Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art
Located inside Botanical Gardens
in Paget parish, this art museum is owned by a non profit organization called Masterworks Foundation in Bermuda. If you are an art lover, you will surely like to come to this place. The foundation has been building a collection of artwork since 1987 from the work done by artists of Bermuda and those inspired by the island. In 2008, they converted what was a 150-year old arrowroot factory, into the Masterworks Museum for display of their collections.
This huge 16,000 square feet art museum has three galleries that display some 1400 masterpiece collections including paintings, photographs, drawings, maps, and many types of memorabilia. One of the walls in the main gallery has a quote inscribed on it from the founder director Tom Butterfield that says: "In the future, we will understand Bermuda through the eyes of the Collection." This pretty much sums up the mission of the foundation.
The main gallery has a high ceiling and called Butterfield Family Gallery. Next to the main gallery is the Richard Faries Gallery, named after the late chairman of the foundation. And there is a third gallery called the Bank of Bermuda Foundation Mezzanine Gallery. You will see original work from great artists like Georgia O'Keeffe who made great paintings in Bermuda in 1930s, Ogden Pleissner who was well known for his excellent watercolor paintings, and Winslow Homer for his wonderful seascape paintings.
Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art
The display of work changes every 6 months. There are regular exhibitions held in the museum comprising of work from the local and resident artists. The museum offers private and group tours of current exhibitions which are included in the admission fee.
There are other programs also initiated by the foundation including art camps for kids, painters’ picnics, art in the park festivals, workshops, and so on. The museum also has a library, a classroom, and conservation & storage rooms for the artwork.
Masterworks Foundation also organizes architecture and art tours around the island. Tom Butterfield, who is the Creative Director and Founder, conducts drop-in tours at 11am on the first Saturday of every month. You can call them to arrange a tour.
There is a cafe serving snacks, breakfast and lunch, called Homer's Cafe
set up in the museum next to the lovely Rose Gardens of Camden House
, the designated official residence of the Premier located within the Botanical Gardens.
Upstairs, there is a cozy and charming reading room. There are several books in the open wooden cabinets. You if you so want, you can pick up a book, sit on a comfortable cushioned chair next to a window and spend some quiet time reading. The ambience is perfect.
Update March 2012: The Masterworks Museum has put up 26 historical photographs that celebrates the long standing relationship the island has enjoyed with the USA. The pictures include visits of the President of the United States in Bermuda and visits of Bermuda Premiers in United States.
Update October 2013: Masterworks Museum has recently added one of the earliest known photographs of St George's. An American traveler Henry Whittemore who once visited Bermuda created the image in 1855. The image was created using an old photographic process known as daguerreotype which used an iodine sensitized silvered plate and mercury vapor.
Open Hours & Fees
Admission fee is $5. Free for members & children under 12.
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am - 4pm. Sunday: 11am - 4:30pm
It's closed on public holidays. The museum is wheelchair accessible. It can be accessed by using the ramp and elevator.
Location and Contacts
Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art is located inside the Botanical Gardens in Paget. There are signs in the garden to direct you to the museum.
Check out Tourist Map
to see the location of Botanical Garden and other attractions around.
Bus routes: #1, 2 and 7. Bus #7 operates between Hamilton and Dockyard, #1 between Hamilton and St George, and #2 between Hamilton and Paget.
2) Check out Paget Parish
to know about all the attractions in Paget.
Visitors' Reviews & Comments
Carolyn Coveney (October 2013)
Fine exhibit of work by small set of local artists painting currently, one retrospective (Plessner (sp?)) that was very interesting but masterworks referenced in guidebooks (Homers, Turners, OKeefes) were in vault and not on display. Still definitely worth a visit and don't forget to view the work on display in the cafe.