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Meeting up with John Dunkley @MAC in Miami

Meeting up with John Dunkley @MAC in Miami

John Dunkley is one of the iconic Jamaican artists from the 1930s and 40s – considered by many as a father of Jamaican art. An intuitive or self-taught artist whose work included painting and sculpture, he was born in Savanna-la-mar, south-west Jamaica; travelled and worked in Central America before returning to settle in Kingston, the Jamaican capital, working as a barber as well as an artist. He died in 1947, in his mid-50s. His work is on show at the Perez Art Museum Miami: perhaps the largest show of his work to date, as granddaughter and artist Ya noted when I met her in the gallery, during a visit organised as part of the 2017 Museums Association of the Caribbean (MAC) conference in Miami. The MAC conference partnered with the Association of African-American Museums (AAAM) and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History & Culture (NMAAHC).
Nicole Smythe-Johnson, a Jamaican curator also attending the MAC conference and who worked on the exhibition, was also in the gallery, explaining some of the ins and outs of the show and noting the contribution of the late Dr David Boxer who served as a curatorial advisor.

Suzanne Francis-Brown, Curator, UWI Museum


  • Audio-Visual
  • Special Focus
  • John Dunkley
  • Museums Association of the Caribbean (MAC)
  • Nicole Smythe-Johnson
  • UWI Museum
  • Ya La'ford


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