Peace Time in the Country : An exhibition of Philippine Magazine covers in New York

The exhibit of Philippine Magazine in New York ran from August 31 to September 10, 2021

PEACE TIME
An Exhibition of Philippine Magazine Covers
1929 – 1941
Philippine Center
New York City
August 31 – September 10, 2021

Entitled "PEACE TIME", is a reference by older Filipinos to the relatively peaceful and dynamic period in the country from 1929 to 1941 when Japan invades and occupies the country.

There were many magazines published in Filipino, Spanish, and regional dialects. Philippine Magazine was a distinctive magazine in English excelling in publishing written works and gracing its covers by Filipino writers, artists, and expatriates. A.V. H. Hartendorp, a former American teacher was its editor for that period until the Japanese occupation and he would be interned at Sto. Tomas University.
Stevan Javellana, 20 years of age would have his first piece published in the magazine inspiring him after World War II to write “Without Seeing the Dawn” a best seller in the United States selling over 150,000 copies. Bienvenido Santos, Jose Garcia Villa, Francisco Arcellana, Edilberto Tiempo, N.V.M. Gonzalez and many more began their writing career in the magazine.

Its magazine covers were delightful. Hartendorp was prescient in choosing the likes of Fernando Amorsolo, Diosdado Lorenzo, Gavino Reyes Congson, and Liboro Ruiz all in their 20’s and 30’s who drew and painted covers that the public recognized as artistic and spoke to their milieu.

Many of these writers and artists studied and traveled in the United States to further their knowledge and expand their craft. The poet Jose Garcia Villa would be a long-time resident of New York City. But almost all returned to the Philippines sharing new dimensions in the written word and on the canvas. Later, some secured the country’s prestigious National Artist Award.