Today in Philippine History, July 24, 1890, Guillermo Tolentino was born in Malolos, Bulacan

Monday July 23, 2012 ()

On July 24, 1890, Guillermo Tolentino, National artist for the visual arts, was born in Malolos, Bulacan.

Tolentino's works include the University of the Philippines (UP) Oblation and the landmark Andres Bonifacio monument in Kalookan City.

   Guillermo Tolentino
  (Guillermo Tolentino)

He sculpted the UP Oblation commissioned in 1935 by then University President Rafael Palma and originally located at the UP Manila campus in Ermita. It was later moved to the Diliman campus in celebration of the state university's 40th anniversary.

Tolentino completed his degree in fine arts in 1915 at the UP. In 1919, Tolentino went to the United States to pursue further studies on a scholarship grant from Bernard Baruch of New York University's Beaux School of Arts. He graduated from New York University with honors in 1921.

He traveled to Europe to visit renowned museums and art galleries in London and Paris. He then went on to study in Regge Istituto di Belle Arti in 1922.

Tolentino received national recognition for his work on the Bonifacio Monument, now a major landmark of Kalookan City. His winning design of the monument featured an obelisk with a bird of freedom perched atop of it. Around the monument's base stand life-size figures of members of the Katipunan led by Bonifacio.

Tolentino also designed the medals for the Ramon Magsaysay Awards as well as the seal of the Republic of the Philippines.

From 1953 to 1955 Tolentino served as director of the School of Arts' of the University of the Philippines. He retired in 1955 as professor emeritus.

He died on July 12, 1976 at the age of 86.

Philippines News Agency archives
Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons


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