Huie, Albert - Jamaica - Ref# HUI 1

"Golden Boy" / Oil on Board / 6"x6"

Albert Huie (1920-2010) was born in Falmouth, Trelawny 31 December, 1920.  At a very early age he felt the great urge to paint.  He came to Kingston as a teenager at 16 and started painting active scenes of people working in the fields, dancing, washing by the river and Jamaican rural Baptisms.  In the early days he focused on portraiture, painting many and varied subjects using brush strokes somewhat in an impressioniststyle infused with cubism which many artists in Europe were using in their works at the time.  He said, ‘In the beginning I bought enamels in small tins from a hardware store and this was the medium I used to paint ‘The Dancers’ after I had observed the scene in a downtown piano bar.’  He was encouraged to show this painting to Delves Molesworth, head of the Institute of Jamaica at that time.  Encountering resistance to speaking directly to Molesworth, he said, ‘ I was almost thrown out of the  Institute.  Mr. Molesworth himself interceded, looked at what I had brought to show him and expressed an interest.  He invited me to his house and commissioned a portrait to be done of his wife.’  His early work The Counting Lesson (1938) was an excellent portrait of a girl in a blue polka dot dress with her hair tied back with a red bow.  This work was featured at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York.  The young teen appears to be counting on her fingers.  It captured the eye of many as it reflected the black Jamaican culture.  This led to him working closely in the late 1930s with Armenian painter Koren der Harootian who recognized Huie’s artistic talent and that of many Jamaicans.  In the 1940s notable Sculptress and Painter, Edna Manley was keen to encourage Jamaican artists to explore expression in art of nationalistic ideals and modernism.  She held art classes at Drumblair her home in Kingston which is where Huie says he painted his first landscape titled ‘Drumblair’ and made his first woodcut for printmaking.  The group consisted of greats such as Henry Daley, Albert Huie, Ralph Campbell and David Pottinger and others who firmly founded the Jamaican Art Movement.  Encouraged to hone his skills and talent, Huie subsequently attended the Ontario College of Art in Canada and the Camberwell School of Art in London, for which he received a British Council scholarship.  On return, he became one of the founding lecturers in painting when the Jamaica School of Art, now the School of Visual Arts at the Edna Manley College opened in 1950.  He continued to paint all genres of work through the 1960s and 1970s creating beautiful art in local portraiture reflecting the changes of the decades.  Nudes, landscapes and still life works of flowers all bursting with the 60s shift in outlook.  Women with scarves tied around their heads emerged, landscapes and seascapes using calm yet lush hues of the warm Caribbean.  By this time, Albert Huie had been heralded locally and internationally as one of Jamaica’s greatest artists.  He exhibited works in many Galleries here and abroad.  In the 1980s and 1990s he continued to paint in Kingston, his work still most coveted by collectors.  To own an Albert Huie is to own a part of Jamaican Art History.  After the Millennium he joined family in Baltimore, Maryland, where he passed away.  His Honours at home include the Institute of Jamaica Gold Musgrave Medal (1976) and the Order of Distinction, OD (1983), promoted to Commander of the Order of Distinction, CD in (1992).

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