As the first modern art museum in the country, and as a leading exponent of contemporary Philippine art, the Ateneo Art Gallery is poised to engage with the richness and diversity of the art of our time. As a university art museum, it seeks to animate cultural life both within campus and the wider community as a hub for intellectual exchange, as a forum for artistic expression and as an art resource. Most importantly, the Gallery, by setting the highest standards of excellence in professional, intellectual and creative practice, aims to awe and inspire viewers through the power of art so that they may become transforming influences in society.
Widely recognized today as the first museum of Philippine modern art, the Ateneo Art Gallery was established in 1960 through Fernando Zóbel’s bequest to the Ateneo of his collection of works by key Filipino post war artists. Through the years other philanthropists and artists followed Zobel’s initiative, filling in the gaps so that the collection now surveys every Philippine art movement in the post war era: from neo-realism and abstract expressionism to today’s post-modern hybrid tendencies. The AAG hosts innovative exhibitions and public programs highlighting works from its permanent collection, as well as works from other collections for special thematic shows. The museum also spearheads an exciting overview of young Philippine contemporary art annually through the Ateneo Art Awards, now recognised as “the most prestigious prize for an emerging artist in the Philippines.” The Ateneo Art Gallery is now located in the Arts Wing, Areté, Ateneo de Manila University, Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights Quezon City.