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MIND'S EYE

MIND
George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
INFORMATION

Gladwyn K. Bush (1914-2003), known as Miss Lassie, was a visionary artist who left an important mark on the cultural history of the Cayman Islands. Born on Grand Cayman, Bush worked as a nurse and shopkeeper, and was 62 when she began to create art inspired by Christian visions and Caymanian seafaring culture. Bush’s visionary markings now adorn the interior of her house, which has been declared a Site of National Historic Interest, one of only six in the Cayman Islands. Mind’s Eye is a nineteenth-century traditional wattle-and-daub house, built by Bush’s father and grandfather, with a rear addition. Bush painted Biblical scenes and vivid, colorful abstract scenes on the doors and windows of the original house, as well as every surface of the rear addition and the outdoor kitchen, known locally as a cookrum.

Miss Lassie’s House is located on a white sandy shore near George Town, in an area now rapidly changing with new beach-front developments. Hurricane Ivan devastated the Cayman Islands in 2004 and destroyed Miss Lassie’s outdoor kitchen. The house was purchased by the Caymanian government in 2008. Today the site is managed by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation, which has mounted a campaign for the restoration of the site, bringing together government agencies, private organizations, local businesses, and schoolchildren to assist with these efforts. The house opened to visitors in April 2011, but considerable resources will be needed for its long-term preservation and interpretation.

Download a 2012 Watch poster of this site (see download instructions).

UPDATE

A week after the announcement of the 2012 World Monuments Watch the Ministry of Health, Environment, Youth, Sports & Culture pledged $500,000 to further assist the restoration of the site. After a year-long restoration effort in which the traditional house was stabilized and the interior painted surfaces were conserved, the house opened again in December 2012. An exhibition of original works by Miss Lassie will be on view at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands through March 2013.   December 2012

IN WMF JOURNAL

IN THE MEDIA

ON YOUTUBE

World Monuments Fund

SPOTLIGHT

WORLD MONUMENTS WATCH DAY

Watch Day offered the opportunity to visit Mind’s Eye during the last phase of restoration. The day began with creative art exercises for elementary school students, and in the evening Mind’s Eye opened its doors and the morning’s artwork inspired by Miss Lassie’s visionary paintings was exhibited.

On Youtube: Mind's Eye Watch Day
In the Media: Mind’s Eye Watch Day
In the Media: Event shows Miss Lassie’s work
In the Media: Miss Lassie’s home gains international recognition
In Dig Deeper: Watch Day Video

MIND'S EYE
Nativity of Jesus painted on bedroom wall, ca. 1980
MIND'S EYE
View of Miss Lassie’s House from the street, 2008
MIND'S EYE
Decorative painting on bathroom walls, 2008
MIND'S EYE
The exterior of Miss Lassie’s House in preparation for Watch Day, 2012