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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25-27 January 2018 | Thursday to Saturday, 3-5pm
An Ecological, The Obligatory Reading Series (Season 1)

Closing the first year of PCAN, the Public Engagement and Artistic Formation introduces an itinerant educational initiative in the form of a reading group, established to explore ideas and accommodate materials collected and discussed by the institution’s ongoing research. The reading group is a bi-monthly meeting, hosted in the last week of a month. 
The initial series of reading proceeds from the use of the term “ecological/ecology” in understanding practices of public engagement and artistic formation. In the first meeting (January 25), we will focus on Isabelle Stengers’ work that qualifies the scientific and political dimensions of the ecological as a method of creating relations and as a mode of understanding these relationships to the world. We will ask how these relations create ‘modern’ practices and their other through conceptual vectors utilized by Stengers, such as pharmakon, factishistic proposition, and constraints. The second meeting (January 26) will be an exercise on reading data and statistics about rice production and supply through Mark Sanchez’s project Rice Food Web (2017). Moderated by the artist, the session releases the interpretation of these articles into an open platform of alternative and multiple readings of information. We will ask the agency and dynamics of artistic research/artist-led research in the economy of ‘scientific’ information and policy-oriented knowledge production. In the final meeting (January 27), we will read into a history of an institution and institution-building through its documentation, collected and archived outside its context in Marawi. This session will be an encounter with the Dansalan Quarterly Journal, a community-based, interdisciplinary publication produced by the Dansalan Junior College (now Dansalan Research Foundation) in 1975. 
Session 1 | 3:30 – 5:00 PM, 25 Jan
Cosmopolitics I
Isabelle Stengers
Moderated by Renan Laru-An

Session 2 | 3:30 – 5:00 PM, 26 Jan
Reading the Web
Moderated by Mark Sanchez

Session 3 | 3:30 – 5:00 PM, 27 Jan
Dansalan Quarterly Journal Traversals/Trajectories: Expansive Localities
Curator’s Walk-through 
and Conversation with Martin Lorenzo De Mesa and Kat Palasi

25 January 2018| Thursday, 2:30-5pm, 1F Lobby

Tessa Maria Guazon, coordinator of the Exhibition and Curatorial Analysis component of PCAN, shares her ideas and processes through a curatorial walk-through of "Traversals/Trajectories: Expansive Localities" at the 1F Lobby of Vargas Museum. The exhibition explores ideas of the region and the different “practices of placeness” in Philippine contemporary art by tracing numerous strains of place making in the works of artists from different localities across the Philippines.

A conversation with two of the thirteen featured artists of Traversals/Trajectories follows the curator’s walk-through; visual storyteller and textile artist Kat Palasi and interdisciplinary artist Martin de Mesa offer insights into their art practice as well as their specific local contexts.

Place of Region in the Contemporary, the initial project of the Philippine Contemporary Art Network (PCAN), closes with several activities on the last week of January 2018. The four exhibitions currently on view at the Place of Region in the Contemporary introduce the four nodes of the network. 
All events are free and open to the public. Pre-registration via vargasmuseum@gmail.com preferred. Contact during office hours: 928-1927

https://pcan.org.ph/
Main event page of project on UP Vargas Museum: https://www.facebook.com/events/585701778427439/ 24 January 2018
Wednesday, 10-11:30am
Art Historiography Series: Jess Ayco in Philippine Art

The Knowledge Production and Circulation component of PCAN, coordinated by Roberto G. Paulino, identifies research themes and topics pertinent to the vision of the proposed network. For its pilot research project, it undertakes archival research on Philippine artists Jess Ayco (1916-1982), Santiago Bose (1949-2002), Abdulmari Imao (1936-2014), and Junyee (Luis Yee Jr) (born 1942). The first lecture of Roberto G. Paulino in the Art Historiography Series of PCAN through the Place of Region in the Contemporary focuses on the study of the Filipino modernist Jess Ayco who lived and worked in Bacolod.

Place of Region in the Contemporary, the initial project of the Philippine Contemporary Art Network (PCAN), closes with several activities on the last week of January 2018. The four exhibitions currently on view at the Place of Region in the Contemporary introduce the four nodes of the network. 
All events are free and open to the public. Pre-registration via vargasmuseum@gmail.com preferred. Contact during office hours: 928-1927

https://pcan.org.ph
Main event page of project on UP Vargas Museum: https://www.facebook.com/events/585701778427439/ The project Place of Region in the Contemporary is closing next week. Activities from 24 to 27 January are free and open to the public. Please check UP Vargas Museum page for full details. **25 January 2018** Thursday, 2:30-5pm
Traversals/Trajectories: Expansive Localities
Curator’s Walk-through and Conversation with Martin Lorenzo De Mesa and Kat Palasi

Tessa Maria Guazon, coordinator of the Exhibition and Curatorial Analysis component of PCAN, shares her ideas and processes through a curatorial walk-through of "Traversals/Trajectories: Expansive Localities" at the 1F Lobby of Vargas Museum. A conversation with two of the thirteen featured artists of Traversals/Trajectories follows the curator’s walk-through; visual storyteller and textile artist Kat Palasi and interdisciplinary artist Martin de Mesa offer insights into their art practice as well as their specific local contexts.  The exhibition explores ideas of the region and the different “practices of placeness” in Philippine contemporary art by tracing numerous strains of place making in the works of artists from different localities across the Philippines. Collateral activities are organized with the exhibition, including a discussion platform to examine impulses underlying the curatorial —those that frame and activate localities in their assertion of claims to place against an overarching globality.

https://www.facebook.com/vargasmuseum.upd/posts/10155899791262667 Roberto G. Paulino coordinates the Knowledge Production and Circulation component of PCAN. For Place of Region in the Contemporary, Paulino initiates an archival research on Philippine artists Jess Ayco (1916-1982), Santiago Bose (1949-2002), Abdulmari Imao (1936-2014), and Junyee (Luis Yee Jr) (born 1942). Born or based in the regions of Bacolod, Baguio, Jolo, and Los Baños, the artists represent the disparate conditions and production in Philippine modern and contemporary art. *****************************************24 January 2018
Wednesday, 10-11:30am
Art Historiography Series: Jess Ayco in Philippine Art

The first lecture of Roberto G. Paulino in the Art Historiography Series of PCAN through the Place of Region in the Contemporary focuses on the study of the Filipino modernist Jess Ayco who lived and worked in Bacolod. Place of Region in the Contemporary is on its last ten days of viewing. At the Sensorium of the museum's third floor, texts about artist-curator Raymundo Albano are displayed alongside his poetry and curatorial and graphic design. Visitors are encouraged to spend time to read at this area. 
Place of Region in the Contemporary is the initial project of the Philippine Contemporary Art Network (PCAN). https://www.pcan.org.ph

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