Monday, January 2, 2012

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition

I belonged to the era where Titanic was being screened for the first time in 1997. This is about all I remember of the movie.

So, when I saw that Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition was coming to Singapore, I knew I couldn't miss this exhibition.

Here's a promotional video.
p.s. Since photography is not allowed in the museum, I would be leeching from different sources, but due credit will be given. Kindly inform me if you would like the pictures to be taken down.  

These are a few highlights of the exhibition.

1) Passenger ticket 
Before you enter the exhibition, the people at the door will hand you a ticket of a real passenger who boarded Titanic. Towards the end of the exhibition, you will check from a board whether the person survived the sinking of Titanic. Mine was Miss Jean Gertrude Hippach, who was travelling Europe with her mother trying to recover from the loss of two brothers in the Chicago Iroquois Theater fire.

2) Disparity between different classes
The disparity between different classes was a very prominent theme throughout the exhibition. For example, there were reconstructions of parts of the ship. These included the first class and third class rooms. I obviously would have belonged to the third class rooms in modern era- this is the kind of rooms I stayed in hostels while touring USA!

(photo credit: Science Museum of Minnesota)

(photo credit: The Travel Editor)

3) Construction of the Titanic 
The construction of the Titanic is the first thing you see when you enter the museum. Honestly, not that interesting for me. It's not as if I'm interested in building a ship or anything. But if anything this place shows you, it's the incredible dreams that people from a century ago harbour and the hope they have for a better future. Many actually believed that the Titanic was unsinkable. This is Captain Edward Smith, who unfortunately perished.

(photo credit: Premier Exhibitions Inc)

4) Artifacts
Here is where stories of people, people who were once on board the Titanic, come alive. The ones who wanted to start life anew, the ones who wanted to make it big in another land etc. Perfume bottles, necklaces, socks are all part of the stories left behind. Just read on wallstreetjournal a few days ago that the owner of the artifacts is putting the vast collection up for auction.

(photo credit: Associated Press)

I have covered very brief stuff about the exhibition in this blog post, otherwise it won't be fun when you go there yourself! Many people have described this exhibition as "haunting". More than that, if you think deeper, you will observe many societal norms from these facts- differences in treatment between first and third class passengers, women and children allowed to leave the boat first etc. Are these justified? It also narrates interweaving stories of ambition, love and heroism.

Click here for admission charges, OCBC card 20% off. If possible, go when it's less crowded (i.e. weekday mornings/afternoons), otherwise you will be jostling with the crowd to read the fine print describing everything. I would have preferred for admission charge to be cheaper, but I suppose it's also partly due to the fact that I have been too spoilt by the free National Heritage Board museum visits for students to the other museums, including the National Museum and Singapore Art Museum!

Just to round off this post, the person whose ticket I'm holding survived the sinking!

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition 
Art Science Museum
10 Bayfront Avenue
Tel: +65 6688 8826


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