The museum is housed in the Villa Doyle, a mansion built in the 1860s as the home to first Chief Justice in The Bahamas. After the addition of a new wing in the 1920s, it became one of Nassau’s prized stately homes. Positioned on the rise overlooking the top of West Street, Villa Doyle is typical of great houses of earlier centuries with surrounding verandahs that offer a commanding view of both the city and the sea.
Left to wrack and ruin in the modern age, many argued for its demolition to obliterate the reminder of our colonial past. Under a campaign lead by historian and founding Chairman, Dr. Gail Saunders, the building was saved as a site where history could be recognized, unpacked and interpreted. The building was subsequently lovingly restored in the 1990s to become the NAGB.
Villa Doyle’s restoration took almost seven years to complete involving a dedicated team of professionals and consultants under the supervision of architect, Anthony Jervis; Civil Engineer, Mr. George Cox; and the National Art Gallery’s Committee chaired by Dr. Gail Saunders.
“Through the NAGB Art and Culture is becoming tangible to Bahamians. With the extension to Grand Bahama it will enrich even more lives, especially the Youth!”
— Alisa Streather-Robinson, Educator