Ayala Museum is set to revitalize the Philippine art scene as it brought together the local and international art communities for its inauguration.
The dedication was held on September 28 in an event hosted by Ayala Corporation and attended by Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, former Pres. Corazon C. Aquino, representatives from the museum’s local and international partners as well as donors, lenders, artists, and patrons of Filipino art.
The inauguration of the new Ayala Museum was the high point of Ayala’s 170th anniversary celebrating the Filipino.
Jaime Zobel de Ayala, chairman of Ayala Foundation under whose auspices the museum belongs, said: “The new Ayala Museum is a gift to the Filipino people. Its mandate has always been to serve the community and the nation. Through the museum, we help re-collect our past by bringing back to the country Philippine collections from overseas institutions to share with a local audience. We intend to bring home what has long been inaccessible to other peoples. At the same time, we want to re-present the future by situating contemporary Philippine art in the global arena, enhancing pride of heritage that could ultimately deepen our understanding of what it means to be Filipino.”
The museum’s dedication featured performances by homecoming Filipino musicians soprano Margarita Gomez, cellist Wilfredo Pasamba, pianist Albert Tiu, violinist Joseph Esmilla, the Philippine Children’s Choir from Mandaluyong and the San Miguel Philharmonic Orchestra. During the program, images were projected on the ceiling and walls to depict historical highlights that are also represented in the exhibitions of Ayala Museum.
Pres. Arroyo opened the exhibits together with Mrs. Aquino and the museum’s principals. Inaugural exhibits include the famous dioramas and boat gallery; a definitive collection of Philippine ivory art from the 16th to 19th centuries; artworks of Fernando Amorsolo, Fernando Zobel, and Juan Luna; and watercolor albums of Damian Domingo and Justiniano Asuncion and actual dresses from the 18th and 19th centuries including loans from the collections of the Newberry Library in Chicago, the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden, The Netherlands, the New York Public Library, the Intramuros Administration, the Bank of the Philippine Islands, and private collectors.
These exhibitions are further complemented by a series of lectures, studio classes, and interactive kiosks when the museum opens to the public on October 1.
Envisioned in the 1950s by Fernando Zobel de Ayala y Montojo, the new Ayala Museum is designed by Leandro V. Locsin Partners led by the late National Artist’s son Leandro Y. Locsin, Jr. Located at the corner of Makati Avenue and de la Rosa Street, Ayala Museum’s glass and granite-clad edifice is a stunning gateway to the redeveloped Greenbelt commercial center.
The museum’s vision and mission are articulated primarily by Mr. Zobel, its trustees, and a board of advisors composed of luminaries of Philippine art, history, and culture including Dr. Benito Legarda, Jr., National Artist Arturo Luz, fashion designer Josie Cruz Natori, and Ryan Cayabyab.