Lopez Museum History :
On February 13, 1960, the brothers Eugenio and Fernando Lopez opened the Lopez Memorial Museum to the public. Dedicated to the memory of their parents, Benito and Presentacion, the collection of books, art, and Rizal memorabilia revealed to the public eye extent of the Lopez collection. That Eugenio was an ardent collector of books was well-known; it is the art collection, the bulk of which are Luna and Hidalgo paintings, and Rizal memorabilia that became the object of public interest. In Claro M. Recto’s speech for the opening of the museum, he reiterated Rizal’s praise for the two painters and their achievement in the Exposion of 1884. He quoted extensively-in Spanish-from the speech that Rizal gave in Madrid in honor of the two painters. The amplitude and quality of the Luna and Hidalgo collection owned by the Lopezes was, at the time, unmatched. Housed in a remarkable building designed by Angel Nakpil (this has sadly been torn down), the new position of the Lunas and Hidalgos made available to a public was an indulgence that no other private local collection had done before.
The museum’s inauguration had President Carlos P. Garcia giving the address with Cardinal Rufino Santos blessing the building. First Lady Leonila D. Garcia appeared in numerous newspapers unveiling the plaque, as the event had enough celebrities to merit being mentioned in the society columns.
The story of the Lopez family is closely likened to that of the mythical Phoenix – a fitting and recurring theme which is set in the context of our unique case of multiple colonial experiences, epoch making events both internally and worldwide and the realities of a fast changing global order. In the words of the author, it is “a story that has always encompassed darkness and light, destruction and revival, upheaval and renewal, tragedy and triumph.”
In the study, there are intense human drama, many instructive quotations, moving and unforgettable scenes, arresting anecdotes, enduring human values to be emulated, portrayals of the subjects’ personal qualities and strikingly different traits, depiction of complex intra-personal relationships within the family and among close relatives, friends and colleagues in business and politics, and lengthy discussions on the intricate web of negotiations behind the building of the major pillars (Benpres Holdings, Meralco, ABS-CBN, Sky Vision, Rockwell Land, BayanTel, Maynilad, First Philippine Infrastructure Gas Plant, National Tollway and many others) of the Lopez business empire.
source Lopez Museum website: