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Travel Guide > Asia > Singapore > Sights & Attractions

Singapore Art Museum

  
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Built in 1852 by the La Salle Brothers, the Singapore Art Museum was formerly a school known as St. Joseph’s Institution, the first Catholic school in Singapore. It is one of the more elegant classically-styled buildings in downtown Singapore, and sports a dome inspired by Bernini’s Colonnade in Rome. It also boasts blown glass installations by glass artist Dale Chihuly. When St. Joseph’s Institution was relocated in 1987, the building was gazetted and restoration works were completed in 1992. In January 1996, the museum was officially opened. Greeting visitors at the porch is a bronze statue of 17th-century saint John Baptist de la Salle with two schoolboys.


The Glass House greets visitors as they walk through the museum's main entrance. This is a multipurpose hall where seminars, performances and exhibitions are frequently organised. It resides inside a frameless glass enclosure filled with brightly coloured artwork, reflecting a sense of contemporary styling. Located on both sides of the Glass House are the Courtyards, providing idyllic spaces for holding private functions or parties. The second floor of the museum is home to the Auditorium, which sits above the Glass House. Most of the statues and artefacts in the museum have been restored in detail, including a stained glass window which was destroyed during World War II.


The Singapore Art Museum houses 18 exhibition galleries on three levels. The gallery spaces were created by removal of the walls which had previously separated the various classrooms. The museum has an excellent collection of artwork from Singapore’s modern and contemporary arts industry as well as from visiting collections, ranging from classical Chinese calligraphy to contemporary artwork reflecting issues of Asian identity. There are over 4000 pieces of permanent artwork and visiting collections from artists like Alwin Reamillo and Li Chen, making the museum the largest catalogued collection of 20th-century Southeast Asian art in Southeast Asia. Guided tours are available daily.


The Dôme cafe, hidden in a snug corner of the premises, provides a brief respite for weary visitors.

Type of place: Museum
Costs: S$10 for adults
Location: Colonial District, Singapore
Street address: 71 Bras Basah Road
Nearest public transport: Dhoby Gaut
Opening hours: 10am-7pm daily
Telephone: +65 63323222
Email: nhb_sam_programs@nhb.gov.sg





Singapore Art Museum Reviews

grace
Posted on
07-07-2010
by grace
Nice colonial architecture.
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adibahisa
Posted on
17-05-2010
by adibahisa
Interesting temporary exhibitions.
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adibahisa
Posted on
17-05-2010
by adibahisa
International standard museum facilities.
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adibahisa
Posted on
17-05-2010
by adibahisa
Cheap admission.
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adibahisa
Posted on
17-05-2010
by adibahisa
Lack of exhibits from non-Asian cultures.
-1   Do you agree? Yes No     [Report Abuse]  



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