The University of San Carlos Museum was formally inaugurated on 23 April 1967 by Fr. Pres. Rudolf Rahmann, SVD with First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos, a few minutes before husband Pres. Ferdinand Marcos delivered the commencement address to the graduating class. From 1952 onwards, however, its growing collection of excavated ceramics, rare and exotic flora and fauna as well as exemplary ecclesiastical, historical and ethnographic objects were already carefully collected, studied, catalogued and exhibited. Prior to this, a museum with cabinets of curiosity was inaugurated in 1908 at the old Seminario-Colegio de San Carlos located at the original campus beside Plaza Independencia. That museum was unfortunately destroyed, together with its precious collection, during the American liberation bombings in 1945. The USC Museum is located at the University’s Downtown (formerly Main) Campus on P. Del Rosario Street. It occupies both the north and south wings of the ground floor of the Arthur Dingman Building, dissected by the lobby that also serves as the main entrance to the campus. The Dingman building, named after the first rector of USC, is a four-storey neoclassical architectural treasure in downtown Cebu City where the University President also holds office and where the University Board of Trustees meet to chart the future of the university. The Dingman Building was constructed in 1948 on the very foundations of the pre-war Colegio de San Carlos Building that was destroyed during the September 12, 1944 pre-liberation bombings of Cebu.
The USC Museum also collaborates with the Department of Biology which maintains the Entomological Collection and the Marine Biology Collection, both of which are located on the 3rd floor of the Josef Baumgartner Learning Resource Center in Talamban Campus.
From three exhibition galleries when it was inaugurated in 1967, the museum has grown into five indoor galleries, one open gallery and one hallway exhibit area, all added during the presidency of Fr. Dionisio M. Miranda, SVD starting in 2012. The three original galleries (i.e., Biodiversity, Archaeology and Ethnography) are still located at the south wing. The Open Gallery, used for temporary and special exhibitions, and the hallway, where one finds the USC Institutional History Exhibition, are also located at the south wing. The north wing is dedicated to the Rosita R. Arcenas collections, currently on long-term loan, hosting the following exhibitions: Bahandi: The Rosita R. Arcenas Collection of Chinese and Southeast Asian Ceramics, and, Handumanan: The Rosita R. Arcenas Collection of Bisayan Santos.
The Open Gallery currently hosts a special exhibition entitled “Iro-e: The Beauty of Japanese Polychrome Imari, Late Edo to Late Showa, 1780s-1980s,” which features nearly 200 pieces of Japanese polychrome porcelain wares from the museum’s own collection as well as the collections of Ferdinand Azcarraga and Radcliff Estrada. The exhibition runs until May 31, 2018 and is open to the public for free.
Our previous exhibition was on “Sometsuke: A Rhapsody in Japanese Blue and White Ceramics” showcasing the museum’s own recent acquisition of underglaze blue porcelain dating from the Late Edo Period (ca. 1800-1868) to the Early Showa Period (1926-1941).
The museum shop is located at the south wing and sells books published by USC Publishing House as well as museum souvenirs.
The museum has a lecture room that can accommodate up to 25 seats, located at the north wing.
A small reading room is currently being developed at the north wing, just before the Small Lecture Room.
Telephone +63-32-401-300 loc. 191
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