Mercedes Lopez Vargas
Director, Lopez Memorial Museum
The last half-century has witnessed how the Lopez Memorial Museum, the first corporate social responsibility project of Don Eugenio López, Sr., evolved from a collection bequest into one of the premier art and archival resource institutions in the Philippines. More than a repository of one of the richest holdings of Filipiniana research material, the institution keeps alive the primary mission of its founder by encouraging and sustaining pride in the country. As the museum embarks on the next fifty years, this commitment parallels well with its aim of remaining a major resource for current and future scholarship on the Philippines and by answering the needs of an increasingly participatory museum audience.
As evidence of a guardianship in transition, the museum today embraces a wide span of technologies that provide experiential and multi-perspective presentations of its heritage collection. With the Roberto M. Lopez Conservation Center, it has further embarked on the extensive care and digitization of its holdings. Fortuitously, these closely complement the efforts of the past fifty years to share with a larger public its sense of responsibility for a nation’s patrimony.
The privilege of stewarding this formidable collection is both a blessing and a challenge. With a team of dedicated professionals, decisions are handled daily that affect the present state and future of these holdings. However, these tasks are made easier because of the strength, guidance, and generosity of the museum’s patrons, participating artists, and numerous other individuals consulted on the collection’s welfare. The museum considers itself fortunate to function in the midst of such a community. Nurturing the seeds of culture is a process that I have found particularly rewarding because of the relationships that this institution has forged among peoples and generations and with the idea of relevancy on which the museum has insistently sought to ground itself.
The story of the Lopez Memorial Museum and Library continues to unfold, building upon this solid nucleus and on the knowledge that succeeding generations of guardians shall similarly be inspired.