A Look at Popular Museums and Art Galleries in Singapore


Singapore is teeming with museums and numerous independent art galleries. For those heading to the ‘Little Red Dot’ for their next holiday, here is a list of must visit museums and art galleries.

National Museum of Singapore

Also known as ‘Singapore History Museum’, National Museum of Singapore is one of the oldest, iconic structures in the city. Built in 1849, this Renaissance-styled structure is home to a wide collection of old books, photographs, negatives, stamps, images, paintings, sculptures and other artefacts dating back to the early 14th century. The portrait of Frank Athelstane Swettenham, the hearse of Tan Jiak Kim, a Peranakan coffin cover, William Farquhar’s drawings, and the portrait of Shenton Thomasver (the former governor of Singapore) are among the popular exhibits here.

ArtScience Museum

Opened to the public in 2011, ArtScience Museum is one of the recent additions to the growing list of museums in Singapore. Generally referred to as ‘The Welcoming Hand of Singapore’, this beautiful museum features works of prominent artists from across the world along with other ancient paintings and photographs. There are three different galleries at the museum – Curiosity, Inspiration and Expression. Numerous educational activities, guided tours, permanent and temporary exhibitions and animated series are held here.

Singapore Art Museum

Located in the heart of Singapore, Singapore Art Museum is one of the must visit attractions in the city. First opened in 1995, this grand structure is known for preserving some of the ancient works, sculptures and numerous other vital items. Sea-slab (Tight Bed) by Jeremy Sharma, White Elephant Expostulation by Tang Mun Kit, and Crowd of Bystanders by Zhou Xiaohu, Cloud Nine by Sakarin Krue-On and Paradise Danger Dancer by Jeremy Hiah are the among the museum’s most loved possessions.

Asian Civilisation Museum

With a focus on pan-Asian culture, Asian Civilization Museum was established in 1997 and preserves the cultural heritage of the continent through its numerous collectables and valuables. Fine Dehua porcelain figures, Taoist and Buddhistic statuary, works of calligraphy and other decorative art forms are among the popular exhibits here. The head of a Gandharan Bodhisattva, dating back to the 4th century and Bronze Age masks are the major draws at the museum.

National Gallery Singapore

Located in Downtown Singapore, the National Gallery Singapore is one of the largest museums in the city. Established in 2015, this contemporary gallery today features over 8000 artworks focussing and highlighting the cultural richness of the city. Works of prominent Singaporean artists like Georgette Chen, Chen Chong Swee, Chen Wen Hsi, Cheong Soo Pieng and Liu Kang are key attractions here. Several international exhibitions, lectures, interactive sessions, and studio based workshops are held at regular intervals for those visiting the museum.