Discover the Treasures of the Natural World at ArtScience Museum
An interactive treasure hunt for young visitors runs alongside star specimens on show for the first time in Southeast Asia
Uncover a treasure trove of priceless artefacts and invaluable specimens that have shaped our understanding of the natural world at ArtScience Museum’s latest exhibition – Treasures of the Natural World. Opening on 25 November, the exhibition showcases over 200 of the star objects from the world renowned Natural History Museum in London. Showing in Southeast Asia for the first time, these unique treasures have been hand-picked from over 80 million specimens, representing the best of the museum's collection.
The exhibition takes visitors on a voyage of discovery, through the centuries, from the Enlightenment of the 18th century, through to the present day, showing how pioneering explorers, collectors, and scientists revolutionised our understanding of nature.
Exhibition highlights include a handwritten extract from Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, a magnificent sabre-toothed cat, a Martian meteorite, a mysterious ‘cursed’ amethyst, and a selection of Alfred Russel Wallace’s collection of insects from his Malay Archipelago expedition to Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. The riveting stories behind each treasure are told within the exhibition, with selected treasures brought vividly to life through special effects.
“ArtScience Museum is delighted to partner with the Natural History Museum in London, to present the most extraordinary items from their collection for the first time in Singapore. Together, we have created an exhibition that invites visitors to embark on their own expedition of exploration and discovery, encountering the objects that fired the imaginations of scientific pioneers. Through the interactive treasure trail designed for children, and our programming efforts, we also highlight the importance of the science that the Natural History Museum is engaged in today. The treasures we are showing hold the keys to unlocking the potential of the future through the mysteries of the past,” said Honor Harger, Executive Director of ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands.
“Visitors will depart with a sense of the immense value of natural history collections as they discover for themselves the wonder and curiosity that led natural history pioneers to explore the natural world. British naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace who went to Singapore in the mid-nineteenth century to study the countries diverse fauna was one of these trailblazers, and specimens from his expedition form part of the Treasures of the Natural World exhibition. I hope that visitors enjoy viewing some of the most iconic and scientifically valuable examples of the Natural History Museum’s collections,” said Sir Michael Dixon, Director of the Natural History Museum, London
Treasure Trail for Children
Threading through Treasures of the Natural World is an interactive treasure hunt specially curated by ArtScience Museum to engage children, families and schools. Interactive activities are incorporated to each of the five themed sections of the show. Combining art and science, the treasure hunt adds interactivity and immersion to the exhibition, ensuring it is accessible to visitors of all ages.
The first stop of the treasure hunt is located in the Building Nature's Treasure House gallery. It is designed to spark inquisitiveness, as visitors explore a cabinet of curiosities. The multi-sensory cabinet features tactile drawers, a sound box, a peep hole, a light box, an excavation drawer and kirigami drawers. It is inspired by Sir Hans Sloane, whose vast private collection of natural history specimens formed the basis of the British Museum and later, the Natural History Museum.
The second stop of the treasure trail is located within the Treasures of the Mind gallery. It shines a spotlight on British naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace, and his contributions to the study of evolution. Where’s Wallace is a large wall graphic which invites visitors to find Wallace and 18 hidden collectibles which are inspired by both Wallace’s life and his collection displayed within the gallery. It also features the famous Wallace Line, the faunal boundary line drawn in 1859 by Wallace separating the eco-zones of Asia and Wallacea.
The third gallery of the exhibition, Treasures of Exploration, tells the stories of those who not only had a brilliant mind, but a brave heart and daring spirit. It showcases Captain James Cook’s first voyage to Australia and New Zealand, Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s expedition to reach the South Pole and HMS Challenger’s 1872 exploration of the deep oceans. Each expedition yielded vital scientific evidence which was only attainable as these explorers dared to be pioneers. In this section of the show, visitors can board a specially constructed tall ship, and dream up their own epic voyage as an explorer.
The fourth section of the show, Treasures of Life are Everywhere, reminds us that the beauty and wonder of nature is also fragile and sensitive to change. Extinct creatures, such as the dodo, demonstrate the threat humanity poses to nature’s treasures, and remind us of the vulnerability of animals in our own region. The interactive activity in the fourth gallery is inspired by ArtScience Museum’s augmented reality project, Into the Wild, which raises awareness about the plight of critically endangered species within Southeast Asia. The activity enables visitors to create their own tiger and orangutan, and place their creations within a simulated rainforest.
The exhibition ends with A Museum for A Modern World, which provides visitors with a close look at the scientific pursuits and breakthroughs undertaken by the 350 research scientists working at Natural History Museum. The final interactive activity in the treasure hunt, is a digital laboratory that shows how scientists use natural history to solve problems facing us today.
Emphasising the immersive and interactive nature of the show, younger visitors are also invited to become one of nature's treasures, by dressing up as one of the animals featured in the exhibition.
Programmes over opening weekends of Treasures of the Natural World
In conjunction with the opening of Treasures of the Natural World, visitors can participate in a series of complementary programmes starting from the weekend of 25 November.
ArtScience Museum will be gathering leading conservationists, naturalists, educators and curators to expand our understanding of the diversity of life in a rapidly changing world for Conversations: Underlying Nature, held on the opening day of Treasures of the Natural World.
Treasures of the Natural World will run from 25 November 2017 to 29 April 2018.
Tickets are available at all Marina Bay Sands box offices and website. Terms and Conditions apply. Tickets prices as follows:
For more information on the exhibition, please visit http://www.marinabaysands.com/museum/treasure.html