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Aprille Tijam

Ayala Museum

Senior Manager for Exhibitions and Collections

Country: Philippines

ITP Year: 2019


Aprille obtained a BA degree in Philippine Arts at the University of the Philippines, Manila, and has worked with both private and government museums in the Philippines since 1994. Her extensive experience in the museum industry has allowed her to engage in education, PR, exhibitions and collections, providing her with a holistic understanding of the many facets of museum work.

At present, Aprille is Senior Manager for Exhibitions and Collections at Ayala Museum, where she has been working since 2004. Her role oversees the management of temporary and permanent exhibitions, and she collaborates with internal and external parties in the implementation of exhibitions in the museum; working with Curators, Exhibition Designers, Conservators, Administrative personnel, Finance, and Audience Development.

Aprille has recently been working with two Spanish curators, Felipe Pereda (Fernando Zóbel de Ayala Professor of Spanish Art, Harvard University) and Manuel Fontan del Junco (Director of Museums and Exhibitions, Fundación Juan March, Madrid), to present another iteration of the Zobel: The Future of the Past at Ayala Museum in 2024, as part of the birth centennial commemoration of the Spanish-Filipino abstract artist, Fernando Zobel (1924-1984). This exhibition was originally presented at the Museo Nacional del Prado, Spain (Nov 2022-Mar 2023).

Aprille is also currently spearheading a project working on the incremental implementation of access programs for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs). In May 2023, the Collections Corner: Touch the Object Program and the Braille Project for The Diorama Experience was launched in October 2023 as part of Museums and Galleries Month celebrated annually in October. She led ongoing interviews with Filipino artists whose works are represented in the Ayala Museum and BPI collections. This was aimed at enhancing the knowledge base on these artists to understand the rationale or stories behind their artworks represented in the two art collections.

Also in 2023, the Ayala Museum collaborated with the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) Singapore as a Collecting Agent partner in the Philippines for their exhibition Manila Galleon: From Asia to the Americas (Nov 15, 2023-Mar 17, 2024). For this project, Aprille managed the organisation of PH loans, closely coordinated with the ACM team, and coordinated the shipment to and from Singapore.

Aprille also project manages local and international shipments of collections, and acts as courier for overseas loans. Simultaneously, she oversees the Collections Management programme (including collection development, risk management, database, storage, access and education programs) of the Ayala Museum and the Bank of the Philippines Islands (BPI) collections, and project manages special art programs with the Ayala Group of Companies, and museum development projects.

Aprille previously held the position of Collections Manager, where she developed collections-based education programmes and organised the 5-year collections management rehabilitation programme from 2008 to 2013. Since 2008, she has project managed the museum’s Traveling Exhibition Program, bringing this to more than 70 destinations nationwide. In addition, she has also organised training programmes on Basic Museum Training, Collections Management, and Conservation.  She was the Exhibitions Manager for Fernando Zobel. Contrapuntos, Ayala Museum’s participation as an official Collateral Event in the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017.

In recent years, Aprille has been engaged in museum development projects in the Philippines. Her Research on Fernando Zobel Collection and Donation to the British Museum was supported by a full grant from the British Council Connections Through Culture Programme in 2020.

Aprille is a voting member of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) since 2008 and was a member of the Board of ICOM Philippines from 2019-2021. She has received training grants from ICCROM, ICOM, the Getty Foundation, and SEAMEO SPAFA.

At the British Museum
During her time on the International Training Programme Aprille was based in the Department of Asia and her partner placement was spent at Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums in Newcastle.

In 2019 participants were asked to plan and propose a temporary exhibition around an object from the Museum’s collection working within the theme of journeys. Aprille worked with Diana Mohamed Ahmed Digna (Sudan) on her Object in focus project. Their exhibition proposal was titled Life After Death: treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur.

Aprille’s place on the International Training Programme was generously supported by the Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust.

Legacy Projects
In 2021 Aprille was awarded an ITP Research Grant to work on Phase 2 of her research on Fernando Zobel as art patron and the Spanish printmakers from the Museo de Arte Abstracto Espanol, Cuenca.

In November 2023 Aprille participated in an ITP legacy project attending the Museums Association Conference held in Newcastle-Gateshead. With fellows from Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Turkey, Aprille attended a programme structured around the 3-day MA Conference on The Power of Museums.

ITP Newsletter Publications
ITP Newsletter Issue 7 (2020), Your collection in focus: Carroza by Fernando Zobel
ITP Newsletter Issue 7 (2020), Bulletin Board
ITP Newsletter Issue 8 (2021) Ethical use of digital images in Ayala Museum’s virtual programme
ITP Newsletter Issue 8 (2021) Bulletin Board
ITP Newsletter Issue 9 (2022) Visible storage at Ayala Museum offers access and sustainability programmes
ITP Newsletter Issue 10 (2023) Zobel. The Future of the Past; Digital Gallery at Ayala Museum and Bulletin Board