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A fitting culmination to Ayala Museum’s ‘Splendor’

On Thursday, March 21, the Ayala Museum held a special concert titled  Universelle  to commemorate the closing of the critically acclaimed exhibition,  Splendor: Juan Luna, Painter as Hero. The exclusive event catered to the museum’s sponsors, partners, and collaborators.

The  Manila Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro  Marlon Chen, filled the venue with classical music. The program featured pieces by Spanish, French, Italian, and Filipino composers, primarily reflecting the era of  Juan Luna  himself. Highlights of the evening included  Satie’s “Trois Gymnopédies No. 3,”  Julio Nakpil’s “Salve Patria,” and a contemporary work titled “A New Satiesfaction” by  Stephan Koncz.

Splendor: Juan Luna, Painter as Hero  showcased the recently recovered masterpiece “Hymen, oh Hyménée!”  The groundbreaking exhibition concluded its run on March 24 after captivating audiences for nine months.

In attendance were US Ambassador  MaryKay Carlson, Mayor  Abby Binay, Ayala Foundation Chairman  Fernando Zóbel de Ayala, and  Jaime Ponce de Leon, founder and director of León Gallery. Ponce de Leon lent Ayala Museum Splendor’s centerpiece artwork,  Hymen, oh Hyménée!  in time for the 125th Anniversary of Philippine Independence and Nationhood.

“2023 was a stellar year for Ayala Museum primarily because of [Splendor], setting record-breaking attendance…[and] prompting widespread and timely conversation about heroes, national pride, history, and nationhood, from the contentious to the sublime,” said  Mariles Gustilo, senior director of Ayala Museum.

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Tony Lambino, President of Ayala Foundation, added, “Splendor  [brought] to the fore a long-lost masterpiece, catalyzing public discourse on our rich artistic and cultural treasures. Luna’s work is yet another reminder that Filipino talent and creativity are worth global recognition. The legacy of Juan Luna in global excellence is broadly shared today by many young Juans and Marias.”

Ayala Foundation manages the Ayala Museum as part of its Arts and Culture Division.

Splendor was an unprecedented single-work exhibition around Luna’s Hymen, which was lost from public view for more than a century and is considered the holy grail of Philippine art. The exhibit was co-presented by Ayala Corporation, Ayala Land, and InLife, sponsored by BPI and SMEG, and supported by Matimco and Samsung.

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