Ayala Museum, located at the heart of the Makati Central Business District, Philippines, is a breathing space amidst the hustle and bustle of Metropolitan Manila. Whenever visiting the country, the museum is surely one of the best places to lose yourself in amazing contemporary art and uplift your spirit through the Philippines’ inspiring history.
Among the museum’s highlights is its collection of archeological artifacts, notably the Gold of Ancestors: Pre-Colonial Treasures in the Philippines, which serve as a testament to the Filipinos’ rich ancestry and inherent craftsmanship. An impressive selection of trade ceramics from Southeast Asia and China from the Roberto T. Villanueva collection are also on display in the exhibition A Millennium of Contact, signifying the history of the country’s flourishing economic relationship with its neighbors. Art and the Order of Nature in Indigenous Philippine Textiles provides a new way of seeing this traditional craft. The textile collection was generously donated by Mercedes Zobel and a selection of which has been analysed by the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in London, UK.
The museum also has on exhibition The Philippine Diorama Experience, visually narrating the many milestones of Philippine history through 60 handcrafted dioramas, some of which are featured in the international Google Art Project.
Since 2013, Ayala Museum is now also the home of the Filipinas Heritage Library. A modern library that meets the demands of today’s researcher, FHL provides access to primary sources—rare books, photographs, recordings, and more—in both physical and digital formats, as well as access to over a thousand contemporary titles on Philippine arts, culture and history.
Ayala Museum regularly calendars various programs on history, contemporary art, music and design, including temporary exhibitions, lectures, artist/curator’s talks, workshops and performances. Included in its program line-up are Pioneers of Philippine Art, showcasing the paintings of Philippine masters: Juan Luna, Fernando Amorsolo and Fernando Zobel; Images of Nation, gathering works of Philippine National Artists in the visual arts; History Comes Alive with Dr. Ambeth Ocampo, a highly entertaining and insightful take on various historical topics; DesignTalks, presenting internationally renowned Filipino luminaries from different creative fields; and ST’ART, introducing children to various artistic styles and the pioneers behind them through fun arts and crafts workshops. Soon, it is planning to fully develop its programs on music, film, museology and librarianship.
With all these offerings in store for its guests, may they be casual tourists, families or serious arts and culture enthusiasts, Ayala Museum is surely a sanctuary in the city keeping the Philippine arts and culture scene vibrant and is a venue worth visiting again and again.