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Overseas Family Gives Paintings to National Collection

Local News 01 Sep, 2022 Follow News

L-r: NGCI Collections Curator William Helfrecht, CNCF Chairman Martyn Bould, Chief Executive Officer Cayman National Cultural Foundation/National Gallery of the Cayman Islands Director, Minister for Youth, Sports, Culture & Heritage, Hon. Bernie Bush; Ministry for Youth, Sports, Culture & Heritage C

Miss Gladywn K. “Lassie” Bush outside her South Sound home with US artist and friend Mrs. Betty Wood in the 1980s.

Sarah Louise Wood Ham and husband Scott with Cayman Cottage, the Betty Wood painting that the family is donating to the National Collection.

The Cayman National Cultural Foundation (CNCF) is pleased to announce a significant donation by a family with close ties to the Cayman Islands.

The donated artworks are two mixed media images by Miss Gladwyn K. “Lassie” Bush and a watercolour painting by US artist and long-time visitor Mrs. Betty Wood. The Miss Lassie paintings were gifts by the South Sound artist to Mrs Wood, then later regifted to her daughter Mrs. Sarah Louise Wood Ham.

This is My Beloved Son, Hear Ye Him, and A Little Child Shall Lead Them by Miss Lassie, and Cayman Cottage by the US artist are now part of the National Collection, held in trust by both CNCF and the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands.

Minister for Youth, Sports, Culture & Heritage, Hon. Bernie Bush attended a recent reception for the artwork and said: “This generous donation by the Wood family now makes five Miss Lassie paintings that have ‘come home’ in the last year. To see great art return to the place it was created is very gratifying.”

Both artists’ paintings reflect their interests and lived experience on Grand Cayman, and knowing they were also friends, makes it even more special,” he noted.

CNCF’s Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Natalie Urquhart said: “We are extremely grateful to Sarah Wood Ham and her family for her generous donation of the Miss Lassie’s paintings, which recently arrived from her home in New Orleans.

It was important to the family that these paintings be returned to the Island for the Cayman community, and we are honoured to have helped repatriate them.”

“We are also delighted to partner with the National Gallery to showcase both works, along with a beautiful watercolour by artist Betty Wood. All three artworks are now on display in the National Gallery’s upper exhibition hall.”

Mrs. Wood Ham in explaining the donation said: “It’s where they need to be and where they’ll be most appreciated and enjoyed for years to come.”

Miss Lassie was a self-taught visionary artist who only started painting in her early sixties. The National Collection houses the most Miss Lassie paintings in the world.

Mrs. Wood lives in New Orleans and still paints. The 81-year-old’s artworks were part of several Visual Arts Society shows on island. Her paintings were hung and sold at the Old Holiday Inn, and also displayed in the Villas of the Galleon condominiums.

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