Department of English Department at admu.edu.ph
Tue Sep 11 16:46:34 PHT 2007

                                The Department of English
                      Class ’54 of the Ateneo de Manila University


                  the Henry Lee Irwin Chair in Creative Writing Lecture


                            Revisiting Juan Luna’s Spoliarium,
                                   Writing Art in History


                                      Patrick D. Flores
                            Henry Lee Irwin Chair Awardee, 2007

                                24 September 2007, Monday
                                      4.30 – 6.00 pm
                   John Gokongwei School of Management Building (SOM)
                                 Ground Floor, Room 111
                              Ateneo de Manila University

To mark the opening of the National Art Gallery of the National Museum of the
Philippines and to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Juan Luna, this
lecture revisits the country’s most well-known painting, Spoliarium, which
merited a Gold Medal at the Madrid Exposition in 1884.  The talk explores the
work’s various dimensions: style, nationalism, artistic biography.  It draws on
various disciplines such as literature and art history, folk theater and
nineteenth-century oratory to locate the painting within a wide horizon of
meanings and sensibilities.  It also surveys the range of interpretations
within which it has gained canonical stature and critique through time.

A distinct dimension in this reengagement with the Spoliarium is the writing or
literatue on this piece of cherished art, exemplified by the texts of Jose
Rizal and Graciano Lopez Jaena, which may well constitute the earliest
instances of art criticism in Philippine art history.  This mode of critical
reflection creatively conceives the relationship between art and nineteenth-
century nationalism and significantly informs the language of art writing and
writing on art of the modern period.

DR. PATRICK D. FLORES is Professor of Art Studies at the University of the
Philippines and Curator of the Arts Division of the National Museum of the
Philippines. He has degrees in the Humanities, Art History, and Philippine
Studies. He has done research on colonial art and history of contemporary
curation in Southeast Asia through grants from the Toyota Foundation and the
Asian Public Intellectuals Fellowship. He was a visiting fellow at the Center
for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in
Washington, D.C. in 1999. He has also curated exhibitions locally and
internationally. His recent essays appeared in the journal positions from Duke
University, Filozofski Vestnik from Slovenia, and the anthology Eye of the
Beholder: Reception, Audience, and Practice of Modern Asian Art from the
University of Sydney.

Please email Ma. Socorro Perez <maqperez at ateneo.edu> to confirm your 

Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University
Katipunan Road, Loyola Heights,
Quezon City 1108 Metro Manila
426-6001 local 5310/5311

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