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SACM Show Exposes Origins of Museum Booty

by Susi, 16 August 2009

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It’s a fun theme for an exhibition, “Hunters & Collectors.” And an interesting opportunity to consider the history of collecting itself as an anthropological phenomenon.

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The age of plundering in the jungles is over, and attitudes toward cultural property and buccaneerism have shifted 180 degrees. Still, you can relive the romance and recklessness that helped build the Southeast Asian collections at the Singapore Asian Civilisations Museum, an institution which began in 1849 as the Raffles Library.

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Flora and fauna, as well as ethnographica (above), photographs and fine tribal artefacts make up a significant part of the show. On through 21 September.

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