Philippine National Museum head affirms importance of
Philippine Center New York art collection
The head of the Philippines’ National Museum affirmed that the Philippine Center in New York hosts one of the most important art collections outside of the Philippines.
Director Jeremy Barns, assisted by National Museum Assistant Director Ana Labrador, made this assessment after viewing the paintings, prints and sculptures in the Philippine Center on 22 July 2014 as part of a preliminary valuation exercise.
The art pieces in the Center include the works of Philippine masters Jose Joya, Malang, Vicente Manansala and Fernando Amorsolo, National Artists Arturo Luz, Ang Kiu Kok and Benedicto “Bencab” Cabrera, as well as important artists like Raul Isidro, Ed Castrillo, and Manuel Rodriguez Sr., who is known as the Father of Philippine Print-Making.
Director Barns and Assistant Director Labrador were invited by the Philippine Center to view its art collection as a first step toward a comprehensive valuation project. During their visit, they discussed with Center Manager, Deputy Consul General Kira Danganan Azucena, on issues concerning the upkeep, preservation and restoration of the art pieces, as well as possible collaborative projects to promote Philippine art abroad.
Director Barns and Assistant Director Labrador were in New York as part of a study tour across the United States in preparation for the opening of the Philippine Museum of Natural History, to be located in the old Department of Tourism building in the Agrifina Circle in Manila. The Natural History Museum will be the newest addition to the National Art Gallery, the Planetarium and the Museum of the Filipino people.
The art collection at the Philippine Center in New York, the bulk of which was purchased in 1974 at the time of the Center’s inauguration, is featured in the book, “Art at the Philippine Center, New York”, published in 2012. (Photos courtesy of Cynthia Marfori)