Announcement, Exhibit, Main Gallery (Kawilihan), Museum, South Wing Gallery, UP Vargas Museum

Vargas Museum Turns 25

The University of the Philippines Vargas Museum celebrates its 25th year through a series of exhibition and education programs in 2012.

Signing of the deed of donation in 1978. Image from the Vargas Archives

On March 1, 1978, the Philippines’s first Executive Secretary Jorge B. Vargas donated his collection of art, stamps and coins, library, and archives to his alma mater, the University of the Philippines. The Vargas Art Collection comprises works by Filipino artists from the late 19th century, the American and Japanese occupation, and the postwar years. The Vargas Museum in the University of the Philippines was formally opened on February 22, 1987. The museum has been exhibiting the permanent art collection of Vargas. It is committed to providing the public access to the collection in dynamic dialogue with contemporary art. Through exhibitions, research, educational activities, and museum development projects, publications and public programs, the Vargas advances awareness of Philippine history and art. The museum fulfills this aim in collaboration with academic disciplines in the university, specifically Art Studies.

Exhibition / Research / Curatorial Projects

The Vargas Museum building in 2012

The Vargas Museum will commence the commemoration of its silver year through the opening of the Art History Series. To encourage further study of the Vargas Collection, temporary exhibitions at the 3F South Wing gallery will be curated based on art historical methods. The series will begin in May 2012 with the thematic approach, which dwells on the notion of the ‘picturesque’ in visual culture. It will re-examine ideals of beauty and expressions of nostalgia in portraiture and landscape paintings, as well as images in popular culture. The second is the monographic approach, which will focus on the lives and works of artists. It will explore the careers in painting and the graphic arts of Pablo Amorsolo and Pedro Coniconde, whose works are well represented in the Vargas Collection. The series will be rounded out by the diachronic approach, focusing on the milieu of the Philippine Commonwealth government from 1934 to 1941. This series aims to bridge the gap between curatorship and art history. It is also part of the museum’s continuing efforts to reactivate the collection and place it within a broader social context.

Following the launch of the Art history series is the opening of the Visible Storage in June 2012. The Vargas Art Collection consists of over 500 works of art, and a fraction of it can be viewed as permanent exhibition at the second floor Main Gallery of the museum. To echo important periods and themes covered by the permanent exhibition, the visible storage provides opportunities for qualified researchers and specialists to undertake an in-depth study of the collection.

Another program Track Changes is a para-site exhibition program at the Main Gallery that aims to link the art collection and the archives. This places the art collection and the archives in relation to a larger matrix of relationships. The initial exhibition is titled The Native Strain: Guillermo Tolentino and Aurelio Alvero. This exhibition probes the nativist disposition of the sculptor Tolentino and the curator-poet Alvero who went by the nom de plume Magtanggul Asa and helped Vargas form his collection. It is scheduled to open in June 2012.


In addition to the exhibition programs, the museum also endeavors to develop its education mandate through the publication of the The Vargas Collection Study Guide. The guide addresses school students in grade school, high school, and college levels. It links discussion topics and activities on The Vargas Collection exhibit to the national curriculum prescribed by the Department of Education. Last year, a discussion among art educators and specialists was held at the Vargas Museum to assess the potential of the program. Participants of this forum included representatives from Museo Pambata, Philippine Art Educators Association (PAEA), UP Integrated School, Ateneo de Manila High School, Balara Elementary School, to name a few. The study guide will be launched in September 2012.

Throughout the year, the Vargas Museum will be hosting exhibitions on contemporary art at the ground floor and third floor galleries and the basement. Study guides for temporary exhibitions will be accessible online through the official website of the Vargas Museum.


About Jorge B. Vargas Museum

It aims to preserve its collection donated by Jorge B. Vargas and conducts research, exhibitions, publications, and educational programs. The Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center houses a museum, archives, and library devoted to the Philippine history, art, and culture from the late 19th century until the post-war era. Its main beneficiaries are students, faculty, researchers and scholars of the Philippines and Asia.


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>upgrade | Homo sapiens sapiens | Yan Abeledo is running at the 3F Galleries until 27 October 2017. For tour inquiries and requests, please send a message to The object featured here is part of Abeledo's installation titled "Progenitors." The artist used discarded laboratory materials in some of his pieces for the show. #videoart #installation #medicalequipment #micropipettetubes #plastic #glitch Green Go Home
Tomas Vu and Rirkrit Tiravanija with Buen Abrigo, Mike Adrao, Renz Lee, Gabby Nazareno, Archie Oclos, Iggy Rodriguez, and Jo Tanierla
Opening reception: 13 Oct (Friday) at 4pm
runs until 18 Nov 
1F Galleries

Described as “social sculpture,” the project dwells on, magnifies, and renders the gesture of protest looming, urgent, and lively in current time and present political life. Conceived by collaborators Tomas Vu and Rirkrit Tiravanija, it has been organized in Colombia, the United States, and Spain. It consists of found images on newsprint which are pasted directly onto the walls of the site and interacting with graffiti text with which it shares pictorial space. Inflected by the charged term “gringo” that reels off the title when it is read, the exhibition evokes the history of foreign interventions and the resistances against them worldwide. According to Vu and Tiravanija, “the provocation inherent in Green Go Home is positioned against the subtle underlying subtext of U.S. interventions, and colonialist attitudes, towards its neighbors in Latin American from Mexico southwards: an antagonism that has cost many lives and much strife. In the imagery itself, the presence of each character-from films to music to personalities of resistance-reveals itself to the viewer as addressing the condition of the graffiti text. The grid holds up the statement and reinforces the layers of interpretation, readings, and misunderstandings. Green Go Homeis meant to be a wall of resisters, and of resistance.” This year, Green Go Home goes to UP Vargas Museum. Through collaborations with contemporary Filipino artists, images of recent protest actions in the Philippines will be drawn on the walls of the Vargas as the exhibition progresses. The exhibit seeks to review our notions of history by contributing to a specific history of protest through interactions with the audience. The Vargas develops a timeline of protests to be accompanied by discussions as an integral part of the exhibition. Mid-month opening at the 1F Galleries: "Green Go Home" project by Tomas Vu and Rirkrit Tiravanija with Buen Abrigo, Mike Adrao, Renz Lee, Gabby Nazareno, Archie Oclos, Iggy Rodriguez and Jo Tanierla on 13 October, Friday at 6pm. Exhibition will run until 18 November.

Regular viewing at 3F Galleries: Yan Abeledo's ">upgrade | Home sapiens sapiens" until 27 October 2017

For group tour bookings, please e-mail us at @pamquinto on Roldan's "Erehes" and "Salvahe" 
Norberto Roldan | Rituals of Invasion and Resistance 
#erehes #salvahe #norbertoroldan #ritualsofinvasionandresistance #vargasmuseum #exhibit #art #artph #contemporaryart #neon #lights #text #vintage #objects #vsco #vscoph #vscocam Today is the last day to view Norberto Roldan's "Rituals of Invasion and Resistance" at the 1F Galleries. We thank all who visited the show. Viewing is until 5pm today. More photos from tonight's opening! #YanAbeledo

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