circle, Charles Demuth. Demuth died in 1934, and so Hartley made a sentimental journey back to Bermuda in 1935. Demuth’s death left Hartley musing over mortality and the uncertainties of life. He stayed with the Elmo Petty family on the North Shore. Petty was a fisherman and Hartley liked to go out to the reefs with him every day and observe the catch as well as admire the breathtaking scenery. Sunken Treasure is one of a series of oil paintings Hartley did and the title reflects the lyrical titles he liked to give his work. The “treasure” in this case is both the beauty and the abundance of the ocean, offering a big fat grouper for the table as well as sparkling sea anenomes. (EO)
< “Maison du Gouverneur” Albert Gleizes 1917 Albert Gleizes, along with Mezinger, Picasso and Braque, were the primary proponents of Cubism. Cubism was only executed in a few places, namely France, Spain, New York and Bermuda. Gleizes had been fighting in the French Army during the First World War and when he mustered out in 1916, took his bride, Juiliette Roche to New York. We can surmise that there they heard (probably through Alfred Stieglitz) that Charles Demuth and Marsden Hartley were in Bermuda. He arrived with his new bride in 1917 and produced a fairly large body of cubist paintings based on the architecture of the island. The series of works depicting The Governor’s House is especially interesting as Tom Butterfield discovered. He was looking out the back window of City Hall and realized that the turrets in the Gleizes works lined up exactly with where he was standing. The site is where the old Hamilton Hotel stood in 1917 — we can only guess that Gleizes stayed there! (EO)
6 MASTERWORKS 25 YearsOur Heritage Through Arts
> “Silk Alley” Ogden Pleissner’s c.1950 This important watercolour has added even more depth to the collection of Pleissner’s watercolours owned by Masterworks. It was recently acquired at auction, but was titled Old Maid’s Lane which we immediately realised was incorrect, but had to be directed to the exact spot by a member of the St George community and there it was, Silk Alley! Pleissner was fascinated with the Elizabethan charm of the old town and painted a number of different scenes and locations there. You can picture him setting up his easels and paints on the side of the road. He was a master at depicting the textual Bermuda stone walls and the translucent quality of light unique to the island. (EO)
> “Marjorie, Louise and Joy” E. Ambrose Webster 1922
“Eliott Street” Dorothy Stevens c. 1940
The discovery of this painting caused quite a stir when it was acquired by Masterworks in 2003 from a dealer in Canada. When the image was placed in the Mid Ocean News with the question “can you help us identify this work?” the phone rang off the hook. The image was of a group of children paying on a Bermudian Street, and 13 members of this neighbourhood responded that they had memories of the area and some even remembered the Canadian artist who painted them!The area has now been bulldozed and is now Gosling’s warehouse and parking lot. Back then it was a vibrant neighbourhood known as Parkers Hill. We were fascinated by the wonderful memories the group shared with us. (EO)
Masterworks considers the painting of three Bermudian women “our Gauguins’. The subjects in this painting are identified by name, which adds to the intimacy of the work. Webster employed a traditional Renaissance composition-Madonna and child with the offering of fruit by the saint-like figure to the left.He famously stated that he discovered that shadows were purple while in Bermuda and this is certainly evidenced in this work. In 1995, Masterworks held a telethon at ZBM and raised $50,000 to purchase this and the other two portraitsSisters and Couple. The contributions poured in during the three hours on air. In one case, a grandmother was making a pledge from one room while her grandson snuck into another room to offer his 5! (EO)
EO – Captions written by Curator and Collections Manager, Elise Outerbridge
MASTERWORKS 25 YearsOur Heritage Through Arts 7
Meet the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art family ■ PHOTO BY SARAH LAGAN
THE TEAM: From left to right Patrick, Julie, Robyn, Elise, Marty, Tom, Kate, Paul, Suzie, Debbie, and Zeus the Moose.
So what do the next By Sarah Lagan
ooking back at the journey Masterworks has taken over the past 25 years, it’s hard not to wonder what the next 25 and beyond may have in store for us. Both Tom Butterfield and Elise Outerbridge are 63-yearsold now but neither of them appear even close to wanting to step away. Tom put it this way: “One of the great British artists, David Hockney, has a major show on at the Royal Academy right now and he is 72-years-old. This guy is working at a pace that most people of 25 would die for — that energy and intellect and output. He is just so prolific right now. Limitation is in the self, so maybe they will be taking me out of here in a box. I’ve got a feeling that yeah, we are here a little while yet.” Despite this sense of confidence, the thought of who may continue the Masterworks legacy is never far from their minds.
8 MASTERWORKS 25 YearsOur Heritage Through Arts
have in store for us? “Whoever the individual is, needs to be someone who has inbred caring and passion not just for the art work but for the people around them from the volunteers, the staff to the boards that they work with to the people they meet. They have to be a people person, not a director that can be removed from the face of it — and a lot of directors are more going towards a businessman style of management.” As for future acquisitions, there is one painting that Tom would do just about anything to get his hands on. During his days as a volunteer for the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, Tom borrowed an Andrew Wyeth painting called Royal Palms. Wyeth was an icon of 20th century landscapes and the painting attracted thousands of visitors. It was then that he realised the potential for an extensive collection of Bermuda art from around the world and the idea for Masterworks was born. As Tom looks to the future of the museum on the mile-
stone of its 25th anniversary, the Wyeth has come full circle in his mind. If there was one more acquisition he could get his hands on – it would be that same painting. “It’s the only one right now that I would really, like to just…get the owner out of the way,” he says somewhat frustratedly. “That painting was the catalyst and that’s the only one in private hands but museums don’t really let paintings go unless they are trying to raise a substantial amount of money.” In terms of exhibitions, Tom says he would love to pull together a centenary show of Demuth, Hartley and Gleizes marking 100 years since they visited Bermuda in 1917. Brimstone Media is currently working on a coffee tablestyle book featuring selected artwork from Masterworks. Both Tom and Elise would love for this to one day be followed up with an academic account of the Masterwork’s legacy to inspire generations to come.
Masterworks celebrates their 25th anniversary with a special supplement in the Bermuda Sun.