The Abe Wing of the National Museum

Last Tuesday night, the few pieces of artistic neurons present inside my cranial cavity were happy to have witnessed one historical event in the “Philippine art scene”.  I was present during the formal turnover ceremony of artworks of Emilio Aguilar Cruz to the Philippines’ National Museum for Fine Arts.  The event was coined as the biggest donation in the history for an art collection by an artist to the country’s national museum.

And from the poignant speeches I heard during the ceremony, this generous and selfless act was decided upon so that future generations of the Philippines would be able to see and appreciate contemporary yet refined works of Filipino visual art. This is aside from the fact that these valuable pieces would definitely be protected, preserved and maintained by the state.

EAC Gallery (Abe Wing) photo grabbed from National Museum FB page
EAC Gallery (Abe Wing)
photo grabbed from National Museum FB page

Aside from the formal turnover of donation of EAC art pieces, the program also includes the formal inauguration of the Emilio Aguilar Cruz Hall. Also known as the Abe Wing inside the National Museum, this hall exhibits the donated paintings, sketches and water colors done by EAC.

Activating the art connoisseur in me, from among all the art pieces hanged inside the Abe Wing, the two works of art that charmed and bewitched me were:

portrait of a lady, 1989 (oil on canvass)
portrait of a lady, 1989 (oil on canvass)

This painting is a true representation of a Filipina beauty.  Though the only color used was the varying colors of brown, the monochromatic shades – from lighting, to the clothing and to the color of the woman’s skin – were all so fascinatingly beautiful and captivating.

Paris, 1980 (watercolor on paper)
Paris, 1980 (watercolor on paper)

This watercolor is small but very engaging.  The colors are so alive you would wonder whether such piece was recently been done when in fact it is already 35 years old. Onlooker would be able to appreciate it more if seen from a considerable distance (which for me is a typical EAC style).

Like any other great works of art found in the museums around the globe, EAC’s art pieces would someday, in some foreseeable future, shall become valuable tools for the next generation to better understand its past.  Kudos to the family of Emilio Aguilar Cruz for such a generous donation!

Koloring buk ko kaya tanggapin kung i-doneyt ko sa nashonal myusiyum? 

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