The Arts Division traces its history upon its institution in 1973. The division administers the National Fine Arts Collection (NFAC), the growing collection of visual arts and archives. The NFAC includes paintings, photographs, painted photographs, prints, drawings and studies, installation art, sculptures, documents, and memorabilia of Filipino artists who significantly impacted the nation’s artistic heritage. It constitutes a large part of our country’s artistic patrimony. It is one of our legacies to future generations, serving as a perpetual chronicle of the development of Philippine art. It also features the achievements and aspirations of Filipino visual artists – from the unknown artists of the 18th century, masters of the 19th century, National Artists, up to the leading modern artists of the 1990s. Its increasing photography collection by renowned art photographers is a recent development. It includes the contemporary works of Isa Lorenzo, Neal Oshima, George Tapan, Bengy Toda, and Ferrante Ferranti.
The Fine Arts Division researches, exhibits, participate in conferences and workshops, and continuously updates its accession, which is being completed and digitized, using new technologies in collections management, making it the fine Arts Division soon to be publicly available.
Over the years, the NMP has launched various exhibitions at the National Museum of Fine Arts and in its regional area, and site museums through the Fine Arts Division. The division has conducted corollary programs such as artist talks, photography workshops, printmaking workshops, and artist walkthroughs free of charge and open to the public. Moreover, in partnership with other divisions and NMP Committees, the Fine Arts Division created public programs for public school teachers. It is providing supplemental learning materials with the National Fine Arts Collection as a reference. The division also conducts on-the-job training for Senior High School students under the HUMSS (Humanities and Social Sciences) Strand and college students.
In support of the institution’s commitment to make the NMP a universally accessible institution, the Fine Arts Division also launched programs funded by its Gender and Development Committee. From dedicating a special exhibition gallery at the National Museum of Fine Arts to works of women artists, to holding printmaking workshops attended by members of the LGBTQI+ led by women printmakers—these programs contribute to the NMP’s goal to establish the institution as a safe space for everyone.
Another significant development is the increasing number of collections. Loans and donations from the public and private institutions, families, and individuals entrusted the care, protection, preservation, and exhibition of their valuable works of art to the National Museum of the Philippines. The donations, which the NMP refers to as Gifts to the Nation, support the institution’s commitment to the protection, appreciation, and promotion of the country’s rich artistic heritage.
At present, the Fine Arts Division is committed to acquire more works from women and underrepresented artists, make available and accessible both in print and digital formats publications about the National Fine Arts Collection, strengthen its Museum from Home series, and continue to launch exhibitions for the public.