Art at Home: Monteverde Gallery at Taft Avenue, Manila

A prewar ancestral mansion becomes a home for works of art


( The owner of the house, Jeane Enriquez Monteverde, hasn't settled on a name just yet. It could be the straightforward Monteverde Gallery, it could be M Gallery, or perhaps, Galerie M. But as Shakespeare put it, what's in a name? The structure will stand on the lot on Taft Avenue regardless of the banner over it, and its doors are open to artists and patrons of the arts.


A portrait of Mariano Enriquez


Monteverde Gallery is a four-story prewar ancestral mansion, once home to Mariano Enriquez. Before the Pacific War, Enriquez opened an art supply shop, which became the first to sell high quality paint and imported art materials. A collective "ahh" resounded through the gallery during its opening when the artists present made the connection to Enriquez Art Supply.


Jeane Monteverde  decided to honor her grandfather by turning the mansion into a space where masterpieces (some made with products from his shop) can be seen. The upper floors of the house need a bit of dusting and some renovation if it is to be utilized for exhibits, but in its current state, the ground floor offers more than enough space for a group show.



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Art in the office


Beyond the space it provides for gatherings, the gallery also houses an astonishing amount of art and antiques. Inside the office, we spotted a Vicente Manasala nude sketch hanging on the wall. A tour of the upper floors revealed more interesting finds-who else has a H.R. Ocampo lying around stored at home?


The artworks are currently in storage but we couldn't help but take a peek at the collection.



"Mother and Child" by Salvador Cabrera


Propaganda art from the Marcos era


Old Oriental armoires and wooden furniture can be found on the upper floors


The works of Vicente Manansala, H.R. Ocampo, Cesar Legaspi, Salvador Cabrera, Paco Gorospe, and Oscar Navarro are up on the gallery's walls at the moment, but Jeane Monteverde hopes to replace them with more contemporary works. Her casa is your casa, so go make art.



Monteverde Gallery is located at 2131 Taft Avenue, near Buendia, Makati City. Call 551-6343 or 831-7260 for more details.

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