New books explore the history of art in Bermuda

  • The cover of a new annotated edition of the poem Sarah Simon, by Hervy Allen (Graphic provided)

    The cover of a new annotated edition of the poem Sarah Simon, by Hervy Allen (Graphic provided)


Two books written to highlight the history of art in Bermuda have been released.

Jonathan Land Evans has released a text-only preview edition online of the trilogy Bermuda in Painted Representation, which details paintings connected to the island.

Mr Evans said the book was a study of how the island had been depicted throughout its history.

He added: “It variously notes and discusses a huge array of artists and the Bermuda paintings or other 2-D artworks that they produced.

“The book, in this interim form, does not include any actual images, but will be an important resource for those interested in the historical visual heritage of our island as it has evolved and been depicted over the centuries.”

Mr Evans said the 660-page book included more than 5,000 footnotes that ranged from newspaper and magazine reports to once-secret intelligence files and other government documents.

He added: “The National Museum plans to publish proper illustrated editions of the three underlying books at some stage.

“But it may well be that not all that is presently encompassed within this text-only iteration of the book will find its way into the final versions, due to space and cost constraints.”

Mr Evans has also created an annotated edition of Sarah Simon, a 1929 poem by the American poet and novelist Hervey Allen about the life of a black Bermudian woman.

He said: “Sarah Simon is an impressive and delightful, at times dramatic, at times bucolic, biography-in-verse of a black Bermudian woman of the 19th and early 20th centuries, whom Hervey Allen got to know and admire during his five-year sojourn in Bermuda in the late 1920s-early 1930s.

“This scholarly edition reprints the full text of the original small-edition fine-press printing of the poem — including Allen’s own preface to it — to which I have added explanatory annotations and an introductory essay.”

Mr Evans said the poem had long been out of print, although it could be found on some online poetry websites.

He said: “According to my understanding, it is still copyright-protected. In the meantime, I have produced the book as a not-for-sale mini-edition of 20 copies, with most of them given to libraries in Bermuda, the US and UK.

“I like to think that my rather attractive privately printed hardcover edition adds good value to the reader’s enjoyment of the poem, and that the eventual for-sale version will make a fine addition to people’s bookshelves when the original work eventually falls out of copyright and I can make it more widely available.”

Mr Evans added that he would not make a profit from the sales of the books.

Bermuda in Painted Representation is available at online retailer lulu.com

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Published Jun 18, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Jun 18, 2020 at 8:42 am)

New books explore the history of art in Bermuda

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