The Evolution of Philippine Costumes Series:

The Ayala Museum Doll Collection


Featuring 28 out of 69 dolls that represented significant attires worn by selected cultural groups in the country, covering the major islands Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, the Ayala Museum Doll Collection is one of the original permanent exhibitions housed in the old Ayala Museum when it opened in 1974. 

Each doll was laboriously created in the scale of 1:4 to be able to highlight and dramatize the distinctive features of each of these subcultures, as represented by their set of costumes. Using the very similar clothing materials and body adornments that were worn by the people that they represent, each doll is made out of wood that was carved by Mar Edjawan from Paete, Laguna. 

The Dolls Traveling exhibition was initially presented at the 2015 6th Tam-Awan International Arts Festival at the Tam-Awan Village, Baguio City. The theme for that year’s festival focused on the traditional games and toys played in the Philippines and it is the museum’s privilege to share to the audience 12 of these dolls that represent subcultures in the country, particularly those from the Cordilleras and the northern regions of the Philippines. 

Pioneers of Philippine Art:

Luna, Amorsolo, Zobel


Ayala Museum presents the traveling exhibition of the Pioneers of Philippine Art: Luna, Amorsolo, Zobel

It features 38 finely reproduced paintings in a scale of 1:0.75 that chronicles one hundred years of Philippine painting from the late 19th to late 20th century in the works of three artists—Juan Luna (1857-1899), Fernando Amorsolo (1892-1972), and Fernando Zobel (1924-1984). The exhibition hopes to enrich the appreciation and understanding of all Filipinos, especially for young students living outside Manila, of the breadth and depth of the creative genius of Filipino artists.

Curated by Dr. Florina Capistrano-Baker, Director for International Exhibitions of Ayala Museum, Pioneers of Philippine Art: Luna, Amorsolo, and Zobel will demonstrate the pioneering role of the three artists during their time. Juan Luna was the first Filipino artist to achieve international acclaim. Fernando Amorsolo is the most famous and perhaps the most beloved of Philippine artists. Fernando Zobel was an artist of experimentation and drew upon a wide variety of sources to create paintings of powerful abstraction.

Contemporary Wood-Carved Netsuke

with the Japan Foundation

3rd Level, Greenbelt 5, Phase 1

July 1-21, 2019


The Japan Foundation, Manila, in collaboration with Ayala Museum and Ayala Malls, with the support of Ateneo de Manila University Japanese Studies Program, Arete, and the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines, presents Contemporary Wood-Carved Netsuke, a traveling exhibition.

As kimono culture flourished during the Edo period in Japan (1603-1868), netsuke, small carvings, were created as toggles to secure the small personal items such as money pouches, inrō (medicine containers), or tobacco containers worn suspended on cords from the obi (a sash worn with kimono). What began as functional pieces to prevent those little containers from falling to the ground evolved into small but highly creative carvings. In Japan, some netsuke enthusiasts and carvers have managed to keep the tradition alive. Today, classic netsuke have gained international acclaim as remarkably detailed carvings, collected as valuable art pieces or worn as fashion statements with traditional Japanese clothing.

Contemporary Wood-Carved Netsuke, our new traveling exhibition, is an innovative contemporary crafts exhibition presenting 65 works by contemporary Japanese netsuke carvers and artists.


( currently closed for renovations)


Diorama of Philippine History

Our Diorama Experience exhibition has been synonymous with the Ayala Museum for the past thirty-five years. The sixty dioramas are designed to be a comprehensive visual approach to Philippine history.

But more than that, they present the narrative of the story of the Philippine people in a way that compresses extensive research on the events, architecture, costumes, technologies and topographies of the times they represent. History is thus made more meaningful with the sense of immediacy the presentation provides; the sense of “being there as it happens”.


Fernando Zobel

Ayala Museum reserves a section in its galleries to permanently feature the works of Fernando Zobel (1924-1984), the man behind its foundation.

The collection includes the artist’s paintings, sketches, prints and photographs put on display in regularly changing exhibitions. The gallery also houses a representation of his art studio in Cuenca, Spain, where he worked and resided in the latter part of his life. 


Gold of Ancestors

This exhibition of 1,059 gold objects dating to the tenth to thirteenth century celebrates the sophisticated cultures that flourished in the islands that came to be known as the Philippines after western colonization in the sixteenth to the twentieth century. 

While some of the objects found in this collection are likewise represented in other collections, many objects in this exhibit are unique and have never been seen in public.


A Millennium of Contact

A Millennium of Contact: Chinese and Southeast Asian Trade Ceramics in the Philippines includes almost six hundred Chinese and Southeast Asian ceramics on long-term loan from the Roberto T. Villanueva Foundation. It is one of the most comprehensive collections of Chinese and Southeast Asian tradeware found in the Philippines.

Displayed are close to 500 ceramic objects dating from 9th-19th century featuring a wide variety of ware — from classic monochrome or single-colored ware to the very popular blue-and-white ware, recovered from across the archipelago.


Art and the Order of Nature

Art and the Order of Nature in Indigenous Philippine Textiles consists of 111 textiles from the donation of Mercedes Zobel, representing indigenous communities in the Philippines from the Cordilleras in northern Philippines and from Mindanao in the south, including the Muslim regions in Western Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago.

In collaboration with the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in London, the exhibition provides a new way seeing indigenous Philippine textiles. Using traditional geometry and biomorphic design principles, the artists of the Prince’s School analyzed a selection from the Mercedes Zobel Collection. Showcased alongside the actual objects in the exhibition, the analyses illustrate how Philippine indigenous textiles, like other great traditions, reflect the universal order of nature.