Saturday, October 12, 2013

Trajectories Exhibit at the Lopez Museum and Library

The Lopez Museum and Library is showcasing a number of key pieces from their collection in their upcoming exhibition, Trajectories. Works of 19th Century Filipino Masters Juan Luna and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo will take center stage, together with works of conservatives Juan Arellano, Fabian de la Rosa, and Fernando Amorsolo as well as works by modernists Victorio Edades, Nena Saguil, Botong Francisco, H.R. Ocampo, and Fernando Zobel, just to name a few. Pottery from the Calatagan excavation, rare Filipiniana books, Philippine maps dating back to the 16th century, and early colonial Tipos del Pais prints will complete the exhibition. Trajectories is open to the public from September 6 to October 31, 2013.

Trajectories aims to examine the way the museum collection grew in relation to the strengths and tastes of the different people who directed the museum. Emphasis will be given on understanding how Lopez family members, who took the reins of the privately-owned museum and library, grew the collection into one of the most comprehensive Filipiniana collection accessible to the public. With library, archive, and art collections spanning over 600 years of Philippine history, the museum will exhibit 47 Hidalgos, 17 of the notable works by Luna and key pieces representing the art movements of the 20th century Philippines.

Top 5 must-sees in Lopez Museum’s Trajectories

1. The aforementioned De Moluccis Insulis, the oldest book in the collection

This 490-year old book chronicles Magellan’s expedition to circumnavigate the globe in 1519. The book was written by Maximilianus Transylvanus after he interviewed the survivors of Victoria, the only surviving galleon from Magellan’s expedition.

2. Studies of Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo’s Per Pacem et Libertatem from the St. Louis Exposition of 1904

In 1903, Hidalgo was paid PhP10,000 by the United States colonial government in the Philippines to create a painting representing peace and liberty under American rule. It was featured in the Universal Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1904. Interestingly, the fair also featured live indigenous Filipino people, such as the Aetas and Bagobos, as bahag-wearing and dog-eating primitive people.

3. EspaƱa y Filipinas (1886) by Juan Luna

This tall painting is one of the most important pieces in the museum’s collection. A version of an allegorical painting of Spain and the Philippines, this was commissioned from Luna by the Foreign Ministry in Madrid after seeing an earlier version of the subject, given by Luna to his friend, Pedro Paterno. Later, in 1888, the painting was entered in the Exposicion Universal de Barcelona, and was declared hors concours.

4. The first complete map of the Philippines

The Murillo Velarde map is the first map of our country that was made by a Filipino, Nicolas Cruz Bagay, and printed in the Philippines. First published in 1734, the map shows completeness in the names of coastal towns and interior topography. It was the most accurate and largest ever drawn map of the archipelago and became a model copied by other cartographers for the remainder of the eighteenth century.

5. In the Market Place (1955) by Anita Magsaysay-Ho

This painting was acquired by the museum in the 1999 Christie’s auction in Singapore. The purchase paved the way for Filipino artists to gain higher international recognition.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the museum will be holding a lecture series in partnership with Ateneo Art Gallery. Entitled Understanding Philippine Visual Art through the collections of Ateneo Art Gallery and Lopez Museum and Library, the series aims to introduce participants to pre-colonial period to contemporary art through talks by experts on various topics that will combine a discussion of the historical context of production plus more a more in depth look at specific artists and artworks. What sets this lecture series apart from others is that participants will have the opportunity to study the actual artworks that are being discussed, giving them a greater appreciation than images projected onto a screen ever could. Some of the speakers for the lecture series include Jose Maria Cariono, Patrick Flores, Ambeth Ocampo, and Eileen Legaspi-Ramirez. The lectures will be either both the Lopez Memorial Museum and the Ateneo Art Gallery for eight consecutive Saturdays, which started last September 07, with each day dedicated to a different period of Philippine art. 

Trajectories is open to the public until December 20, 2013.

The Lopez Memorial Museum is at the ground floor, Benpres Building, Exchange Road corner Meralco Avenue, Pasig City. Museum days and hours are Mondays to Saturdays, except holidays, 8am-5pm.

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