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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Opening reception of Visualizing Sound at the 3F Galleries - 9 February, 6pm Exhibition runs until 16 March 2019. Visualizing Sound is an exhibition that presents the collaboration between artist Gerardo Tan, musicologist Felicidad A. Prudente, and master weaver Sammy Buhle. The exhibition reflects on the translation of forms through the work "Rendering", a video and audio documentation notated in modern sound symbols, which are then translated into visual images, and in turn interpreted in textile by the ikat method. Complementing this is another work by Tan titled Speaking in Tongue (inspired by an indigenous chant from Kalinga called sogna) that tries to articulate the production of vocal sounds resonating from a singer’s mouth. Thus, the exhibition Visualizing Sound becomes an intersection of modes rooted in tradition and enriched in multidisciplinary contexts. The Vargas Museum Education Guide for the show can be downloaded via link over at our Facebook page.
Vargas Museum Education Guides for our February 2019 exhibitions are now available online. The study guides are designed for discussions and activities for classes in Humanities, Art Studies, Anthropology, Fine Arts, Cultural Studies, History, Political and other Social Sciences. It is encouraged that course tutors/teachers have a pre-visit to the exhibition before the class’s actual visit. The education guides may be reproduced. For pre-visits and tours, please inquire via vargasmuseum@gmail.com. Go to our Facebook profile page for the links!
Now at the 3F Galleries: Opening reception of Visualizing Sound by Gerardo Tan, Dr. Fe Prudente, and Sammy Buhle. Open to the public!
"Letter from a Mermaid to His Father" by Russ Ligtas is currently installed at the 3F Landing for "Transpersonal, instructions" exhibition which is on extended view until 9 March 2019. Russ Ligtas studied Painting at the University of the Philippines Cebu. Currently based in Manila, his performed personalities "operate via autobiographical intermedia forms combining action, artifact, and chance" as presented in the following sites and engagements: Visayas Biennale, Fringe MNL Festival, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), Bangkok Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Spielart Festival in Munich, and more. He was a mentor at ARTery Artist Mentorship Program in 2015 and was also a fellow at the Iligan National Writers Workshop and the Cornelio Faigao Memorial Writers Workshop. He played the lead role in the film "Miss Bulalacao" in 2015. In 2016, he received the Alvin Erasga Tolentino Choreography Award and the CCP’s Koryolab grant. He spent a few months in New York in 2018 as an Asian Cultural Council Fellow.
Visualizing Sound by Gerardo Tan, Dr. Fe Prudente, & Sammy Buhle opens tonight at 6pm! Everyone is invited. #textile #fabric #music #translation #indigenous #contemporary
Visualizing Sound by Gerardo Tan, Dr. Fe Prudente, and Sammy Buhle opens TOMORROW, 9 February, Saturday at 6pm. Everyone is invited to the reception. For more information, please contact 928-1927 during office hours.

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