Singapore Art Museum

71 Bras Basah Rd, Singapore 189555

Location: Bras Basah Road


The Singapore Art Museum is located within Singapore’s arts and culture district, also known as the art belt, consisting of major arts venues and institutions. Located on Bras Basah Road, bounded by adjacent Queen Street and Waterloo Street it is Singapore’s first fine art museum.


In the mid nineteenth century a Roman Catholic missionary, Father Jean-Marie Beurel, raised funds for the building of a boys’ Roman Catholic Mission School in Singapore which was to be named St Joseph’s Institution. The school opened its doors in 1852.

St Joseph’s continued as a school until the Japanese occupation when it was used as a barracks for the Japanese Army. When the Japanese surrendered to the British, St Joseph’s once more operated as a Roman Catholic School for boys. St Joseph’s is still operating to this day, but relocated to Malcolm Road in December 1987.

Architecturally, the building is a classically-styled European Renaissance building. A statue of de La Salle was left behind by the boy’s school in 1987, thus marking it another piece in the museum. Original details were retained during restoration, such as the colonial façade at the main entrance, the roof patina and floor tiles, which complement the aesthetics of the art museum.

This gracious and elegant building was gazetted as a National Monument in 1992 and opened its doors as an art museum in 1996.

It was the organiser of Singapore Biennale in 2011 and 2013, as well as other contemporary art exhibitions and events over the years.


The Singapore Art Museum focuses on international contemporary art, particularly Singaporean and Southeast Asian, and is building a highly regarded collection of regional contemporary artwork as well as an expanding international collection.
As a renowned contemporary art museum and among the first in Southeast Asia with international standard facilities and programmes, the museum draws vastly from its collection and periodically associates with contemporary art museums worldwide to co-curate and produce exhibitions, including a wide range of art forms, from paintings and sculptures to installation art and moving media, as well as other cutting edge art expressions.

The museum also provides global exposure to local and regional Contemporary art in the form of a travelling exhibition programme and collection loans. Exhibitions are constantly changing to offer a wide range of sensory experience.

The Singapore Art Museum became incorporated in 2013 and has become pivotal among contemporary art museums of the region.

The museum expanded and started an annexe, SAM at 8Q, on 8 Queen Street nearby, in the former Catholic High School building that turned into six art galleries. There are five food outlets in the two campuses.


1. National Library Board Singapore. (2015, July 30). Former St Joseph’s Institution (Singapore Art Museum). Retrieved from SINGAPORE INFOPEDIA: Link Here

2. Singapore Art Museum. (2015, July 30). About: Overview. Retrieved from SINGAPORE ART MUSEUM: Link Here

3. Singapore Tourism Board. (2015, July 30). SEE & DO: SAM at 8Q. Retrieved from YOURSINGAPORE: Link Here

4. Singapore Tourism Board. (2015, July 30). SEE & DO: Singapore Art Museum. Retrieved from YOURSINGAPORE: Link Here

5. Singart. (2015, July 30). Museums: Singapore Art Museum. Retrieved from SINGART: Link Here

6. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. (2015, June 7 ). Article: Singapore Art Museum. Retrieved from WIKIPEDIA THE FREE ENCYCLOPEDIA: Link Here

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