The National Art Gallery, National Museum of the Philippines


Exhibitions at the National Art Gallery begin on Level 2 (House Floor) at the main visitor entrance in Padre Burgos Avenue, and cover Philippine art from the 17th to 20th centuries. Exhibitions continue on Level 3 (Senate Floor), and feature modern and contemporary Philippine art from the 20th to 21st centuries as well as temporary exhibitions.


The Old Senate Session Hall

The renovated Old Senate Session Hall in 2012. Photo by Bengy Toda.

The renovated Old Senate Session Hall in 2012. Photo by Bengy Toda.

This Hall was originally designed to be a library in the early 1920s during the American colonial period, when the architect Juan Arellano revised the plans of Ralph Harrington Doane in order to convert the building to the seat of the legislature. The Senate was then led by Manuel L. Quezon, the leader of the movement for Philippine independence from the United States.

The ornamentation and all other decoration in the Hall was the work of the most celebrated Filipino sculptor of the time, Isabelo Tampinco – a contemporary of Juan Luna and José Rizal – and his sons Ángel and Vidal. Tampinco gave full rein to his deep knowledge of classical sculpture, as well as to his personal artistic mission of Filipinizing many of the traditionally Western elements and motifs of the neoclassical style.

Standing figures of the entablature in the Hall

The standing figures of the entablature in the Hall represent great lawmakers and moralists of history ranging from antiquity and Biblical times to the twentieth century. These include Kalantiaw and Apolinario Mabini on the East (Main) Wall; Pope Leo XIII, and Woodrow Wilson on the West (Rear Wall); Moses, Hammurabi, Rameses the Great, Li Si, Augustus, and William Blackstone on the North (Right) Wall; and Solon, Averroes, Justinian, Manu, Charlemagne, and Hugo Grotius on the South (Left) Wall. Surrounding the cartouches on all four walls are allegorical groupings representing progress, arts and culture, industry, trade, agriculture, education, and so on.


Political and Social Commentary after the 1970s

Northeast Hallway Gallery

This hallway gallery includes works from the National Museum Collection made by artists Nunelucio Alvarado, Papo de Asis, Orlando Castillo, Antipas Delotavo, Imelda Cajipe-Endaya, Edgar Talusan Fernandez, Gene de Loyola, Red Mansueto, Pablo Baens Santos and Roy Veneracion.

GALLERY XX (GSIS Northeast Hall)

Gallery XX

Gallery XX

This gallery holds what are considered to be the treasures of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) Collection. Interior d'un Café (Parisian Life) by Juan Luna Y Novicio (1857-1899) was exhibited in 1904 at the St Louis Exposition (World's Fair) and was acquired by the GSIS in 2002 at Christie's in Hong Kong. Luna completed the painting in Paris before he returned to his home country to join the Philippines’ Propaganda Movement. The gallery also features several genre paintings by the first National Artist of the Philippines, Fernando C. Amorsolo (1892-1972), who was renowned for capturing rural landscapes and folk scenes with a distinct application of light and tone.


GSIS North Hallway Gallery

GSIS North Hallway Gallery

This hallway gallery is dedicated to the art of National Artist Federico Aguilar Alcuaz (1932-2011), with selected works from the Government Service Insurance System Collection, The Aguilar Family Collection, and the National Museum Collection. Alcuaz completed further studies in fine arts in Madrid, Spain and maintained a studio in Barcelona for several years so that he could paint whenever he visited Europe. In the early 1970s, he set to capture the personalities of various influential figures in Manila through a series of portaits, some of which are displayed in this exhibition.

Selected Modern Works

Northwest Hallway Gallery

Northwest Hallway Gallery

This hallway gallery includes works from the National Museum Collection made by artists Pacita Abad, Angelito Antonio, Antonio Austria, Manuel Baldemor, Norma Belleza, Jose Cuadra, Jaime de Guzman and Virginia Ty-Navarro.

Pillars of Philippine Modernism (7)

Gallery XXIII

This gallery is dedicated to the works of modern painter Vicente S. Manansala (1910-1981), National Artist for Painting (1981). It contains highlights from the collections of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and the National Museum, and also showcases the artist’s memorabilia from the Manansala Family Collection.

GALLERY XXV (Philam Life Hall)
Pillars of Philippine Modernism (8)

Gallery XXV

In the 1960s, the Philippine-American General Life Insurance Company (Philam Life) commissioned Vicente S. Manansala (1910-1981) to create seven large paintings for its building in UN Avenue, Ermita, Manila. This set of rural-themed, cubist paintings from the Philam Life Collection are now on loan to the National Museum for the public to enjoy.


Philippine Abstraction from the 1960s to 1980s

South Hallway Galleries

South Hallway Galleries

South Hallway Galleries

Highlighted in this exhibition are two burlap paintings from the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) Collection, Arrival and Departure, by National Artist Arturo Luz (b. 1926). The paintings were exhibited in Terminal 1 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport from 1980 to 2011.

These galleries, which comprise three hallways, also includes abstract works from the National Museum Collection made by artists Lee Aguinaldo, Augusto Albor, Dave Aquino, Mike Aquino, Virgilio Aviado, Jose Ayala, Jr., Charito Bitanga, Romeo Catabay, Norberto Carating, Roberto Chabet, Florencio Concepcion, Antonio Daroy, Edgar Doctor, Ramon Doplon, Rock Drilon, Edgar Talusan Fernandez, Marciano Galang, Danilo Garcia, Romeo Gutierrez, Donato Hechanova, Raul Isidro, Lao Lianben, Alfredo Liongoren, Victor Loyola, Noel Manalo, Jaime Montero, Virginia Ty-Navarro, Justin Nuyda, Romulo Olazo, Imelda Pilapil, Cenon Rivera, Alfredo Roces, Nena Saguil, Butch Clarin Soriano, Roy Veneracion, Ruben de Vera, Phillip Victor and Nestor Vinluan.

Pillars of Philippine Modernism (1)

Gallery XIV

Gallery XIV

This gallery features modern Philippine art from the 1920s to 1970s. Modernism in the country was spearheaded by Victorio C. Edades (1895-1985), who was deeply influenced by his studies and exposure to the style in the United States. The art featured in this gallery include paintings by National Artist Victorio C. Edades, German Icarangal, Nestor Leynes, Diosdado Lorenzo, Anita Magsaysay-Ho, Galo Ocampo, Ricarte Puruganan, Manuel Rodriguez, Sr., Nena Saguil, Juvenal Sanso and Romeo Tabuena; as well as sculptures by National Artist Napoleon V. Abueva, Jose Alcantara and Federico Estrada.


Gallery XV

Gallery XV

Dimasalang (1968-1978): Artists’ Collections showcases the work of a group of artists-friends who painted and spoke of art together in Dimasalang Street, Manila. Members included Emilio (Abe) Aguilar Cruz, Sofronio (SYM) Y. Mendoza, Romulo Galicano, Ibarra dela Rosa and Andres Cristobal Cruz. Exhibition runs from November 7, 2014 to July 27, 2015.


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This page was last modified Wednesday, May 6, 2015
National Museum of the Philippines
Padre Burgos Drive, City of Manila, Philippines