World-Class Galleries and Museums in Singapore
Singapore acclaims itself as one of Asia’s cultural capitals today and it is one of the countries in Asia with many galleries and museums to visit. World class exhibition of art are displayed in various galleries and museums in Singapore with great collection that showcase Singapore’s art and cultural histories. The Singapore government aims to make their country as a cosmopolitan gateway between the East and the West. Steps taken to attain this include the promotion of their art through the Singapore Arts Festival and the opening of numerous art galleries and museums.
Singapore’s National Museums
The National Museum of Singapore is Singapore’s oldest museum built back on 1849. It merely started as a library of the Singapore Institution and eventually became the national museum of Singapore. It specializes in Singapore history and is known with its cast collection of zoological artifacts which were now transferred to the National University of Singapore. Among its precious artifacts are the Singapore Stone, Gold Ornaments of the Sacred Hill, will of Munshi Abdullah, and portrait of Frank Athelstane Swettenham among many others. One can also find one of the first photographs of Singapore, the Dagguerreotype of Singapore.
The Asian Civilisations Museum is one of the three museums of the National Museums of Singapore. It specializes in pan-Asian cultures and civilizations and showcases the significant history of China, West and South Asiam and Southeast Asia. You can trace the diverse ethnical group ancestors of Singapore here. Among the museum’s highlights are the different decorative art involving calligraphy, export porcelain, statues of Taoist and Buddhistic origins, and other porcelain figures of Chinese collection. Broad spectrums of statuary collections are also found like the Chola bronzes. Buddhist arts of India are also popular that are hailed from Mathura and Gandhara schools. They also display broad Southeast Asian collections of ethnological material.
The Peranakan Museum is another world-class museum that specializes in Peranakan culture. This is the first museum in the world that explores the Peranakan cultures and other previous Straits Settlements in Asia. Being the sister museum of the Asian Civilisations Museum it has an extended wing to its artifact collection that houses the Old Tao Nan School building. About 112,000 visitors are expected annually from the museum making it one of the most visited museums in Singapore. The museum has 10 galleries specializing on Peranakan arts and culture.
Among the highlights of the Singapore Art Museum are the national collections of arts of Taiwan, South American and Singapore. One can find about 7750 pieces of modern contemporary art of Singapore and Southeast Asia with the expansion of New Asian and International Contemporary Art collections. It is one of the museums in Singapore with the international standard for museum facilities in Southeast Asia and become a part of the growing leagues of new generation of museums throughout the world with its exhibitions of art and building different community outreach programs.
Apart from these attractions in the Singapore Art Museum its location is strategic for tourists to visit being at the center of the shopping district of Singapore just near the Waterloo Street Arts Belt and other major visual arts and performing arts institutions with accessibility to public transportation.