The Penang Museum has had to face many battles before it became what it is today. The museum’s history started in 1941 when a small establishment was started at St. Xavier’s institution. However this did not last long as all exhibits on display were destroyed during the war. The effort to revive this site was undertaken in 1956 by a certain Mr. R.P. Bingham who displayed a collection at a house in Northam Road; unfortunately fate did not favour it and with the demolition of the house the specimens were lost.
Finally the establishment ran into some luck and on the 14th of April 1965, after facing many an obstacle, the Penang State Museum and Art Gallery was officially opened in the building that once housed countless young pupils at a site that was named the Penang Free School and later the Hutchings School. By this endeavour not only did the museum find a suitable building but this old architectural structure that was once where knowledge was passed to thousands of minds, could continue to do so and be preserved in the form of a museum.
The permanent exhibits at the museum include artefacts such as ancient Baulu moulds in the shape of fish and Putu Mayang moulds; the latter was used to prepare culinary dishes from flour. An assortment of carpentry tools, a hand written Koran, military weapons and equipment used for agriculture are all on display. Domestic items such as brass kettles, charcoal irons, and beetle boxes in beautiful shapes will intrigue you along with exquisite brooches, stamps and silver bowls used during betrothal ceremonies.
The permanent collection in the art gallery is nothing less than impressive too. Beautiful paintings by artists in the likes of Chong Hip Seng, Loo Foh Sang, and Angela Smith are displayed alongside many other local and international artists from countries such as India, Malaysia, Brazil, USA, Germany and many others. There are also historical paintings by Captain R. Elliot, Admiral Theodore Auguste Fisquet, all capturing early scenes of Penang.
An ideal Penang hotel from which to explore the city and visit this site would be Copthorne Orchid Hotel Penang. This Tanjung Bungah Hotel Penang offers a great starting point to your adventures and excursions.
Chandrishan Williams is a travel writer who writes under the pen name, Caleb Falcon. He specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+