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Gallery names exhibition space after donors

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The Bermuda National Gallery has officially renamed one of its galleries in honour of the Young family.

John and Nelga Young gave more than 100 works of art to the gallery about ten years ago, including several sculptures now at Queen Elizabeth Park.

Their daughter, Penne Leseur, said she was excited about the renaming, adding that her parents would have been thrilled to see the art on display.

“My parents would have been honoured and humbled by this,” she said. “When my father started collecting there were no museums or galleries on the Island, and he always thought that something like that would give us a leg up in tourism.”

During the dedication ceremony last week, gallery chairman Gary Phillips noted a panel written by curator Sophie Cressall and installed in the gallery, detailing the eclectic nature of the collection, which features works from numerous artists from around the world.

“She speaks of the timelessness of the works and how parents of all cultures will identify with the tenderness of Castenada's mother and child,” he said.

“But allow me to shine a light on my favourite — the works of Elisee Maclet who, not unlike Dufy, manages to capture the spirit of Parisian life and the energy surrounding national monuments, the quiet yet somehow animated streets scenes, the calm of the café setting, all so brutally interrupted by horror and incomprehensible barbarism these last few weeks.

“The Young collection reminds us, however, of a truth that is enduring, that can never be erased.”

Lisa Howie, the gallery's director, said the donated collection was one of three that formed the pillars of the gallery's collection, along with the gifts of David White and Harold Watlington.

“They all speak to our locality and our history and our diversity,” she said.

“We didn't start as a collecting museum. The Bermuda National Gallery was considered around temporarily hosting travelling and local exhibitions. Once the gifts emerged, the collection developed.

“John had a vision for having a national visual arts museum, and he had always while collecting that in his mind — that these would be displayed somewhere locally. When the National Gallery opened its doors in 1992, he was thinking along those lines.”

She said that the highlights of the collection, on display at the gallery until June, demonstrated the breadth of the gift from the Young family.

“It's not just that the style is diverse, but it's also diverse in terms of the location of the artists,” she said. “We have Mexico, France, American, Canadian, Japanese, Italian. One nice thing that this gift did for us is help communicate that the Bermuda National Gallery is all about diversity.

“While it's not necessarily the easiest collection to display curatorily, it's great to reflect the diversity of the Island and our various histories.”

Eclectic mix: the Young collection includes a variety of styles, from Fred Swan's Early Daffodils, 1983, acrylic on masonite
Nicola Simbari's Le Parasol Rouge, 1979, oil on canvas
Gary Slipper's Adam and Eve, 1994, mixed media on plexiglass
Morris Broderson's Crown of Flowers, 1983, oil on canvas
Nicola Simbari's Marina in Forio, 1973, oil on canvas
François Gall's Rendezvous au Cafe, oil on canvas
Morris Broderson's Fairy Tale ll, 1988, oil on linen

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Published December 05, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated December 05, 2015 at 1:30 am)

Gallery names exhibition space after donors

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