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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CANVAS - Center for Art, New Ventures & Sustainable Development and UP Vargas Museum will be holding a storytelling activity on FRIDAY, 20 JULY 2018 at 4pm, together with the Araneta Foundation and Bb. Pilipinas Charities Inc. The first 80 kids to register (for free) at Vargas Museum will receive copies of Karapat-Dapat, a book on the rights of the child. Regular entrance fee for adults/parents apply. Viewing of Tumba Tumba exhibition is extended until 6pm for this event. 21 JULY (SATURDAY) events: 1) Tumba Tumba Free Book Day for first 500 children of U.P. employees, until supply lasts 2) Tumba Tumba activity: The Author's Hour 2 with Genaro Gojo Cruz at 1:30pm
July 18, Wednesday: In compliance with U.P. memorandum received before noon, the museum is closed this afternoon. Stay alert and safe. Please check our Facebook page for the latest news and announcements.
@TiesofHistory #Artists #Profiles: ANUSAPATI (b. 1957) was born in Surakarta, Central Java, Indonesia and now lives and works in Yogyakarta. He completed his studies at ASRI Yogyakarta in 1983, and at the School of Art and Design, Pratt Institute, New York, USA in 1990. Currently, he is a lecturer at the Faculty of Art, Indonesian Art Institute (ISI) Yogyakarta. He works extensively with bamboo and wood (especially teak wood) as manifestation of his affinities to nature. In addition, he works with bronze and found objects and also creates installation works. His works have been exhibited in Indonesia, the US, Europe, Australia, and Japan and are part of institutional collections, including that of the Indonesian National Gallery, Jakarta and the Langgeng Gallery, Magelang in Indonesia; the Singapore Art Museum, Singapore; the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia; and the City Government of Kitamoto-Shi, Saitama- Ken, Japan. Read the full Ties of History press release here: http://bit.ly/tiesofhistoryPR UP Vargas Museum FB Event Page: Ties of History: Art in Southeast Asia [UP Vargas Museum]
@tiesofhistory #Artists #Profiles AMANDA HENG (b. 1951) began her practice in the late 1980s, an epochal moment in Singapore art history that saw the beginnings of contemporary art, during which she worked in performance, installation, and other multi-disciplinary projects. Her work deals with tensions between Eastern and Western values, traditions, identity politics, and gender roles in the context of the multi-cultural and fast changing society of Singapore. Her recent work focuses on the issues of history, memory, communication and human relationships in urban condition and information age. Amanda Heng is a full-time practitioner. She curates and organises art events and fora, and has lectured at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the National Institute of Education (NIE), and the LASALLE College of the Arts. Heng is one of the founding members of the Singapore art collectives The Artists Village and WITAS (Women in the Arts, Singapore). She received the prestigious Cultural Medallion award in 2010. Read the full Ties of History press release here: http://bit.ly/tiesofhistoryPR
@tiesofhistory #Artists #Profiles ROBERTO FELEO (b. 1954) received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Philippine Women’s University (PWU) in 1982 and studied Art History at the University of the Philippines (UP). He became a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in 1988. He co-founded Pinta Nueve and became the chief designer of the Comite de Festejos. He has exhibited locally and internationally. Feleo is a professor of visual arts at the College of Fine Arts, UP Diliman. He has also served as a lecturer at the School of Fine Arts and Design at the Philippine Women’s University in Manila and at the Philippine High School for the Arts in Makiling, Laguna. Read the full Ties of History press release here: http://bit.ly/tiesofhistoryPR
The proof of concept show of CANVAS - Center for Art, New Ventures & Sustainable Development is on its last two weeks of run. Check our Facebook Events Tab for details of activities happening on Saturday, 21 July.

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