The NUS Museum houses significant collections consisting of classical sculptures, modern paintings and mixed-media pieces.

Photo by NUS Museum

If you want to delve deeply into the history of Singapore and the region, this museum at the National University of Singapore houses a small but significant collection of Asian art and artefacts.

A treasure trove of artefacts

The museum houses more than 8,000 artefacts and artworks divided across four collections. The Lee Kong Chian Collection, named after the prominent Singaporean Chinese businessman and philanthropist, consists of ancient to contemporary Chinese art such as paintings, pottery and ornaments. At the South and Southeast Asian Collection, one can find works from Indian classical sculptures to modern paintings and mixed-media pieces. Meanwhile, the Ng Eng Teng Collection has more than 1,000 artworks by the celebrated Singaporean sculptor, whose figurative works can be found at many public places in the city.

A fourth collection is at NUS Baba House at 157 Neil Road, once the ancestral home of a Straits Chinese family. A domestic space within the house has been recreated, with its interiors restored.

A history in the arts

The NUS Museum started as the University Art Museum in 1955 at the then University of Malaya in Singapore, and the collection was instrumental in the study of art history at the institution. Now, it is a comprehensive resource for teaching and research. In 2004, the museum became affiliated to the NUS Centre For the Arts (CFA) – an arts agency to promote the quality and growth of the arts in NUS, Singapore and beyond.