Edna Manley



Edna Swithenbank Manley, OM (28 February 1900 – 2 February 1987) is considered one of the most important artists and arts educators in Jamaica. She was known primarily as a sculptor although her oeuvre included significant drawings and paintings. Her work forms an important part of the National Gallery of Jamaica's permanent collection and can be viewed in other public institutions in Jamaica such as Bustamante Children's Hospital, the University of the West Indies, and the Kingston Parish Church.

Her early training was in the British neoclassical tradition. In the early 1920s and 1930s she experimented with modernism eventually adapting it to her own aesthetic.

Edna Manley was an early supporter of art education in Jamaica. In the 1940s, she organised and taught art classes at the Junior Centre of the Institute of Jamaica. These classes developed in a more formal setting with the establishment of the Jamaica School of Art and Craft in 1950. Jamaica's first Art School would eventually expand into a college and was renamed Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in 1995 to honour the artist's pioneering role in Jamaican Art.

Edna Manley was also the wife of Norman Manley, the founder of the Jamaican People's National Party and the 1st Premier of Jamaica. She is often considered the "mother of Jamaican art".

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Sketches, letters, etc.

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