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Coordinates and Tutelage: Maps and school text on exhibit


Students and lovers of geography, history, politics, art and education must delight in the Lopez Memorial Museum’s latest exhibits showcasing rare maps in one and school text in the other.

Maps are not just physical but charged, political delimitations of territory. The maps in the Lopez Museum collection, including a 1734 Murillo Velarde map of the Philippines, books on cartography and memorabilia items of Jose Rizal (such as his compass above) are featured in the exhibit Coordinates at the Rare Books gallery As the History of Cartography discussed, maps are not just artifacts but graphic representations that communicate through their shapes, sizes, orientation, position and relation of the different masses.

In Coordinates, viewers are asked to look at these markers in light of their original purpose, modes of production and context of use in order to recognize how these delineate what is within and what is without, what is ours and what is not, what is ‘we’ and what is other. Maps promote spatial understanding of the world, including one’s place in it as city dweller, national and kin to others living in an imagined region of commonality and shared desires.

At the Library, the exhibit  Tutelage  is a modest exhibition that assembles some 14 or so school texts and their accompanying images crafted by a generation of artists represented by such individuals as Fernando and Pablo Amorsolo. Focus is given to books from the American colonial and Commonwealth periods, and the early Philippine Republican administrations as these espouse the different views of the function of education and issues arising from it. Among these are the work of education in promoting progress and welfare of the country, developing the ideals of peace, moral character, and civic consciousness.  Supported by the State, education is an inherently ideological proposition. The exhibition also features works by sculptor Ikoy Ricio. 

Both exhibits will run until September 25, 2009 at the Lopez Memorial Museum, ground floor, Benpres Building, Exchange Road corner Meralco Avenue, Pasig City. Museum days and hours are Mondays to Saturdays, 8am-5pm, except holidays. For more information, call 6312417 or email

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