Before he died last year businessman Michael Campbell, founder of Island Car Rental, asked his close friend former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson to make The University of the West Indies, Mona the repository of his 261-piece Jamaican art collection.
This month UWI Mona accepted the US$2.3 million collection in a private ceremony. The late art patron’s collection comprises works by 67 Jamaican artists and cover Jamaica’s cultural and social evolution over the past several decades. The oldest painting in the collection is an oil painting of road workers that Albert Huie created in 1944.
“Michael Campbell’s collection is not just an assemblage of art; it is a narrative of our nation’s soul, chronicling our trials, triumphs, and aspirations,” said Patterson. Himself a patron of the arts, Patterson said the handover gave him a chance to pay tribute to Campbell, who had collected perhaps the most impressive and wide private collection of art in Jamaica.