Theatre Boycott, Upstairs Right

Robert Barritt

Bermudian (1927-2015)

Oil on board

1959

Collection of Bermuda National Gallery. Gift of the artist.

This painting addresses the events of the 1959 Theatre Boycott.
Robert Barritt, a white Bermudian, often tackled difficult issues
related to poverty and social injustice in his work. A former
Government Senator and Minister of Community and Cultural
Affairs, he demonstrated an affinity for working people of both
races and a genuine empathy for the historically disadvantaged.
He says: “Charles Lloyd Tucker and I were close friends and
met often to discuss art and what was going on in Bermuda.
He would report on the life at The Berkeley Institute where he
taught, and I would contribute what I knew about the business
area of Bermuda.
“The boycott appealed to both of us as artists and we both decided
to tackle it. He was going to take an abstract approach to the
subject A Storm in a Teacup based on the remark made by the
chairman of the theatres’ Board of Directors; mine was to be
semi abstract. Both of the paintings were exhibited in 1959 and
the early 1960s without any comment being made on the social
and political message depicted.”

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