Permanent Exhibition

The Vargas Collection
2F Main Gallery

The exhibit features the museum’s art collection spanning the late 19th century works of the old masters to the post-war era of the modernists. True to its commitment of initiating dialogues between the art of the past and the contemporary expression, the exhibit includes works by invited guest artists Poklong Anading, Roberto Feleo, Alfredo Juan and Isabel Aquilizan, Renan Ortiz, Adjani Arumpac, and Stephanie Syjuco. These contemporary pieces converse with the works of Juan Luna, Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo, Fernando Amorsolo, Guillermo Tolentino, Vicente Manansala, Cesar Legaspi and Victorio Edades among others.

Track Changes
The Native Strain: Guillermo Tolentino and Aurelio Alvero
2F Main Gallery

The initial exhibition focuses on an unexplored theme in Philippine art history. It refers to the nativist disposition of the sculptor Tolentino and the curator-poet Alvero, who went by the nom de plume Magtanggul Asa. This is exemplified in the research on Philippine culture, the penchant for the occult, the invocation of dead heroes of the national pantheon, the allusion to an ancient Philippine lifeworld, and the attempt to summon a classical and civilizational discourse of the past. In many ways, the collection of art becomes an index of self-consciousness, a modernist gesture for “nation” and thus turns into a “living tradition.”

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ADVISORY: In compliance with the announcement from Chancellor Michael Tan, the museum will be closed today, 23 April 2019. Summer Art Workshop with Mr. Fernando Sena is also suspended today. Inquiries: vargasmuseum@up.edu.ph
ADVISORY: In observance of the Lenten season, the museum will be closed on 17 April, 12 noon to 20 April 2019. Viewing of galleries and office operations will resume on 23 April 2019. Inquiries: vargasmuseum@up.edu.ph
Revisiting the Conservative 2019 Vargas Museum Art History Series Exhibition 3F Galleries 16 April - 15 June 2019 The Vargas Museum returns with its fifth iteration of its Art History Series exhibiting works from the Vargas collection curated based on art historical methods. The series strengthens the museum's efforts to continuously situate and contextualize its collection within today's social setting through the interaction between curatorship and art history. Revisiting the Conservative presents the realist traditions of painting idyllic scenes and themes exploring the Philippine landscape from the 1940s to the 1970s. The conservative as a category marks a particular stylistic tendency in Philippine art history. In terms of source, it can be traced to the academic realism of the nineteenth century that found its most prominent articulation in the exalted works of Fernando Amorsolo. It has been cast as a binary opposite of modernism as advocated by the practice of such artists as Diosdado Lorenzo and Victorio Edades. A body of polemical texts and institutional history sustains this interpretation even as the binary might not hold under a closer reading of the works and a more thoughtful appreciation of the artistic biographies of the practitioners, who slip in and out or even away from art history's order of things. In the possession of the collection of Jorge Vargas is a trove of pieces that exemplifies this conservative disposition. The latter would later be identified, or even conflated, with commercial art sold on Mabini Street, thus the term "Mabini Art". The exhibition scans the shift of realism in Philippine art as well as expressions of the supposed antithesis of the privileged modern. The exhibition consists of works by artists such as Elias Laxa, Romeo Enriquez, Cesar Buenaventura, Crispin Lopez, Serafin Serna, Miguel Galvez, Isidro Ancheta, Antonio Dumlao, Wenceslao Garcia, Gabriel Custodio, Ben Alano, Simon Saulog, and Diosdado Lorenzo. It also features a screening of the film Mga Uod at Rosas (1982), directed by Romy Suzara and written by Edgardo M. Reyes.
The Study Guide for The Nature of the Collection is now available for download: bit.ly/VMStudyGuideNature To view and download Study Guides for 2019, please visit: bit.ly/UPVMStudyGuides2019 The guides are designed for discussions and activities for classes in Humanities, Social Sciences, and other fields related to the exhibitions. It is encouraged that course tutors/teachers have a pre-visit to the exhibitions before the class’s actual visit. The study guides may be reproduced.
ADVISORY: The museum will be closed on 9 April 2019, Tuesday, in observance of Araw ng Kagitingan. However, the workshop area will be open for the 2019 Summer Art Workshop by Fernando Sena. Office operations and viewing of galleries resume on 10 April, Wednesday. Inquiries: vargasmuseum@up.edu.ph
ADVISORY: The museum will close early at 1 PM on 6 April 2019, Saturday for scheduled fumigation of galleries and offices. Interested participants of the 2019 Summer Art Workshop by Fernando Sena are encouraged to complete their registration this week. Office operations and viewing of galleries for next week will resume on 10 April, Wednesday. Inquiries: vargasmuseum@up.edu.ph

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