May 30, 2017
By: Dr. Vera Hyatt
On May 29 at just about noon, Jamaica’s Dr. David Boxer lost an extended battle with cancer. Leaving behind an impressive contribution to Jamaica that he will be remembered for generations to come, David was professionally and personally an outstanding Jamaican. He was my friend and colleague for many decades.
When David returned to Jamaica in 1976 to assume the position of Director of the National Gallery of Jamaica, the institution had just opened one year earlier with me as its Deputy Director. With no allocation for the purchase of art, the gallery consisted of works inherited from the Institute of Jamaica. As a result, David hit the ground running, and over the years I watched him transform that fledgling institution into the major and highly respected national institution it is today.
Boxer The Man
As a matter of fact, Boxer wrote and successfully defended a dissertation in the early 1970’s on Francis Bacon, who heavily influenced David’s prolific work. David was a scholar an educator as well as a major art collector. Due to his efforts, as an art historian and connoisseur, David was highly respected throughout the region. Furthermore, David was also the recipient of many awards for his work entered into international Biennials. As a member of the teaching staff of the Edna Manley College, Boxer mentored many students who have gone on to become important artists and teachers across the world. In addition, because of David’s tireless work, today the National Gallery of Jamaica is the leading art museum in the entire Caribbean region.
Boxer was the recipient of the Gold Musgrave Medal in 1995 for his contribution to the development of art in Jamaica. In the same fashion, in 2016 the Order of Jamaica was conferred on David for his significant contribution in the field of art.
As is often said at Good News Jamaica, #WeSaluteYou, Dr. David Boxer. May your blessed soul rest in eternal peace.