NCAD statement on the passing of Nelson Bell

The College wishes to acknowledge the sad passing of Nelson Bell. 

In establishing the Bell Gallery in Belfast more than 50 years ago, Nelson made a significant contribution to the visual arts in Ireland, exhibiting and dealing the work of artists north and south, and forming a dynamic hub for the arts scene in Northern Ireland. 

Nelson was ever-mindful of the importance of maintaining the records of the gallery for future research access, a practice which led him into dialogue with former NCAD Librarian, Edward Murphy. Nelson and Eddie formed an active and supportive relationship over the years with Nelson donating large amounts of arts documentation for addition to the collection at NIVAL. Nelson continued this practice until the closure of the gallery in 2014. 

With the decline of his health in recent years, Nelson and his wife Clover began preparations for the final sorting of the gallery archives.  Through a process of discussion and consultation with NIVAL's Katie Blackwood, the archives of the Bell Gallery have now been deposited in NIVAL.  The extensive material compliments the library's current holdings and adds immeasurably to our coverage of Northern Irish painters and sculptors. The value of this material for research into Irish art cannot be overstated.