The Asian Civilisations Museum is the only museum in the region devoted to exploring the rich artistic heritage of Asia, especially the ancestral cultures of Singaporeans. Opened in 1997 and in its present building by the Singapore River since 2003, the museum traces its roots to the Raffles Museum, founded in the middle of 19th century. ACM focuses on the many historical and artistic connections between the cultures of Asia, and between Asia and the world.
Singapore’s history as a port city that brought people together from all over the world is used as a means of examining the history of Asia. Objects on display tell stories of the trade and the exchange of ideas that were the result of international commerce, as well as the flow of religions and faith through Asia.
Asian Civilisation Museum manages the Peranakan Museum.
The Peranakan Museum (TPM) explores the art and culture of Peranakan communities in Southeast Asia and possesses one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of Peranakan objects. Galleries on three floors illustrate the cultural traditions and distinctive visual arts of Peranakans.
Purpose of the Job
The Senior Curator/Curator for Maritime Archaeology will research, interpret, and make accessible to the public ACM’s collections relating to maritime archaeology and the history of maritime trade in Singapore and Southeast Asia.
ACM is custodian of an extensive collection of Chinese and Southeast Asian ceramics, including many found in documented shipwrecks – most prominently, the cargo of the ninth century Tang Shipwreck. Travelling shows from ACM featuring the treasures of the Tang Shipwreck are in high demand from museums all around the world.
These maritime archaeology collections also include more than 9 tonnes of archaeological materials (ceramics, metal and some organic objects) dating to the 14th and the 18th centuries, providing insights into the early maritime trading history of Singapore and the region.
- Lead ACM-TPM curatorial team in designing conceptual frameworks and narrative themes for permanent galleries and special exhibitions relating to maritime archaeology
- Oversee the development of interpretive strategies for permanent galleries and special exhibitions for a wide range of visitors
- Act as overall project manager for local and travelling exhibitions, working collaboratively with collection managers, conservators, designers, and related parties
- Research and maintain a senior level expertise in the museum’s maritime archaeology collections, and act as subject matter expert in responding to queries from internal and external parties
- Conceive, develop, and publish exhibition catalogues, scholarly articles, and related works, including via digital formats
- In-depth involvement in acquisition of new artefacts, maintaining relationships with donors, and securing loans of collections and objects from other institutions and private collectors
- Cultivate and sustain good working relationships with existing and potential patrons, trustees, key stakeholders, and museum colleagues across the country and abroad, as well as with the academic community, art dealers, and collectors.
- Oversee the learning and accessibility programmes
- Develop strong partnerships with various educational institutions to promote the museum’s school programmes
- Work closely with docents to deliver content related to maritime archaeology
- Background in archaeology, applied arts, or art history, with preferably at least five years of work experience in a museum and/or related educational/research institution with equivalent focus on Asian art.
- Express strong interest and possess specialised knowledge in maritime archaeology or ceramics
- Excellent research and writing skills in English. Proficiency in other languages would be advantageous
- Strong organisational, project management, and inter-personal skills, able to work independently and as part of a team
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