Over 100 Of Betsy Westendorp’s Works Can Be Seen In A Virtual Retrospective At The MET - Arts & Culture

While the museum is still closed to the public, the Spanish-Filipino artist’s ‘Passages’ may be admired via a 3D tour. The exhibit features scenes from around the globe, taking viewers on a trip from Madrid to Manila.

The Metropolitan Museum of Manila (MET) opened the new year with a retrospective of celebrated Spanish-Filipino artist Betsy Westendorp.

Entitled “Passages: Celebrating the Artistic Journeys of Betsy Westendorp,” the retrospective will be shown the museum’s ground floor Tall Galleries from January 29 to March 15. It gathers more than 100 artworks spanning 60 years of the artist’s illustrious career in cities around the world.

The show’s name alludes to Westendorp’s departure home country of Spain to commence what would be a lifetime relationship with the Philippines. It reveals the paths which would lead to her self-definition as a woman, a wife and mother, and an artist.

Self Portrait. Acrylic and charcoal on canvas. 2012, Artist’s Collection

Curated by Dannie Alvarez, the show features the artist’s portraits of the society elite of Madrid and Manila; landscapes of the Philippine’s terrain and seascapes of Manila Bay; her colorful celebration of local flora, especially the various species of the native orchid; and the symphonic cloudscapes across our skies.

By virtue of her marriage to Spanish-Filipino Antonio Brias in the 1950s and a lifetime residency in Manila, she has become a perceptive observer and an active participant in the local artistic scene. In recognition of the artist’s contributions to Philippine art, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo awarded her with the Presidential Medal of Merit in 2008. In 1976, His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain bestowed on her the distinguished Lazo de Dama, an exclusive Order and the equivalent of knighthood for women.

Physical to Virtual

In compliance with IATF guidelines, the exhibit will be presented in different formats.

A physical exhibition will be mounted at the MET ground floor Galleries as a real time launch pad for a 3D virtual tour, which you can take guided or at your own pace. There is also biographical film documentary alongside interviews and tributes by noted individuals and institutions. A printed catalogue of the retrospective, authored by art writer, curator, and critic Cid Reyes, is also included.

Programs in line with the retrospective such as a fireside chat with the artist as well as webinars will be announced and can be followed through social media throughout the exhibition run.

No.457. Oil on Canvas. 1988, Private Collection

The catalogue for Passages: Celebrating the Artistic Journeys of Betsy Westendorp will be produced in partnership with the De La Salle University Publishing House. The Retrospective Exhibition of Betsy Westendorp in related formats has been made possible by the generosity of sponsors and lenders and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

For more information on Passages, please visit the Metropolitan Museum of Manila online and on Facebook.

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