News Releases

UWI mourns passing of Adrian Camps-Campins: A legacy of beautiful art and architecture

For Release Upon Receipt - January 13, 2020

St. Augustine

The University of the West Indies (The UWI) St. Augustine Campus joins with the national community in expressing our deepest sympathies on the passing of artist and historian Dr. Adrian Camps-Campins. In 2014, Dr. Camps-Campins was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) in 2014 by The UWI.

In response to the news of Dr. Camps-Campins’ passing, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal, The UWI St. Augustine Campus Professor Brian Copeland expressed his condolences to the family of Dr. Camps-Campins and recalled his valuable contribution to the world of art and architecture. “Through his work, Dr. Camps-Campins compelled us to look through his eyes and experience the wonder, beauty and reverence owed to our heritage. His legacy will live on in his beautiful art and architecture.”

His notable depictions include many buildings and sites of historical significance as well as aspects of our culture: early 20th Century vendors, a Hindu temple, the famous Lion House, ancestral home of the Naipaul brothers and “The Carnival at Pembroke Street 1910” which offers a glimpse of the early street festival. In his own words describing the built landscape of our towns and villages, he draws our attention to the love that designed and crafted, “the gingerbread fretwork, the steep roofs, the turrets and dormers, the crestings and finials, the broad eaves, the occasional vision of joyous eccentricity.” In 2012, in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Independence of Trinidad and Tobago, he presented the Government of Spain with an 8ft by 4ft painting titled, “The Last Meeting of the Spanish Cabildo, 1797”.

Dr. Camps-Campins has lectured on his work in Trinidad and at Oxford University and he practised beautiful activism. Much of his work can be seen on greeting cards and this enabled him to reach a much broader audience to raise public awareness of the history of Trinidad and Tobago and its unique architecture.


Notes to Editor

UWI Honorary Graduand Feature Article: Postcards of Legacy


Camps-Campins Greeting Card Collection,  The Alma Jordan Library, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad Tobago:

Graduation 2014, receiving his honorary doctorate:

Video of Dr. Camps-Campins being conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) in 2014 during the annual graduation ceremonies:


More about Dr. Adrian Camps-Camps-Campins

Born in 1943, he attended St Mary’s College in Port of Spain. He joined the insurance industry thereafter and rose to a senior position by the 1970s. All the while, however, even as a young boy, he was exposed to the artistic pursuits of his father, who, while being a physician, was also a keen watercolourist. Artistic inspiration would also come from the well-known artist, Harry Bryden who had married into the family.

Dr. Camps-Campins would leave his secure position in the insurance business in 1974 to pursue this passion for art. His accounts of those early years are filled with the texture and rich details of virtually everywhere he walked. In the mid-Sixties, he experimented with portraiture in oils done from photographs, and soon began receiving commissions.

The land was always speaking to him, however, so whether it was recalling Manzanilla Beach, the Maracas St. Joseph River, or scenes from a cocoa plantation, his accounts demonstrate that his gaze would routinely transcend the casual. On a visit to the western tip of Gasparee Island, that keen perception in the company, no doubt, of a romantic imagination, transported him back to the 15th Century and provided a haunting image of Christopher Columbus leaving the Gulf of Paria. That vision would become his first printed card and would subsequently be captured on a postage stamp of Trinidad and Tobago in 1976.

Dr. Camps-Campins would seamlessly blend his love of meticulously researched history with his love of art and architecture and the world would notice. His portrayal of the late 19th Century event, “Seventh Birthday Party of Clara Rosa de Lima” was used by UNICEF in 1993 as part of their international fund-raising for children’s causes. He also showcased his competence as a researcher in his collaboration with Professor Bridget Brereton on the autobiography of Captain Percy Fraser entitled, “Looking Over My Shoulder: Forty-Seven Years as a Public Servant.”

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About The UWI

For over 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI has evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students and four campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Africa including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Centre for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Studies Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); the UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies and the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ). The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. 

As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. Times Higher Education ranked The UWI among the top 1,258 universities in world for 2019, and the 40 best universities in its Latin America Rankings for 2018. The UWI was the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists.  For more, visit

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI)