THE Lopez Memorial Museum is celebrating its 50th anniversary this Feb. 18, with the launching of the coffee table book Unfolding Half a Century: The Lopez Memorial Museum. The coffee table book documents the legacy of the late Lopez Group founder Eugenio H. Lopez Sr.
What started as his personal collection has evolved into a trusted and well-loved Philippine Institution. His son, Mr. Oscar M. Lopez, the current chairman of the Lopez Group of Companies wrote in the preface of the book, By launching the museum and opening it to the public, my father heeded to a purpose larger than the display of an outstanding collection . . . he created a place and the opportunity to have direct contact with the works of Rizal, Luna and Hidalgo, the maps of father Pedro Murillo Velarde, the rare books . . . My father took pride in his race and wanted young Filipinos to be as proud.
Since its founding 50 years ago, the fine art section has grown from an initial collection of 19th century masterpieces consisting of 36 Juan Lunas and 182 Felix Resurreccion Hidalgos to include modern and contemporary pieces. The library currently counts over 19,000 Filipiniana titles by 12,000 authors, rare books, maps, manuscripts and literary works. With the institutions digitization project and conservation laboratory, it provides quick and convenient access to materials while ensuring that these are preserved for future use.
The book, edited by Purissima Benitez-Johannot and published by the Eugenio Lopez Foundation, looks at the institutions history of collecting as a background for the innovative ways that it has melded masterpieces with cutting-edge art and stands as a record of the institutions taking on the challenge of preserving Filipiniana material.
Mr. Lopez said We continue efforts to safeguard the museums irreplaceable examples of Philippine heritage and document materials that deeply and critically reflect the countrys collective past. The Lopez Memorial Museum will be guided by a sense of historical continuity and continue to bridge the discontinuities imposed by our way of life and the transitions in our cultures from the Spanish, to the American and to the realities of a globally dispersed but interconnected diaspora of Filipinos. In the end, a nations inability to appreciate its past will hinder all efforts to reach its destination.