First of Many Visits to Singapore National Museum

I am a museum person, to the consternation of my husband and daughter. I make it a point to check out a museum exhibit whenever I visit a new place, and naturally I would drag my family with me when we travel together :-) In terms of richness and expansiveness of collection, The Met, MOMA, Rijks, Musee d'Orsay, and the Vatican/Sistine are at the top of my list; the Louvre too, but to a lesser extent - it was too crowded when we got there, and the pushing and rushing probably clouded my impression that I don't remember my visit with so much fondness. In terms of location, feel and the atmosphere of laid-backness though, I do like the Peggy Guggenheim in Venice, Miro in Barcelona, and the Getty in LA.

Long before I became a resident of Singapore, I would go to the Singapore Art Museum and the Asian Civilisation Museum whenever I came to visit - I remember seeing my first Rodin exhibit at SAM. For some reason though, I had never stopped by the National Museum, until recently.

Last weekend, I was at the NSM two days in a row for Singapore Writer's Festival events. I haven't checked out the exhibits yet, but having gone through the halls, the concourse and to the seminar rooms, I already knew that the place is worth a visit, and perhaps many repeats after my initial two.

This museum building was opened in 1887, though the National Museum itself was founded a bit earlier, in another site before it was transferred to the current one above

The eastern wing

Windows to the past

The dome at the entrance hall - made of at least 50 sets of stained glass

The courtyard seems to be a favourite backdrop for wedding pictorials - the couple in the background is the second I've seen in the brief time I was outside, waiting for a cab. The stone structure in the left foreground is actually a commemorative water fountain. A funny incident comes to mind - on our second visit here, to attend Robert Pinsky's PoemJazz, we were looking for drinking water and because the vendo machines were not working (perhaps already closed for the day), we asked the guard if there was any water fountain nearby, and he pointed us to this place. It was indeed a water fountain but I think what the guard forgot to tell us was that the water had dried up many years back.

The concourse - an amalgam of wood and glass, the old and the new. I didn't feel that I was in a century-old building at all. It is bright, without the sweltering heat, so it is really a good place for reading and perhaps writing...though I wish there would be more cafes with good coffee inside...

The West Wing

The moon had come out early that night

#Singapore #NationalMuseumOfSingapore #Museums #Arts #NationalMuseum #yoursingapore

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