death by paper cut

{June 14, 2009}   the old dame revamped

two weeks ago, i made the most of international museum day’s free entrance to the major nhb museums and did a museum crawl with xh beginning with the national museum of singapore, singapore art museum at 8Q.

the usual $10 admission to this singapore history gallery was also waived that day. this was my second trip there but i believe that i’ll never manage to cover every exhibit even after my nth’s visit.

one reason is that there is a myriad of exhibits and the other is there you can choose to take the personal path or the events path or switch between the two paths at the various junctions.

Singapore History Gallery (2)

a picture that i did not notice on my first trip was a photograph of the museum in its early years.

Singapore History Gallery (28)

the facade has not changed much over the centuries. according to wikipedia, “its history dates back to 1849 when it was started as a section of a library at Singapore Institution. After several relocations, the Museum was relocated to its permanent site at Stamford Road at the Museum Planning Area in 1887.

in 2009, it still does not look a day older. in fact i think its more white washed.

National Museum of Singapore

the insides however are unrecognisable. the name change from singapore history museum to national museum of singapore is already a telling change in its direction. no longer will history be the only discipline explored in this public institution but the foray will be multi-pronged and multi-directional. the coalescing of history, art and contemporary culture is evident in its displays and public programmes.

a decade ago, the haut cauture of christian lacroix would not have found its way into its walls.

Christian Lacroix Exhibition (21)

in fact, the static diorama detailing what was considered to be the milestones of singapore’s founding and development were the main feature of the museum as i remembered it.

in my recent massive spring cleaning exercise, it was my good fortune to have uncovered the full collection of the diorama in postcards.

check out the european haut couture a century ago in this diorama.

Diorama (7)

view full set here.


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