History and Collection

Who was Jorge B. Vargas?

Photo from Vargas Archives and Memorabilia Collection

Photo from Vargas Archives and Memorabilia Collection

Jorge B. Vargas (1890-1980) was the country’s first Executive Secretary, having served this position during the Commonwealth period.

On March 1, 1978, Mr. Jorge B. Vargas donated his collection of art, stamps and coins, his library, personal papers and memorabilia to his Alma Mater, the University of the Philippines.

In 1983, the University of the Philippines laid the cornerstone for a building that would house Mr. Vargas’ collection, originally displayed in a private museum located in the premises of his residence at the Kawilihan compound in Mandaluyong. The transfer of the objects to the Diliman campus began in 1986. The museum building was formally inaugurated by then President Corazon C. Aquino on February 22, 1987.

A center for Philippine art and culture, its main thrusts are research, exhibition and education.

The Jorge B. Vargas Collections

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

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

The Jorge B. Vargas Art Collection consists of oil paintings, watercolors, pastels, drawings, and sculptures consisting of Philippine artistic creativity from the 1880s to the 1960s.

Among the collection are works by late 19th century artists such as Lorenzo Guerrero, Simon Flores, Juan Luna, and Felix Resurrecion Hidalgo. From a later period include paintings done in the 1930s and 1940s most notably by Fabian de la Rosa and Fernando Amorsolo. There are also artworks by Jorge Pineda, Vicente Rivera y Mir and other artists which were referred to as belonging to the “Amorsolo School.” The collection also boasts of modernist works such as those of Victorio Edades, Juan Aralleno, Diosdado Lorenzo, Vicente Manansala along with contemporaries who were active in the 1950s.

The Museum collection also comprises of outstanding works by women artists, recognized masters of semi-figurative art, UP graduates of the 1950s and 1960s and editorial drawings, cartoons, and caricatures. It includes sculptural pieces of Guillermo Tolentino and Graciano Nepomuceno, among other sculptors.

Through this collection, Vargas Museum aims to contribute towards the appreciation of the country’s artistic heritage and to foster an awareness of the history of Philippine art.

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Discussion

One thought on “History and Collection

  1. Hi I’m interested in visiting your museum, also I’d like to know if you house exhibits of Vicente Rivera y Mir? And where to find it?

    Posted by Miguel de guzman | March 23, 2017, 8:07 pm

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Devour | Fish Talks is a roundtable discussion among humans on anything about fish, from experiential, anthropological, ecological, scientific, or philosophical perspectives. The activity is open to public participation at the 3F North Wing Gallery of Vargas Museum. Participants are enjoined to bring and sit on their own chairs during the discussion. The chairs can be received by the museum prior to the day and may be kept with the participants' consent as part of the "Fish Talks" artwork until 1 December.

For this event, we invited Dr. Rhodora Azanza, and Dr. Arnel “AA” Yaptinchay.

Dr. Rhodora Azanza (fondly known as The Red Tide Lady) is a Professor Emeritus at the Marine Science Institute, and first woman Dean of the College of Science, University of the Philippines. She is an Academician of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), and she was among the eleven awardees honored by the UP Alumni Association with Lifetime Distinguished Achievements in 2013. She received the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Outstanding Research and Development Award for Applied Research/ Julian A. Banzon Medal for her projects that aimed to develop technology for the detection and mitigation of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) or red tides in 2014. She was presented with the 2015 Pantas Award by the DOST’s Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), and served as the former Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs (Linkages), and the director of the Office International Linkages of the university. 
Dr. AA Yaptinchay has been involved in marine biodiversity conservation in the Philippines for over twenty years. He is the director and founder of the conservation NGO, Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines after having worked with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Biodiversity Management Bureau as a biologist and WWF-Philippines as their Species Conservation Program Director. He has a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree from the University of the Philippines and earned his Master’s Degree in Aquatic Tropical Ecology from Bremen University, Germany. Devour | Katti Sta. Ana at the 3F Galleries runs until 1 December 2017. For tours, please send an e-mail to vargasmuseum@gmail.com. We will have two activities at the exhibition next week. Check our Facebook for more details. ADVISORY: The museum will be closed on Monday as usual, and on Tuesday and Wednesday due to the ASEAN 2017 non-working holidays. We resume operations on Thursday, 16 November. We thank Dr. Judy Taguiwalo and Renz Lee for Green Go Home: The Necessity of Protest yesterday. Lisa Ito will be moderating another conversation, Green Go Home: From Aklasan to Bungkalan with Angie Ipong and Iggy Rodriguez next Friday, 17 November. Grrrl Gang Manila joins the Green Go Home project through a Grrrl Meet #5! on 18 November. Please check the event pages for updates and resources. DEVOUR by Katti Sta Ana is on view at the 3F Galleries until 1 December 2017. We thank everyone who attended the evening reception. The exhibition at the Vargas coincides with Paglulual International Ceramic Art Project 2017 at the U.P. College of Fine Arts.

The evening reception was graced by a performance by Boyet De Mesa and Rabu Barroco based on the Sta. Ana's Dog-Eat-Dog pieces. 
Other activities for the show:

21 Nov, TUESDAY, 9am-5pm

Collaborative wall drawing session at the Dog-Eat-Dog area of North Wing Gallery with Manuel Heraña, Boyet Montejo, Ritchie Rodulfo, and Kevin Roque (selected UP College of Fine Arts freshmen)

24 Nov, FRIDAY, 2-4pm

FISH TALKS: a roundtable discussion of humans on anything about fish from experiential, anthropological, ecological, scientific, or philosophical perspectives. This is open to the public. Participants are enjoined to bring and sit on their own chairs during the discussion. The chairs can be received by the museum prior to the day and may be kept with the participants' consend as part of the Fish Talks artwork until 1 December, as symbols of persons' stakes on the issue. 
DEVOUR PROJECT TEAM:

Artist Apprentices: Pam Quinto, Jezzel Lorraine Wee, Raffy Ugaddan, and Raymond Escoto Carlos

Artist Volunteers:

Rosa Mirasol Melencio, Lui Gonzales, Aileen Viñas, Zee Aquilizan, Precious Pareño, and Raha Rodriguez 
Special thanks from the artist are given to Jose Tence Ruiz, Reynel dela Rosa, Marco Rosario, Rita Badilla-Gudino, Leo Abaya, Yasmin Almonte Lantz, Rey Concepcion, Penny Bencito, Froilan Sta. Ana, and Roberto Acosta. Do We Dream Under The Same Sky?

From #TomasVu and #RirkritTiravanija's Green Go Home project at the 1F Galleries. Later at 3pm, visual artist Renz Lee and former DSWD Secretary Dr. Judy Taguiwalo initiate a conversation titled "The Necessity of Protest." Lisa Ito will moderate the activity.

#Repost @darylfabellon

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