Friday, October 5, 2007

Government buys a LeRoy Clarke painting for $1.2 million.


The painting Weavers of the Dust by master artist LeRoy Clarke was purchased by the Government for $1.2 million.

Weavers of the Dust had been on loan to the museum for the past 23 years.
In the ’80s, its sister painting Queen of the Band was purchased by TTT.

BY CAROL MATROO
Government has acquired a painting done by master artist LeRoy Clarke for $1.2 million.
The painting, Weavers of the Dust, was done in New York while Clarke was living there in the 1970s.

The 12-foot by eight-foot oil on canvas mural was on loan to the national museum for the past 23 years.

Community Development Minister Joan Yuille-Williams announced the Government’s recent acquisition during yesterday’s post-Cabinet news conference at Whitehall.

Clarke also donated 18 drawings from his Douen series to the museum.

The painting—inspired by Alfred Codallo’s Trinidad Folklore—was viewed as an important acquisition as it was an essential part of this country’s artistic heritage and history, Yuille-Williams said.

Contacted yesterday, Clarke expressed delight that the Government had purchased his painting.

“I feel honoured to be part of this event…it is part of our patrimony,” Clarke said in a telephone interview.

“It is a history-making event and I believe that it is the most expensive local art purchase in our country’s history.

“It is a significant moment for the country and the artist.”

More value to T&T’s heritage

Clarke said he had had invitations to send the mural abroad, but preferred that it stayed in T&T.

“It has more value to T&T’s heritage, and it is more important than any amount of money offered abroad, to me,” he said.

He said the Government had made the decision to purchase the painting two years ago, and was pleased to know that it would remain in this country.

“I have welcomed the purchase whole-heartedly because it sends a message that Government is starting to point art in the right direction,” he said.

Clarke said he hoped that with the sale of the painting, aspiring artists would spend more time on their art form.

“With this event, perhaps the people who are involved in the arts would devote a little more time to bring forward the art in their work, rather than just simply paint for expediency or mere commodity, or to simply decorate our space,” he said.

In the early 1980s, the mural Queen of the Band, the sister painting to Weavers of the Dust, was purchased by the now defunct Trinidad and Tobago Television for $95,000.

“The price created quite a scandal that a painting could cost so much,” Clarke said.

He said when the company folded years later, the painting was donated to the museum.
“They are now reunited at the museum,” Clarke said.
Pure wholesale fockery. I wouldnt allow this cont to do ah face painting on ah fockin child.
This is the PNM way of patronising their fockin supporters. The same thing was done in the 80's when Grenfell Kissoon bought ah fockin piece of shit with paint splattered all over for $95000.00. And then people want to turn around and ask how the fockin TV station buss.
This is PNM style running every state institution into the fockin ground. Nada new!

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