Exhibition: Sir Stamford Raffles - Collecting in Southeast Asia 1811-1824

This exhibition CLOSED on Sun, 12th Jan 2020

This exhibition has finished.

Coronavirus: Events may be cancelled and venues closed at short notice, you are advised to check on their websites before making a trip.

Cost: Free of Charge


This exhibition presents the rich variety of objects from Java and Sumatra collected by Sir Stamford Raffles (1781–1826), the British colonial official who founded modern Singapore. Raffles remains a controversial figure – and has been seen as both a committed imperialist and progressive reformer over the decades.

From theatrical puppets and masks to musical instruments and sculpture, this display of his collection explores 19th-century Javanese society and the island’s earlier Hindu-Buddhist traditions. Collected in groups (a practice previously only used in natural history), these objects reveal how Raffles understood – and misunderstood – Southeast Asian cultures. The show also investigates how and why he assembled his collection and touches on ongoing research at the Museum, which aims to shed more light on collecting and colonialism in this part of the world.

Most of Raffles’ Sumatran collection and official and personal papers were lost when his ship sank not long into its return voyage to England in 1824. While not much is known about his collecting practices while in Sumatra because of this, the objects on display in this exhibition provide a vital record of the art and court culture of Java from the 7th to the early 19th centuries.


Contact and Booking Details

More information at this website.

No need to book tickets - just turn up on the day.


Location

The British Museum,

Great Russell Street, London,
WC1B 3DG

Map of The British Museum

 

Other exhibitions open at The British Museum

Hokusai: The Great Picture Book of Everything
In a world-first, a group of rare drawings by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai will go on display at the British Museum.
Hokusai: The Great Picture Book of Everything
10am to 5pm
Russell Square
Closing soon Sun, 30th January
2021-09-30
2022-01-30
Enticing Peaks - Swiss prints from the Lloyd Bequest
A selection of the finest prints from Lloyd's collection that reveal his admiration for the Alpine landscape and his interest in Swiss customs and mythology.
Enticing Peaks - Swiss prints from the Lloyd Bequest
10am to 5pm
Russell Square
Closing soon Sun, 30th January
2021-08-24
2022-01-30
Peru: a journey in time
Step into the vibrant world of Peru and discover how people have thrived for millennia in one of the most complex and challenging environments on the planet.
Peru: a journey in time
10am to 5pm
Russell Square
Ends on Sun 20th February
2021-11-11
2022-02-20
Life in a cup - coffee culture in the Islamic world
Life in a cup presents a fascinating beverage story and explores the traditions that make coffee a way of life in parts of the Islamic world.
Life in a cup - coffee culture in the Islamic world
10am to 5pm
Russell Square
Ends on Sun 18th September
2021-10-27
2022-09-18

 

Exhibitions opening soon at The British Museum

The world of Stonehenge
Informed by recent archaeological and scientific discoveries, this exhibition offers new insight on one of the world’s great wonders, bringing the true story of Stonehenge into sharper focus than ever before.
Open from Thu 17th February to Sun 17th July
The world of Stonehenge
2022-02-17
2022-07-17