You are on page 1of 10


General Summary This thesis detailed the transformation of the UST fine arts school from the 1935 when it was first launched, as a minuscule academic unit under the then College of Engineering, until its elevation into a college in 2000. In order to achieve this objective, it first inquired into the rationale for the schools launching then identified the people responsible for its conceptualization, implementation, and administration. Following that, it looked into the

evolution of the schools organizational structure and curricula. The growth of its student body, faculty and alumni was also investigated. And finally, it

identified the schools contributions to the achievement of Universitys goals and in the development of Philippine visual arts. This is an institutional history so the author employed new

institutionalism as the theoretical framework in his analyses. The sociological institutionalism approach was applied in particular because it provided a way to explain the Schools relationship with its institutional environment, discussed the effects of this environments social expectations on the institution, and demonstrated how these expectations were reflected in the institutions

organizational characteristics. It also explained why the Institution ended up adopting organizational structures and culture of the same institutions in their field even though they evolved in different ways. In his conclusions, the writer was guided by the results of the compilation and evaluation of information obtained from pertinent reading references mainly printed materials, such as, books, manuals, announcements, periodicals, and souvenir programs. Observations of the current situation and activities in the institution and firsthand investigation of college records were also undertaken. This thesis also analyzed the data as regards the institutions administration, faculty, curriculum, students, and alumni. All the data gathered were used with as much objectivity as possible. Summary of Findings At this point the writer reports the findings from the analysis of data and materials compiled for this thesis that would explain the institutions transformation from 1935 to 2000. They are as follows: 1. The UST School of Fine Arts was established in 1935

because increasing demand for professionals trained in the field of designing and remodeling. This demand resulted from the rise in the construction of new business buildings and remodeling of old ones that

was brought about by the economic prosperity obtaining in the Philippines during the early part of the 1930s. Another reason was the requirements for teachers to teach art appreciation in the public school in compliance with the directive of the Director of the Bureau of Public Schools. For Victorio Edades and his Thirteen Moderns, the creation of the school was seen as an opportunity to bridge the fifty-year gap between Philippine art and the rest of the world in order to break its stagnation. For the Dominicans the need was to train Catholic artists with the mission to eradicate materialism in arts that was pervasive during that time. The School had to go through different stages of development until its transformation to CFAD. These stages were: (1) launching as a department under the Faculty of Engineering (1935-1938), (2) integration as a department into the School of Architecture and Fine Arts (1938-1946), (3) assimilation into the College of Architecture and Fine Arts from (1946-2000), and finally, (5) attainment of autonomous and independent college status as the College of Fine Arts and Design in 2000.



Throughout all these stages not a few individuals were

influential in steering the school toward its goal of institutional legitimacy. Different stages called for different breed of leaders and

administrators each contributed in no small measure in making the school what it is now today. The list of these individuals is long and it included University Rectors, College Deans, Directors, and College Regents. But deserving special mention were the leaders and administrator who conceptualized the schools creation, formulated its mission and vision, and did the actual organization during the period covering 1935-1938. They were: Rev. Fr. Serapio Tamayo, O.P. (1935-1936) and Rev. Fr. Silvestre Sancho, O.P. (1936-1941), both Rectors Magnificus, and Prof. Victorio Edades, the schools first Director. 3. The Schools curriculum evolved more than a few times

into its year 2000 form. Courses were introduced, then abolished, then introduced again during those various times depending on the demands of the times. Subjects were added, old procedures were revised, and new technology introduced. However, close scrutiny of course

descriptions showed that students received training in both fine arts and


design. In 1935 the school initially offered two courses, both leading to the degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in either Public School Arts or Interior Design. When the school was conferred the college status in 2000, it offered four areas of specialization; Advertising Art, Interior Design, Industrial Design, and Painting. Just like the initial two courses in the beginning, these specializations led to the degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts. 4. The school was introduced as an innovation in the field of

art education. It was the first art school to grant a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree to its graduates, it pioneered the use of a formal curriculum in the fine arts, and the first to require a high school diploma for admission. In the controversy that followed the pros and cons of modernism in visual arts the school was at the forefront with its belief and conviction on the merits of modernism in Philippine visual arts. Owing to this, the school is generally considered to be the birthplace of the modern art movement in the country. The school also gave Philippine arts gifted artists in the persons of Victorio Edades and his two converts to modern art; Carlos V.


Francisco and Galo Ocampo. modern art movement.

The three became the nucleus of the

Diosdado M. Lorenzo arrived just in time to

bolster the strength and vitality of the Edades-Ocampo-Francisco combination. Then the Thirteen Moderns came. Its members were mostly connected, at one time or another, with the UST school of Fine Arts. Ricarte Puruganan, Demetrio Diego and Bonifacio Cristobal, to

name a few more, and so were three others Hernando Ocampo, Vicente Manansala and Cesar Legaspi. Addition to this distinguished list, include alumni who came later but have also distinguished themselves in the field. They are; National Artists Jeremias Elizalde Navarro and Ang Kiu Kuk; Roberto Navarro and Fil De la Cruz; Angono artists, Jose Blanco, Manuel Baldemor, Eduardo Castrillo; and Charito Bitanga. Conclusions The University of Santo Tomas, in the words of former University Registrar Norberto De Ramos, was not an academic adventure but rather a plan for an institution of higher learning that was carefully laid out and meticulously executed and painstakingly sustained.197 He attributed USTs

Norberto De Ramos, I Walked with Twelve UST Rectors, 351-352.


staying power to laudable obedience to tradition, yet one that can be broken in case of extreme necessity, careful management within the confines of wellestablished rules but not rigid enough as to shun change, and the absence of academic detours that never kept it away from the very basic institutional goals of; imparting to students high level of knowledge in both the civic and sacred sciences, and the promotion of moral, educational, and cultural formations.198 The school of Fine Arts is no different. It was established to serve not only the welfare of the Filipino youth but also to satisfy the national economic and cultural demands. This thesis has given evidence to the fact that the

school never wavered in its stated mission. It had in fact contributed more by taking the lead in introducing innovations in the field of arts education. It had taken a stand by being at the forefront of the modernist movement and helped bridge the yawning gap between Philippine visual arts and the world. Consequently, the movement inspired the students to be progressive artists. They created masterpieces and claimed their places in the art galleries here and abroad world. The first stage in the schools development was difficult. It had to

compete with the well-entrenched Fine Arts school of the University of the


Ibid., 352-353.


Philippines run by artists who were bywords in the Philippine art scene. It was forced to make adjustments but the foundation was set and everyone that came after followed in the schools lead on the use of a fine arts curriculum and the awarding of bachelors degree to graduates. The second stage was short-lived abbreviated by the Japanese occupation. It was still losing the contest of attracting more enrollees against the state university. However, the works outside of the institution, of the

schools renowned faculty members shook the foundation of conservatism. This resulted to acceptance of modernism and the beginning of the marginalization of conservatism. Deeper appreciation of the modernist movement took place during the next stage. By now, the conservatives were a spent force. Being identified with the former enhanced the schools image, approximating if not surpassing that of the UP School of Fine Arts. The rebuilding that took place after the war increased the demand for artists. Fine Arts students won prizes and awards thereby gaining recognitions in national arts competitions. As if that was not enough, President Ferdinand Marcos support for the artist further enhanced their status and that of their schools. The end result was the unprecedented increase in the schools enrollment during that period.


Despite all these achievements and recognitions, the school remained for a long time under the shadow of its equally illustrious mother institution, the College of Architecture. During this last stage of its development, everyone decided that it was time for the school to be independent and autonomous. There were of course some problems, but after more than six decades most of these were considered minor and were readily resolved. Finally, on November 17, 2000, the College of Fine Art and Design, with the declaration read by Rev. Fr. Tamerlane Lana, O.P. in a concelebrated mass for that purpose, came into being. Another conclusion the history of arts in the Philippines will not be complete without the retelling of the schools history. Likewise, the College of Architectures historical narrative will always include the history of the universitys school of fine arts. Recommendations The UST College of Fine Arts and Design is a premiere fine arts and design institution. This thesis had barely made a dent into the wealth of its history. So the authors recommendation consists of a list of topics that could be taken up as subjects for research after this.


The school had over seven decades of history. This thesis covered only six decades and a half until 2000. What came after is twelve years of

interesting developments that could be a subject of future research. Quite a number of former rectors, deans, directors, and regents make up the list of remarkable individuals who have served as administrators of the school. Some of these individuals are eminent figures in the fields of

education and arts with one thing in common - they steered the school to what it is now today. Their live taken either individually or collectively in relation to the school are topics waiting to be explored. The large number of faculty members who have served as the schools conduits of knowledge is another area that deserves detailed study. There were hundreds of them who have made their marks in the school, nationwide, and even abroad. The tens of thousands of students who have passed through the schools portals and are now professional practitioners of the arts are everywhere. Quite a large number of them made the school proud for their excellence.