I love museums! It’s cheap but they are gold mines of historical knowledge. Truly a bargain if you can call it that.
I visited Metropolitan Museum last week (Met Museum), located in the compound of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. The last time I was here was in college, the place reminds me of an old bahay na bato’s basement. I was excited to see that improvements and additions made.
There was an exhibit by portraitist Romulo Galicano. Life size paintings of rich and the famous, portraits of the countryside folks, which was very Amorsolo-que . The exhibition was called “postura” – the appreciation of this form of painting has diminished considerably, artist like Galicano has been reviving it for the public to appreciate again.
I then swiftly went straight to the permanent displays, to look at the creations of our great heroes, Hidalgo and Luna. I’ve seen these paintings before but it would feel different each time, it’s like seeing it for the first time. My fascination with Filipino painters started way back in high school, when I would read about them and see them in display with the help of my Nanay funding this unusual hobby, I took up painting but unfortunately, my hands were not made for it.
Also in display were the works of the 1st batch of UP’s fine art department, which produced the likes of Amorsolo and de la Rosa. Much of this great group’s work has been lost and destroyed during the war.
I also enjoy seeing the painting of lesser-known artist in the collection, this artist kept the craft alive even with the presence of war and the difficult decades that followed when appreciation for framed art declined.
I saw a dedication text on the wall commending Imelda Marcos for her contribution for injecting life to the Philippine art during her days. Nowadays, people just love to hate this woman, but her tenure in power had a very positive impact in Philippine art and cultural conservation. The former fist lady has been a staunch ally of the Filipino artist then. Let’s give credit where it is due.
The addition in Met Museum was the great display of religious art, pre Spanish pots and jewelries. Amazing collection.
Truly worth a visit! Check their website here! for more information on their upcoming events and schedule.