Barrington Watson

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This article is about the Jamaican painter. For the Great British long-distance runner, see Barry Watson (athlete).

Basil Barrington Watson (born 9 January 1931)[1] is Jamaica's master painter.


Born in 1931 in Lucea, Barrington Watson made his original mark in Jamaica as a football player for Kingston College. However, he ultimately followed his artistic yearnings by enrolling at the Royal College of Art in London. He travelled widely and then returned to Jamaica in the early 1960s. He became the first Director of Studies at the Jamaica School of Art and co-founded the Contemporary Jamaican Artists' Association (1964-74).[2][3] He later served as visiting professor at Spelman College, Atlanta.[2] In 1967 he won a prize at the first Spanish Biennale at Barcelona. In 2000 he was awarded a Gold Musgrave Medal by the Institute of Jamaica.[4]

Barrington Watson has exhibited throughout Jamaica and internationally and currently lives in Kingston, Jamaica. He is the father of sculptors Basil Watson and Raymond Watson.

Watson is the subject of Lennie Little-White's 2015 documentary film They Call Me Barrington.[5]


Notable works[edit]


Literary works[edit]

  • Shades of Grey
  • The Pan-Africanists
  • Barrington


  1. ^ Biography.
  2. ^ a b "Introduction", Barrington Watson: A Retrospective, National Gallery of Jamaica.
  3. ^ Tamara Scott-Williams, "Barrington Watson: A life in paint", Jamaica Observer, 16 October 2011.
  4. ^ "Musgrave Awardees". Institute of Jamaica. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "Watson film premieres Sunday", Jamaica Observer, 28 January 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2015