Don Felipe Hidalgo contemplates a recent addition to
treasure of rarities: a solid silver boat money.
THE HOUSE OF HIDALGO IS A GREAT ART MUSEUM
A Fortune Is Invested In Oddities
THE MASTER of the House of Art-of Hidalgo is a stubby little man who talks rapidly and gesticulates to better emphasize a point. He roams around the gloomy, convent-like mansion on Tanduay st. which contains priceless relics and art masterpieces of many nations. Attired in dark pants and pongee
pajama coat, a fat unlighted cigar between his teeth, the owner of one of the country s costliest private museums loves to spend the greater part of the day browsing among his painting, old coins, armors and countless other rarities.
The "odd" man who has a fortune in non-profit "investments" expecting nothing more than aesthetic joy in return is Don Felipe R. Hidalgo. One of the distinguished surviving members of the opulent and artistic Hidalgo family he holds sway in the realm of private collectors as owner of the most varied art treasure in the country. Conservative appraisal of his collection puts a value to it of a million pesos.
Personally Art Czar Hidalgo insists no pecuniary offer could induce him to part with his possessions as most of them cannot be found anywhere at any price.
Pieces de resistance of the House of Art of Hidalgo are many original paintings by Don Felipe's internationally famous uncle, the late- Don Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo y Padilla, the Filipino painter who created such immortal canvases as '''Oedipus and Antigone", "Skiff of Acheron", "Christian Virgins Exposed To The Populace" and others that have found permanent niches in art salons of Europe.
But chief boast of Don Felipe's art hoard is its priceless variety. Besides paintings, woodcarvings, cabinets, vases and others of the usual stock which grace the collection of the average collector, that of Hidalgo includes images, medals. jewelry, stamps, smoking pipes, commemorative tea spoons, royal grants, medals and rare coins from all over the world. Valuables of the latter type are stored safely in bank vaults by prudent Don Felipe who believes that modern robbers will steal anything from babies to bath tubs. Friends who wish to see his jewelry, coins, etc. make appointment with him a day ahead thus giving Collector Hidalgo a chance to trundle over to the bank and transport home the objects
Few Manilans know the artistic glamor of the House of Art of Hidalgo. Outside its old walls the modern world in whirlwind fashion goes about its business. Thousands have passed the house, glanced at its uninviting exterior, moved on. But those that contrive to gain entrance to Art Czar Hidalgo's home-museum instantly are captivated with its solemn, palatial magnificence, its roomful of impressive objects that seem to exude life, retell adventures and tragedies of many countries, many races.
Rare and elaborate are the pieces of jewelry and religious antiques in the house of art of Hidalgo.
|Bareness of a hospital corridor offers a striking contrast to the first story landing of the art house. Two original paintings of Felix R. Hidalgo , Samurai Armour, steel lions meet visitors|
|Up the narrow . elaborately carved stairs those seeking beauty and antiquity climb. And her we have a section of the main sala with more paintings, armor, Ming dynasty vases and Spanish cabinets|
|The family dines in this severely plain dining room. There are rare plates, paintings and historical cabinet. Furniture is Spanish, the table topped with one piece marble, largest in the country|
Don Felipe Hidalgo gathers the little as well as the big
|This was published in the PHOTO NEWS Magazine on Nov. 30,1937|