home search about subscribe contact  









  The Heritage Journal, Volume 3, 2008    



Early Collectors and Their Impact on the Raffles Museum and Library
Megan Osborne

From its central position and the number of persons passing through it Singapore seems to be marked out as a place where a museum on a large scale should be established, where traveler or student or businessman should have before him every possible product of these countries and specimens . . . Governor Fredrick Weld, October 12, 1887. (Liu 1987:9).

Displaying Saris - Fashion Gallery of the National Museum of Singapore
Vidya Murthy

The Fashion Gallery of the National Museum of Singapore, instead of outlining a traditional historic story of garments and especially the sari, focuses on which women wore what, how they wore their clothes and more importantly what kind of individual choices they exercised in assembling their wardrobes. The display shows how the sari was transformed in Singapore through the years, 1950-70. The changed silhouettes and versatile properties of the synthetic materials reveal the transformations that modernity brought about in the Indian community. The collection process and the oral histories together not only offer a social history of this Indian womens garment, but also shows how women were active agents who shaped for themselves an identity that was exciting.


Notes and Reviews

Symbolic Perspectives : Views of Fort Canning in the 19th century
Iskander Mydin

From the first to middle decades of the 19th century, European artists attempted to depict the landscape of the Singapore entrepot which was established in 1819. These depictions, or more appropriately, representations, have been acquired for museum collections such as that of the National Museum of Singapore. There has been very little attempt at studying these representations. More often than not, these representations are taken at face value as visual records. Fort Canning which was of historical and symbolic significance in the pre-colonial Malay history of the island acquired a similar significance in 1819 and afterwards when it became the seat of the British Governors of Singapore, overlloking the Singapore entrepot. As such , visual representations of Fort Canning by European artists became popular. Fort Canning was the focal point for viewing the entrepot, either landwards or seawards. This article tries to look at symbolic perspectives underlying these artistic representations which could be used to look at other historical prints and paintings in the collection.


Articles from the nhb archives

Summary History of Asian Textile Materials, and Their Patterning Techniques (Batik, Bandhana and Ikat) Based on Literary and Pictorial Evidence and Actual Remains
Constance Sheares