National Gallery of Jamaica Hosts “Natural Histories” Exhibition

Repeating Islands


The National Gallery’s Natural Histories exhibition opened on Sunday, April 28, at 11:00am and will be on view through June 2013. The exhibition was introduced by its curators, Nicole Smythe-Johnson and O’Neil Lawrence. Beginning with an epigraph from Derek Walcott’s verses—We end in earth, from earth began. In our own entrails, genesis—Smythe-Johnson describes the show:

Natural History has always figured strongly in visions of Jamaica. It is in the way the plantation system and its legacy orders the people of the region; classifying them into races, classes, colours etc. It is also in the use of bucolic landscapes as pro-slavery propaganda in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Today, in much of the world, Jamaica and the Caribbean are still visualized primarily as a tourist paradise of sun and sand, rainforests, tropical birds and flowers. This exhibition looks at the ways that Jamaican artists of the past and present have engaged…

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Author: Camara Dia Holloway

I am an art historian specializing in early twentieth century American art with particular focus on the history of photography, race and representation, and transatlantic modernist networks. I earned my PhD at Yale University in the History of Art Department. Besides my leadership role as the Founding Co-Director of the Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH), I am recognized for my expertise on African American Art, particularly African American Photography, and as a seasoned consultant for exhibitions, museum collections, and symposia/lectures planning.

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