by jun asuncion
My cousin Sonny Rayos has just done a magnificent job by taking photos of our great ancestor Justiniano Asuncion’s Watercolor Paintings at the New York Public Libraray. He said he was moved almost to tears to hold and see for the first time these known works of Justiniano. It also deeply moved me that at the other side of the globe, I have this cousin who is also actively searching for the roots and sharing his findings.
I highly appreciate Sonny’s efforts for he makes it possible for all other Asuncions to view these works without going to New York. I was very excited that I immediately worked on the photos for publication. Sonny was allowed by the NYPL to take photos of Justiniano’s original watercolor paintings.
Sonny’s great great grandfather was Leoncio Asuncion, Justiniano’s brother. Here is Sonny’s photo holding an original painting by the master. Below is his e-mail to me this morning:
I was in New York City during the first week of August and rather than go to the Guggenheim, MoMA or Met museums, I decided to check out the NYPL’s (Schwarzman Building on 42th St. in midtown Manhattan) Justiniano Asuncion watercolor collections. These watercolor painting were digitalized several years ago. Y’all are probably familiar with these collection by doing an internet search on: “NYPL Justiniano Asuncion.” To see the paintings (which, at the time. I didn’t even know that I could view them), I was shuffled from the main lobby librarian, to Room 300, to Room 308, then had to apply for a NYC libary card, and then back to Rm 300 which is actually a secure room – you have to be buzzed in. FYI – the librarians were very excited when I told them that these were my ancestors paintings.
So finally here I am looking at my great, great, great uncle Justiano’s watercolor paintings. I was moved, almost to tears – to finally hold in my hand the paintings of Justiniano – looking and perusing each and every one closely (thank goodness, I even brought with me a magnifying glass!) I cannot help but think, every art critic is right: Justiniano Asuncion is THE MASTER!