Bush makes $500k committment to Miss Lassie

| 25/10/2011

(CNS): Following the recent recognition of Miss Lassie’s House in South Sound as a world monument, in need of protection the premier has offered government commitment to the restoration of the house of Cayman’s renowned visionary artist. McKeeva Bush has handed over a letter of commitment for $500,000 over a four year period to the Cayman National Cultural Foundation (CNCF) as a contribution to the ongoing project at the home of Gladwyn K. Bush, better known as Miss Lassie. Bush hailed efforts underway to secure Miss Lassie’s South Sound house, Mind’s Eye, as a heritage site.

The importance of the site is a matter of pride for all Caymanians, the Premier noted. “Mind’s Eye was being considered with sites from around the world for this recognition,” he said.

The recognition of Mind’s Eye came from the World Monument Fund (www.wmf.org) which placed it on the Watch List 2012 as a threatened cultural-heritage site.

Restoration of the house will also preserve for future generations an example of their ancestors’ homes, the premier he added and lauded CNCF’s Henry Muttoo and Lorna Bush for their efforts.

The efforts by Muttoo in particular to campaign for the preservation of the house have continued for manyyears. The house is a unique monument in many ways not just as the home of the prolific and internationally acclaimed artist but because it is where she translated her visions not just on to canvas but on the walls, windows and doors of the family home where she had lived all of her life.

The land and house was bought by the previous government administration in 2008 and since then the CNCF has worked hard to raise the financial and other resources to not only preserve Miss Lassie’s work but turn the house into a museum, gallery and cultural centre.


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  1. Eagle I says:

    If there was a market for paintings that look like entries in an under 12 Sunday school competition but which were in fact were painted by odd pensioners then these paintings would deserve some special protection.  There is not such a market.  The money would be better spent on promoting young Cayman-based artists rather than making Cayman seem ridiculous by ascribing value to this body of work.

  2. Anonymous says:

    If Miss Lassie's art was so atrocious why did the New Times do a piece on her that as Bendel Hydes put it, any artist would give his left arm for? Why are her pieces hanging in collections all over the world. Why has the World Monument Fund put the site on their Monument Watch list?  A child could could paint as well? A child could never maintain the consistant style that Miss Lassie did. Art is not bound by the limited horizons of the minds shooting down Miss Lassie work on this site. She was indeed a visionary aritst, a Caymanian legend.

    • Oops there it is. . . says:

      Wow – the New Times? Never heard of it. Miss Lassie’swork is awful stuff. Wouldn’t want it the guest loo let alone in a gallery.

  3. John-the-Baptist says:

    Ms. Lassie must be having a thrill sitting in heaven and painting all of you standing by her house making a fuss out of it. You think her shack worth $500K? Just you wait when she send 12 angels to deliver her final art work to the Premier with all your faces on it, along  with her little shack in the middle. Not even the China loans will be able to pay for it. So, please leave Lassie house alone and move to another topic because is things like these excites my wonderful Premier.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I believe Ms. Lassie was a true Christian woman who was bless by God, and I feel if she was living today, she would want that  $500,000.00 dollars donated to social services to help support those who are in financial need and the elderly at this time. I understand social services poor relief fund is dwindled due to the economy. The 500,000.00 could have been given to Mike Adams to help them. 

  5. Anonymous says:

    ……and out next generation have no food to eat at school while trying to get a decent education. Just totally fed up with the thinking of how money is spent. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    People so anxious to criticise they won't even stop to read. The money is pledged over a four year period. This is not about re-building an "old shack" as some have described it. This is about conserving, preserving, restoring.  

    But you know if Lassie was an "eccentric,crazy old…" then she is in the company of Picasso, Van Gogh, Einstein and quite a few others that have made their mark in history.

    "Without vision a nation perishes" . Lord please have mercy on Cayman.


    • Anonymous says:

      Oh Jesus, 6:01, no she wasn't in the company of Picasso, Van Gogh, Einstein etc. Please, please please!!! Don't embarrass us Caymanians with education with this sort of idiocy.She was an old woman in a very small island who painted things that would not be noticed in any other place than one like Cayman desperate for "heritage". Her paintings have value only as local products but of course they will be puffed up by foreigners in our cultural positions who are quite understandably looking to preserve their jobs. After all, what else would they do if our theatre weren't there plus this sort of nonsense? Go back to Trinidad or Guyana? I don't think so.

      • Just Me says:

        So, am I to deduce then, that simply because one is from "a very small island" it is impossible to produce anything of worth?

        Please God, help my fellow Caymanians; they really need it.

        • Anonymous says:

          No, Just Me, you shouldn't deduce that at all. What you should deduce is that these particular paintings by this particular person on this particular island have absolutely no merit or value whatsoever other than that ascribed to them by certain overly nationalistic Caymanian persons (perhaps understandable, though misguided) and those in the "cultural world", especially ex pats, who stand to benefit by ongoing adulation of and financial support of this old lady's efforts with a brush. You are correct in calling for help for your fellow Caymanians but not for the reason you suppose.

        • Picasso, Pissaco says:

          You didn't study logic at college did you?  There is no basis to make such a deduction from the post.  Rather the point was being made that the only reason that Miss Lassie's work ever achieved local prominence was because the locality in question was so small.  Local prominence and international level artistic merit are very different things.

          Of course a Caymanian is capable of produce world class art.  Miss Lassie was not such a Caymanian.  Outside the profiteering bubble of the fad known as outsider art, a fad long passed, no-one would see these paintings as anything other than the hobby of a rather strange retiree with no broader meaning or value.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I know of several buildings that have been moved and one was of historic value.  Nothing happened to it.  It is still in good ship and kept maintained.

  8. Anonymous says:

    You guys are xxxxed up beyond recognition. $500K to preserve a shack when your island is failing in all areas. Jobs lost, crime rampant, education in tatters, government pissing away money like they still had any, economy failed (not failing – failed), businesses closing and the population moving away (at least those who have any money)… and here’s your master economist blowing half a million dollars in one go for no benefit to the people in dire need.

    Sorry to say, I’m glad I moved away already because this just pisses me off.

    • Anonymous says:

      How many Caymanians are proud to see one of thier own recognized with such a honor? How many tourist have come here and seen that house?  Calculate the cultural and historical value and then talk to me. I guess  you would be happy if we let all our our culture rot away?  I am glad you are no longer here.  Probably just a sponge anyway

      Ms Lassies work has a immense value to the Cayman and the world.  It is a piece of our culture that should be preserved forever.  It is a benefit for us and to our future generations to realize that one can be humble and yet recognized world wide.

      I agree she was not Van Gogh but she was OUR Van Gogh and deserves to be recognized and honored.

      I have seen many pieces of art by contemporary artists that look like a dog threw up on a piece of canvas sell for more than $500K so dont get me started on looks vs cost.


      • Another expat gone- says:

        The grammer and spelling of many of these posts is so atrocious it is difficult to pay any attention to the actual topics. I love Miss lassie's work- wish I could afford it, but, truly, the half-a-million needs to be spent on education- a great deal of cayman is woefully ignorant, allowing premiers like your current one to.abuse the  kind-hearted people and misuse power without fear. it's so sad.

  9. John-the-Baptist says:

    And all of you forgot that Miss Lassie got rich and recognized when she was old and could not tell the difference between her $$$ and her paint brush. So, do you think Miss Lassie really care if the house is restored or not? Please use that money to help the young people who are crying out for help and attention.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Given the market value of that particular beachfront property, I would suggest that the best thing for that old rundown wooden house is a match…..not all painting is art worth keeping.

    • Anonymous says:

      We could sell it, build a mansion for a rich foreigner and make a pile of money, then let Mac piss it away in travelling expenses! Thumbs up for this everyone!

  11. Anonymous says:

    I am a supporter of the Premier but this time I must say that $500k for Miss Lassie's house is beyond rediculous. Her paintings were childish, lacking talent, demonic even, my 2 year old could paint just as well. GIVE ME A FRIGGIN BREAK. I thought our Government was in need of cash when they introduced new taxes to raise it, and then piss away our taxes like that is a great injustice to the people! If we can afford to piss away money then I want reduced duty on my gas!

    • Anonymous says:

      Hint: Prefacing anything with "I am a supporter of the Premier" immediately casts doubts on your judgment about what follows.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anonymous @ 13:15 how in the world you get no thumbs down so far is simply amazing……………..you started out by stating "i am a supporter of the Premier,"  that alone should get you over 100 thumbs down no matter what,i believe you tricking them poor ole CNS posters, PPM and anti-Bush supporters must be drunk today………really amazing, wow just flipping wow .

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow… demonic???  I don't agree with as much as 500,000 dollars, but to call the artist demonic is just outright insultive and very disrespectful to Caymanians. If you insult an artist's work, you have insulted the artist!  And because she is dead, you have insult Caymanians as well. If you have much against the Premier, attack the Premier, but leave local artists out of your attacks… please… don't be so ignorant! 

      • Picasso, Pissaco says:

        And because he insuted humans he has insulted planet Earth and because he has insulted Earth he has insulted the entire universe . . .

        The "art" in question is atrocious and of no artisitic merit whatsoever.  No credible art critic would dare make a counter-case.  If a six your old painted this stuff one might give them some encouragement, but not an adult.  We should not be spending any money preserving this crap.  If it is so good, seel it off and let the market decide if it is of merit.

        I went to an event involving this artist's work and it was embarrassing.  I could not think of anything positive to say when asked about the "art" in question.  I think the best way to sidestep the problem is to call it "interesting" or "unusual".

        PS Demonic is a good way of expressing the sense one gets from the paintings.  I can imagine an X File episode involving small children who are possessed churning out pictures like this.

        • Anonymous says:

          Okay armchair Picaso,

          No. 5 by Jackson Pollack sold for $140 million and it is as random as random gets.  Explain that.  It is the most expensive paintiing sold ever and as you said a six year old could have painted it.  It looks like someone dipped a paint brush in random colors and flicked it on the canvas. I get a headache just looking at it.

          The 2nd most expensive painting sold is Woman III by Willem de Kooning going for $137 milion and it doesnt look half as nice as Ms Lassies. Explain that also.

          ‘Skill without imagination creates wicker-baskets and chairs, imagination without skill creates modern art’

          I think Ms Lassie fits nicely into the latter thank you very much.





          • Picasso, Pissaco says:

            The fact that you could not spell Pollock probably is enough of a reply to this inane response. Pollock was a wonderful artist who had a massive influence on 20th century art.  I could start to explain about his motivation of divorcing his work from the influence of the conscious via non-standard techniques but why should I cast the pearls into your pig-pen?

            Miss Lassie's work fits on a list – a list of turgid crap that could have been painted by a kid without any artistic value whatsoever.  Her work is of no merit at all.

            You are completely ignorant about modern art – that is clear from your post.

        • Anonymous says:

          And exactly who died and appointed you the Master of the Universe?? Please Mr. Picasso, go fly a kite!

    • Anonymous says:

      “I am a supporter of the Premier…”

      Medic!!! Medic!!!! Butterfly net and the white jacket over here, stat!

  12. Anonymous says:

    It matters not one iota what the premier doesor does not do – he will be BLASTED TO HELL by all the anti-Mckeeva fans.  If this "old house of the crazy woman from South Sound" had been knocked down and the beach made public, there would have been a chorus of how insensitive and non-cultural he was. I think there is a PAID band of persons who do nothing except sit on their computers all day long developing negative thoughts and ideas about the Hon. McKeeva Bush.

    As you can see, it doesn't bother him not one little bit! He keeps on doing what he's doing. Long live the Premier, Hon. McKeeva Bush and may he reign forever. At least he has the fortitude to stand up and to do something. Of course he makes mistakes – who doesn't>  In the end his accomplishments will speak for themselves and I predict that history will be extremely kind to him.


    PS.  The yard and beach needs some weeding and raking – any volunteers out there?

    • Anonymous says:

      I can't help rake the yard because I'm too busy sitting on the computer all day long!  Wish I could've helped out!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I just hope that the Auditor General will keep a check on how that $500,000 is being spent. Count every receipt on materials used, and of course the labor spent on it too. XXXX

  14. Anonymous says:

    My own Caymanians are starting to sick me to my stomach, all people do in Cayman now a days is criticize and complain about everything (too much negative energy).I bet you all that if the Premier  had write of  this project and didn't give a red cent you all would still rise up like vipers.BUNCH OF CRABS!!!!!!!!!!!!…..

  15. Anonymous says:

    500K seriously can Mr. Bush please tell me where he is getting all this money from  because  every min he is  crying wolf about the country is broke cause God knows i just need a enough to pay my mortgage off and I would be happy camper.

  16. Anonymous says:

    500 Grand, Are you joking? I just built a 2 story house with garage for less than that.

    Give me 250 grand and I will rebuild the whole house!


    • Anonymous says:

      DOn't get me wrong, I can understand why they want to perserve the house, but 500T????? There are people losing their jobs, civil servants struggling along because of their pay cut….how can you justify 500T?? Oh yeah I forgot, their was an even larger donation to the churches….

  17. Anonymous says:

    That crazy old woman used to chase away kids with her machete.

    • South Side says:

      BULL SH!Z!

      I used to go to her house to buy fishing bait from her Son. She was always singing and praising the lord… I think those oil based paints may have gotten to her head but she never chased us with a machette. Now the old man down the street woulda definitely chopped you up for stealing guinnips.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, cutting past the garden to get to Sth Sound was a dangerous venture, remember the broken glass on the wall – "don't come in here with your rubber soled shoes" – a good character though ranking alongside the farm soldier

  18. Anonymous says:

    I going mek sure that when I reach 60 I start havin visions and start paintin – like another poster said you dont even have to paint good. All of us have visions folks its called dreaming so now all we have to do is take those dreaming visions and start painting – make sure you dont do it though till you are old otherwise its not visionary.

  19. Power of the People says:

    I am in shock. Awe, even. Don't get me wrong – Miss Lassie was a visionary, a lovely woman and her home should be maintained. BUT C'MON!!! Gov't dishing out 1/2 a mil to restore a house of a woman who is no longer amongst us is preposterous! This is an initiative better suited to the big corporations and business here on island that are looking for good public relations and gold stars on their annual reports. 

    What I see happening is…the same fiasco we encountered with Pedro St James and Boatswain's Beach – – – toooooooo much money, toooooooo much greed and toooooooo little oversight (and too little sense!)

    We are being set up to lose another wad of cash in a drain hole project that no one is paying any attention to. 

    I continue to question the reality of this inverted universe that Cayman was swallowed into – where the Mad Hatter rules the land and everything right is wrong and wrong is right….

    Lord help us!

    • so Anonymous says:

      You all have elected people like Bush and his croonies.  WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?  HELP YOUR SELVES!!!!  Stop expecting good results from proven failures.

  20. Knot S Smart says:

    We all know that what the Govt gives to one party, it must first take from all of us by some form of taxation.

  21. Anonymous says:

    And how much has the Premier earmarked for young Caymanians returning from university to set up paid "mentorship" programmes in Cayman business to allow these young Caymanians to assimilate successfully into the Cayman Islands workforce?


    You people are all so full of s**t. XXXXX


  22. Annoyed and Disconnected says:

    I wondah how many hurricanes that house can withstand.  Dismantle it and put it someplace safer or in the grounds of the new facility off Esterly Tibbetts Hwy.  Yeah, we allwed them to tear down Dr. Roy House, which was of more significance (not saying that Miss Lassie wasn't, loved her dearly).  But seriously, Dr. Roy saved us from independence, Miss Lassie was artistic and cultural.

    • Anonymous says:

      It has withstood all hurricanes so far. 1932, all through the 80s, & Ivan or haven’t you noticed!

      So because Dr. Roy’s house (which I believe was invested with termites) was torn down, which should tear down all other house of cultural or historical significants?

      Interesting view!

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you know how much it would cost to take it apart, move it andput it back together again? No to mention the repairs it needs?

      Leaving things where they were built and stood for approximately a century tells a very important part of the history of the house and site. Her father had ships anchored in the sea behind the house.  Whether people loved or hated her work, that house in that position is what we expect to see when we come up Walkers Road to South Church Street etc. Did you know that house survived the 1932 and Ivan in that position, not to mention other hurricanes?  It needs to stay right where it is.

      In regards to moving it to the Esterly Tibbetts Highway, that is National Gallery (NG) property.  Lassie’s is the property of the CNCF.  Those are two different organizations all together.  From my understanding the NG is only a tenant at the current site on South Church Street.

  23. Paradise Lost says:

    Heck, I'm just thrilled to see a Caymanian he isn't suing.   

  24. Monet Monet Monet says:

     There is naive art and there is childish tat.  This is not the former.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I think I will buy me a brush and some paint now too. Good money in that boy and one thing for sure you dont even have to be able to paint good. No training nor nuting, just use an old brush. God bless our good friend Miss Lassie.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Although a frequent critic of the Premier's policies in this instance I must tip my hat to him. As a South Sounder that has seen our natural surroundings gradually disappear over the years it is indeed heartening to see a small piece of what once was, saved. Miss Lassie's house is the type of landmark that gives me great pride in saying there is nowhere in the world like South Sound-my home.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Relocate the house to the new National Gallery site, and use the beach as a public facility.

    $500,000 will be enough to do that as well as release a piece of South Sound for public enjoyment.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is so obvious that the poster has no knowledge of this project and the historic and cultural value of it. It is of paramount importance that the house remain right where it is. The history is there. It will be opened for the public to enjoy in due course.

      It is being managed and held in trust for the people of the Cayman Islands  by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation (CNCF) whose headquarters is at the F.J.Harquail Cultural Centre. As ridiculous as the suggestion is to move the house from it's historical home,if that option ever becomes necessary, then why on earth would it be housed anywhere else than at the Harquail Cultural Centre, the home of CNCF?

      Ignorance is bliss, they say?



      • Anonymous says:

        Blissfully ignorant as I am..can you please educate us…Is it the house or Miss Lassie's paintings, that's the national treasure…?  CNCF or Art Gallery…?

        If it's the house, Granmama's got a shack I'll sell you for less than $500K. I'll get her to paint on the walls for free.

        • Anonymous says:

          Do you know anything about Miss Lassie and her paintings? Do you know that the walls and ceiling of the house were indeed her canvas? You obviously don't and you are probably so comfortable in your blissful ignorance that I don't think I should disturb you.

          • Anonymous says:

            Calm down dear …I was merely suggesting that your Cistine Chapel be moved to a safe and logical location with ample parking for the adoring fans.

            Releasing a piece of (much needed) South Sound beach to the public would be an added benefit.

            Over and out.