Bermuda has a rich heritage of inspiring artists, who in turn have created spectacular works of art.
Blame it on the incredible candescent light found in Bermuda for the influx of artists to the island in the past 200 years. The element of light is a result of the reflection of the sun on the vast expanse of ocean and the fact that the island is so far away from factories and pollutants, which corrupt the atmosphere. Many artists have found that it is difficult to capture the illusive quality of light with brush and paint or even with a camera, but many more have succeeded.
Once an artist has been introduced to the island, a myriad of other inspirational components become evident — the lush subtropical foliage and the unique geometric style of architecture appeal to a vast cross section of artists. Over the years, the island has proved to be inspiration for luminaries such as Winslow Homer and Georgia O’Keeffe, as well as local and contemporary artists who wish not only to depict the physical beauty of the island but also to make social commentary on life on the island and the sometimes-not-so-savoury side of Bermuda few people see. All of these elements combine to create a unique canvas that is re-interpreted again and again.
Museums, Institutions and Galleries
The following is a selection of cultural venues and public art sites. Check with each venue for current exhibitions.
The Bermuda Arts Centre at Dockyard: Established in 1984, the Arts Centre is a nonprofit registered charity that reflects the diverse creativity of the art community in Bermuda.
The Bermuda Craft Market: The Bermuda Craft Market in Dockyard has the largest collection of Bermuda-made crafts and products on the island.
Bermuda Historical Society: Housed in the 1814 home of William B. Perot, Bermuda’s first postmaster, is a collection of Bermuda-made silver, furniture and paintings, fine china, maps and coins.
Bermuda National Gallery: Exhibitions include historical and contemporary artwork and provide the narrative on how the visual arts have developed in Bermuda. Admission is $5 for non-members; seniors and children under 12 free.
Bermuda National Trust: The Bermuda National Trust is a charity established in 1970 to preserve natural, architectural and historic treasures, and to encourage public appreciation of them.
Bermuda Society of Arts: Often referred to as “The People’s Art Gallery,” the BSOA showcases local artists in four separate gallery spaces.
The Birdsey Studio: Jo Birdsey Linberg, daughter of Bermuda’s first modern artist, Alfred Birdsey, painted for many years with her father at The Birdsey Studio before his death in 1996. Today, she continues the family tradition in the back garden of the family home, located at 5 Stowe Hill in Paget. Studio hours are 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays. Appointments are recommended.
Crisson & Hind Gallery: Home to a fascinating collection of carved sculptures from Zimbabwe.
Desmond Fountain: An essential destination for art lovers, this gallery in the Elbow Beach Hotel showcases international and local artists’ works alongside the world-famous sculptor Desmond Fountain.
Dockyard Glassworks Glass Gallery & Working Studio: Shop in the colourful Glass Gallery at One Maritime Lane in Royal Naval Dockyard, open daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and till 9 p.m. when ships are docked.
Kaleidoscope Arts Foundation: Kaleidoscope Arts Foundation is the first collective guild in Bermuda for the creation and teaching of art in an environment that is inspiring and accessible to the entire community.
Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art: Masterworks is Bermuda’s only purpose-built museum and is home to over 1,400 works of Bermuda-inspired art by such famous names as Winslow Homer, Albert Gleizes and Georgia O’Keeffe. Open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Located in the Botanical Gardens, 183 South Shore Road, Paget.
National Museum of Bermuda: Explore 500 years of history at the National Museum of Bermuda, housed within the island’s largest fort. Open April through November from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last admission at 4 p.m.); December through March from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (last admission at 3 p.m.). Free for children under 16.
Nicholas Lusher Fine Antiques and Fine Art: By appointment only. Nicholas deals in Bermudian, European and American art; sculptures; maps; prints; books; coins and much more.
Picturesque Gallery: The Picturesque Gallery showcases Bermudian photographer Roland Skinner’s best work spanning a 50-year career.
The Windjammer 2 Gallery: Sheilagh Head with her Gallery Manager, Danjou Anderson and Alexia Cooper have assembled the finest collection of original art by Bermuda’s professional artists.
The World Heritage Centre: The centre provides a walk-through of Bermuda’s early history from the Age of Discovery to the U.S. Civil War.