Many pieces of art in the Trust’s collections are valued as accurate depictions of people and life in Bermuda in days gone by.
Watercolours by Thomas Driver of places and buildings (in addition to those in the Elliott Collection) form an invaluable architectural record of Bermuda 1814–1836. Driver was an Englishman who came to Bermuda to work as the assistant to the Agent for Victualling His Majesty’s Ships at the height of the War of 1812. He painted prolifically, using a camera lucida (a device which projects an image onto the page) and this accounts for the accuracy of his drawings. After the war he remained in Bermuda working as an auctioneer and continuing to paint.
Another important piece is a book of 13 prints by Lieutenant Edmund Hallewell. He came to Bermuda as an ensign in 1841 and within three years had been promoted to adjutant of the 20th Regiment. He later served with distinction in the Crimea and ended his career as the Commandant of the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. In Bermuda he served Governor William Reid and married his daughter. Hallewell painted panoramas of the island in watercolours, which were then translated into lithographs and made into the book.
One of the Trust’s treasured possessions is a watercolour of Waterville painted by Bessie Gray in 1896. She was the daughter of Chief Justice Brownlow Gray. The first known works by Bermuda-born artists date from the 1870s and 1880s and were by Susan Frith (1837-1910) and Bessie Gray (1854-1925), followed by their successors the Tucker sisters, Ethel and Kate. Bessie Gray was best known for her appealing renditions of Bermuda flora and old style cottages, but she also dabbled in coastal scenes.