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An exhibition celebrating the life and works of the late Professor the Hon. Ralston ‘Rex’ Nettleford was mounted at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in Kingston, Thursday (February 11).
The exhibition featured an eclectic collection of Professor Nettleford’s memorabilia and a multimedia exhibition narrating his life. The exhibits covered several aspects of his career as a dancer, author and educator.
These include scholarly works, paintings and drawings by the Professor, artifacts such as drums from revivalists and kumina groups, tunics worn by revivalists and a condolence book, among other things.
The exhibition comes ahead of tributes in musical performances from cultural groups and individuals and a traditional nine night, which will be held in his honour.

Yenkie Gelly (left) and Valrie Blake examining exhibits celebrating the life and work of the late Professor the Hon. Ralston ‘Rex’ Nettleford O.M., at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, Kingston, on Thursday (February 11). The exhibition featured an eclectic collection of Professor Nettleford’s memorabilia and a multimedia exhibition narrating his life. The exhibits covered several aspects of his career as a dancer, author and educator.

Curator, Jamaica Music Museum at the Institute of Jamaica, Herbie Miller, said that the exhibition was most fitting in celebration of “the life and art of the Professor.”
“To mount an exhibition like this in his honour, on the night of his wake, is appropriate because it is pulling together so many of the parts that has created the culture and the identity of the Jamaican personality,” he said.
The exhibition he noted “is only a minute part of the diversity, that he embodied, so I think it is quite appropriate.to put on this small but very (important) exhibition in his honour,” he remarked.
Reflecting on the Professor, he noted that he exemplified so much of what it meant and means to be Jamaican and, beyond that, what it means to be a person from the Caribbean.
One patron explained that the exhibition displayed a lot, and would educate people of the life and works of the Professor.
Senior Superintendent of Police Rosie McDonald Barker noted that Professor Nettleford was an “extraordinary human being” as, despite his busy schedule, he was able to lecture members of the police force who were under her supervision in the 1970s.
Professor Nettleford died on February 2 at the George Washington Hospital in Washington D.C. in the United States. His funeral service will take place at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Chapel, Mona campus on Tuesday, February 16 starting at 10:00 a.m.
Professor Nettleford was born on February 3, 1933 in Falmouth, Trelawny. Known for his involvement in the arts and his vast contribution to academia, he wasProfessor of Extra Mural Studies at the UWI, headed the Trade Union Education Institution and founded the National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC).