The National Museum Reopens with Paintings Not Seen in the Philippines Since 1974

The works, on loan from the Philippine Center in New York, can be viewed at the Fine Arts building, which is accepting only 200 visitors per day. Here's how to reserve a slot

National Museum of the Philippines

To mark the reopening of the National Museum of the Philippines this month, visitors are being treated to a collection of Philippine art works, made from as early as the 1950s, that have not been seen in the country since 1974.

All 115 works are on loan from the Philippine Center in New York and will be on display at the National Museum of Fine Arts until February 2022. The 38 Filipinos featured include  nine National Artists – Alcuaz, Luz, Kiukok, Joya, Bencab, Manansala, Legaspi, Elizalde Navarro and HR Ocampo.

“It is the first time that these paintings are brought back home for an exhibition to give the Filipino public the opportunity to appreciate, encounter and experience the exceptional artistry of the Filipino artists. These paintings are regarded as characters that identify Filipino artists who relentlessly explore and deviate from various styles, techniques, and media to blend their own artistry into the international art scene during that time,” a press release from the National Museum says.


paintings from Philippine Center New York
Some of the works visitors can see at the homecoming exhibition include (from left): “Four Orange Squares” by Cid Reyes, “Polychrome 30” by Rodolfo Samonte, “Dagatan” by Reyes, “Curvilinear #2” and “Curvilinear #1”, both by Ric de Villa (Masquefong)


The three National Museum buildings within the Rizal Park complex – Fine Arts, Natural History, Anthropology – officially reopened on March 2 and each can accommodate 100 visitors in the morning (9am-12nn) and another 100 in the afternoon (1pm-4pm). They all require separate reservations. To visit, you need to fill up the National Museum’s online reservation form here. As before, entrance is free for everyone.

“Everyone is adjusting to the new way of visiting the National Museum facilities. Although they say they miss going to the Museum, there are challenges that must be overcome: transportation, weather and fear for their health and safety due to the virus,” says Ana Labrador, Deputy Director-General for Museums.

On its first week of reopening, the National Museum received 1,369 visitors – less than 50% of its allowed capacity. While online bookings on Saturday and Sunday were full, only half the number of people showed up.

“I’m certain once new photos of visitors emerge on social media and find that it’s worth the imagined and real obstacles, they would want to come. It will actually good for their mental health and wellbeing to experience something they can be proud of as Filipinos and as human beings,” Labrador adds.

Can’t wait for your reserved date? You can also view the exhibition through this 360 virtual tour.

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Team Smile

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