UP Vargas Museum

The Nature of the Collection

The Nature of the Collection
21 March to 27 April 2019
1F Galleries
UP Vargas Museum
Viewing schedule: Tuesday to Saturday, 9 AM to 4:30 PM

The UP Vargas Museum opens the exhibition titled The Nature of the Collection on 21 March, Thursday, at the 1F Galleries of the museum.

The Nature of the Collection exhibits some of the most notable paintings of the American and Japanese period in the Philippines done by the first Filipino National Artist, Fernando Amorsolo. The exhibition dwells on Amorsolo’s practice in portraiture and landscape as it intersects with the collecting practice of his patron Jorge Vargas. Seen together, the history of painting and the history of a collection come together to define a time in Philippine art history through the careers of both Amorsolo and Vargas. Speaking to this condition of embodied nature and labor is the video work of Tanya Villanueva titled “Safe Space, Sacred Space // How we work together.”


Jorge B. Vargas

Jorge B. Vargas, born in the city of Bago, Negros Occidental, the oldest son of Angel Vargas Tiongco and Filomena Celis Trinidad, was a prominent political figure during the Commonwealth period when he was appointed and served as Executive Secretary, the first person to ever hold such position, under President Manuel L. Quezon. He earned his A.B. degree, in 1911, from the University of the Philippines were he also received his Bachelor of Law degree in 1914 with honors. He was appointed to various political offices during his career: Mayor of Manila, Ambassador to Japan, and Undersecretary of Agriculture, among others. His other remarkable involvements include being the President and Chief Scout of the Boy Scout of the Philippines and Head of the Philippine delegation to various sports competitions such as the IXth Far Eastern Games in Tokyo, 1930 and the Olympics in Helsinki in 1952.

Vargas married Marina Yulo, his first wife, with whom he had eight children: Jorge B. Jr., Angel Federico, Gregorio Roberto, Lourdes Filomena, Eduardo Mariano, Ramon Teodoro, Teresita Carolina, and Maria Luisa. His second wife was Adelaida Peña. Vargas’s social engagements encompassed broad sympathies as reflected through his diverse collection consisting of artworks, stamps, coins, historical documents, photographs, books, and memorabilia.

Fernando C. Amorsolo

Fernando Cueto Amorsolo was born in Paco, Manila on May 30, 1892. He is the son of Pedro Amorsolo, a bookkeeper, and Bonifacia Cueto. He married his first wife, Salud Jorge in 1916 with whom he had six children. After Salud died in 1931, he married Maria del Carmen, and had eight children with her. Amorsolo mostly spent his first 13 years in Daet, Camarines Sur. When he lost his father at his early age, Salud decided to bring her entire family back to Manila, and live with her first cousin, the painter Fabian de la Rosa.

After graduating from the School of Fine Arts of the University of the Philippines, he taught for 38 years and served as its Director from 1938 to 1952. He also studied at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. He was the country’s foremost painter of the academic realist style in the first half of the twentieth century. On the year of his death in 1972, he was conferred by the government of Ferdinand Marcos the National Artist honor, the first laureate to receive it.

The Nature of the Collection exhibition runs until 27 April. Viewing schedule: Tuesday to Saturday, 9 AM to 4:30 PM

For more information, please contact Vargas Museum at (+632) 981-8500 loc. 4024 (U.P. trunkline) or (+632) 928-1927, or send an email to vargasmuseum@up.edu.ph. You may also check http://vargasmuseum.upd.edu.ph, Facebook and Twitter for updates.

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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