juan arellano


The National Museum of the Philippines

National Museum of Fine Arts (Legislative Building) - formerly used by the Philippine Congress, designed by American Architects William Parsons, Ralph Douane and Filipino Architect Juan Arellano. Exhibits the Nation’s finest works of art.

National Museum of Anthropology (Finance Building) - formerly used by the Finance Department, National Museum of Anthropology houses the country’s cultural heritage and that includes the Manunggal Jar.

National Museum of Natural History (Agriculture Building) - originally used by the Department Agriculture and most recently the Department of Tourism. The National Museum of Natural History is soon to open, with exhibits from the Natural Sciences (Zoology, Botany) in the place.

RA 8492 or the National Museum Act establishes the three buildings as the permanent location of the National Museum.


Cebu Provincial Capitol, Cebu City

Located at the end of Osmena Boulevard, Cebu City. It was designed by Architect Juan Arellano in the Neoclassical Fashion, but seeing some inflections that his style is already leaning towards Art Deco (also evidenced by the simplicity and the clean lines of the columns). At the top of the facade there is an inscription “ THE AUTHORITY OF THE GOVERNMENT EMANATES FROM THE PEOPLE ”, a classic reminder that the people has the power in a democracy.

It is also a part of the bigger City Beautiful planning for Cebu City during the early days of American Period in the downtown part of Cebu City.

Also, Architect Arellano also designed the BPI Building near the Sto Nino Basilica.

The Filipino who shaped the American Manila

Have you ever, by chanced venture into the Padre Burgos Drive in Manila?

Did you see the Post office, the Metropolitan Theater and the National Museum? If yes, you are seeing three of the works of renowned Architect Juan Arellano. Along with Tomas Mapua and Pablo Antonio, he was one of the First Filipino Pensionados for Architecture.

He started his education at Ateneo Municipal and was mentored by the Art Masters of Manila at the close of 19th century namely Fabian de la Rosa, Toribio Antillon and Lorenzo Guerrero.

He wanted to pursue Fine Arts in Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts but shifted to Architecture, he received his degree in Architecture in Drexel.

Upon his return from the overseas, he designed together with his Brother Arcadio Arellano the Gota de Leche Building in Lepanto St. (Near UE Recto), and during his stay in the Bureau of Public Works, he worked on to design the Post Office, the Old Jones Bridge and the Legislative Building in the Neoclassic Design. After another stay in the US where the trend is now shifting to Art Deco, he designed the Art Deco Metropolitan Theater with Francesco Monti as the sculptor, which became then the Manila’s Cultural Center.

After this, in collaboration with Harry Frost, he designed the plan for the Quezon City, which will become the new capital city.

Unfortunately, his works were destroyed in the Battle for Manila, they were reconstructed but the original plans are not faithfully followed (The National Museum, for instance was rebuilt by memory).

He retired in 1956 to be back in his first love: Painting. He held an exhibit (one and only) in YMCA in 1960 shortly before he died. He died leaving behind a legacy of buildings that personified Filipino Architecture during the American Era.

By the way, his career and paintings are in exhibit at the National Art Gallery of the National Museum (Oh I forgot about my museum visits last January!)



NEWSHOUR ART BEAT: Ride the ‘border wave’ with this Mexican artist

Austin-based artist Gerardo Arellano blends expressionism and pop art to create what he calls “Border Wave,” a style of imagery that is influenced by life on both sides of the U.S. and Mexican border.

“When you live art, you notice there are no borders,” Arellano said. “I always identify myself as both sides.”

Last year, Arellano was asked to create a series of paintings commemorating 10 contemporary Hispanic and Latino American figures for National Hispanic Heritage Month. The portraits (including ‘Hamilton’ creator & the star of PBS’ own documentary HAMILTON’S AMERICA, Lin-Manuel Miranda) are currently on display at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

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