Various guests walks down the new Hall of Visual Arts in the UST Museum looking at the newly-restored historical paintings which dates back to 1875. Photo by Sherwin Marion T. Vardeleon

Nov. 20, 11:17 a.m. – THE UNIVERSITY’S Hall of Visual Arts finally opened last Friday at the right wing of the Museum of Arts and Sciences, four years after the restoration of a number of invaluable paintings.

The gallery features 41 restored paintings, including Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo’s “El Studio Natural,” the oldest in the collection, which dates back to 1875.

Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P., Rector of UST, said the opening of the gallery gave Thomasians the chance to showcase the treasures UST has been hiding for many years.

Also included in the collection of historical and religious paintings are Juan Arceo’s “San Vicente Ferrer” and “San Ciriaco y Companeros Martir,” which were painted by oil on tin metal sheets; National Artist for Visual Arts Victorio Edades’ famous portrait of Jose Rizal; Vicente Manansala’s “Sylvan Scene,” “Pounding Rice,” “A Mango Tree,” and “Overcast Sky;” Galo Ocampo’s “Brown Madonna;” Romualdo Rocatelli’s “Portrait of a young Balinese Girl;” Juan Luna’s “Playa de Kamakura;” and Carlos “Botong” Francisco’s “Under the Mango Tree” and “Pastoral.”

Four of Fernando Amorsolo’s artworks— “Bayanihan,” “Portrait of Ms. Anne Saleeby,”“Portrait of Miss Virginia,” and “Portrait of Fr. Silvestre Sancho, O.P.”—serve as the central pieces of the gallery.

Fr. Isidro Abaño, O.P., director of the museum, said in his message that the inauguration of the hall should be considered the reopening of the defunct UST Museum Arts Gallery, which was inaugurated on July 25, 1940 through the initiative of Rector Magnificus Silvestre Sancho, O.P., who served from 1936 to 1944.

“It was because of Father Sancho’s diligence to put up an Arts Gallery during his time that’s why we are permanently exhibiting these historical and invaluable works of arts,” Abaño said.

Ma. Cristina Zobel, co-chair of the annual UST Christmas Concert Gala, meanwhile, said she supports the efforts of the University in restoring precious paintings and putting up of the Hall of Visual Arts to preserve the heritage not only of Thomasians, but of all Filipinos as well.

“It will raise awareness on philanthropy and love for the arts among Filipinos,” Zobel said.

For the past four years, part of the proceeds of the Christmas Gala has been allotted for the restoration of the paintings and construction of the Hall of Visual Arts.

The UST Christmas Gala on Dec. 1 will also be for the benefit the Hall of the Visual Arts.

Reden D. Madrid with reports from Marianne S. Lastra


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