JIS News

Jamaica’s Master Potter, Hon. Cecil Archibald Baugh, O.J., O.D., died this morning (June 29), a week after he celebrated his 96th birthday.
Although he has been inactive for many years as a result of Alzheimer’s disease, Mr. Baugh’s contribution to the art of ceramics in Jamaica has been tremendous and well documented. Most of Jamaica’s well-known ceramists and potters have, at one time or another, come under the tutelage or influence of the pioneering Baugh.
Born in Bangor Ridge, Portland on November 22,1908, he attended the Bangor Ridge Primary School before relocating to Kingston, where he was first exposed to the art of pottery. To satisfy his yearning for knowledge, Mr. Baugh went to England to study, and was the only black student to have studied with the late world-famous ceramist, Bernard Leach.
He returned to Jamaica in 1949, and in 1950 mounted his first one-man exhibition. Soon after, Mr. Baugh, with other leading artists, including Albert Huie and Edna Manley , formed the Jamaica School of Art where he remained until his retirement in 1975.
Mr. Baugh is credited with starting the ceramic department at the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts (the then Jamaica School of Art), and initiating the now flourishing studio pottery movement in Jamaica.
He also served as a Sapper and Craftsman with British Army Royal Engineers and Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers of the 8th Army in England, Egypt and Aden in 1941-46. He was commissioned to make bowls in ceramic for Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
Mr. Baugh received several awards, including the Silver Musgrave Medal in 1964 and the Norman Manley Award for Excellence in 1977, to name a few. The Baugh Ceramic Gallery at the National Gallery was also named after him.