MET Museum's First Exhibit Features Betsy Westendorp's Retrospective
The Metropolitan Museum of Manila finally opens its doors (virtually) to art enthusiasts and the like. To celebrate, the museum is showcasing a retrospective of renowned Spanish-Filipino artist, Betsy Westendorp. The exhibit will be displayed at the MET ground floor Galleries, from 29 January to 15 March.
Although the pandemic has urged the museum to postpone its exhibit, they were quick to adapt to these changing times, eventually leading to the virtual exhibit of Betsy's awe-inspiring works.
The virtual reception and 3D tour hosted by Karen Davila was held on 29 January and streamed live on the MET Museum's Facebook page. Karen was able to interview Betsy together with her daughter Carmen Brias, which led to revelations of the artist's personal experiences. One of which was the time when Betsy was painting clouds when her daughter passed away and someone had discerned something quite different—a tunnel.
Apart from painting clouds, land and seascapes, Betsy has also emulated the beauty of orchids in her artwork. "Orchids have some kind of a mysterious approach. There are so many varieties, shape and colour. I have the sensation that every time we hold them in our hands, they are trying [their best to please us]," she shared.
Since she married Spanish-Filipino Antonio Brias in the 1950s, Westendorp has resided in Manila and has actively contributed to Philippine art—a dedication that didn't go unnoticed in 2008 when Betsy was awarded the Presidential Medal of Merit by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
For 60 years, the artist has produced over 100 artworks which evidently portrays her journey from Spain to the Philippines and her life as a woman, wife, mother, and artist. These artworks will be included in the retrospective entitled Passages: Celebrating the Artistic Journeys of Betsy Westendorp.
It's an exhibition that can't be missed! Curated by Dannie Alvarez, the exhibition also features the artist's portraits of the society elite of Madrid and Manila, the vast Philippine terrain, the old Manila Bay, her vibrant Philippine flora including the native orchid, and the grand symphonic cloudscapes across Philippine skies.
In strict compliance with IATF guidelines and pandemic health protocols, the exhibit will be presented virtually and physically at the Museum.
At the MET ground floor Galleries, you'll find its physical exhibition as a launchpad for a 3D virtual tour, a biographical film documentary, many interviews and tributes by individuals and institutions, and the virtual launching of a printed catalogue of the Retrospective exhibition authored by art writer, curator and critic, Cid Reyes.
Read more: Betsy Westendorp And The Art In Her Family's Veins
In partnership with the De La Salle University Publishing House, the catalogue for Passages: Celebrating the Artistic Journeys of Betsy Westendorp will be produced. 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.