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Open Call: Life in Singapore, 1920s - 1990s

The National Museum is expanding our public engagement efforts to crowdsource objects from residents in Singapore for our Life in Singapore galleries, and to broaden our national collection. The Life in Singapore galleries present snapshots of everyday life in Singapore throughout the different eras in Singapore’s history. These galleries closed in 2023 for a refresh and will re-open in 2026 with new artefacts and stories from their respective eras.


The Open Call is centered around themes include:


  • Women’s lives in the 1920s-1930s 

  • Daily life during the Japanese occupation from 1942 to 1945

  • Children’s experiences in the 1950s-1960s 

  • Singaporeans’ consumption of leisure, entertainment and graphic design from the late 1960s to early 1990s


The National Museum encourages Singaporeans to contribute to this project by donating their historical items to the national collection and reflecting on life in Singapore in the past. Some of these items may even be featured in the refreshed Life in Singapore galleries in 2026.

Examples of objects include items used by women at work, school, or home in the 1920s to 1930s, documents issued or photographs taken during the Japanese Occupation, home-made toys or youths’ clothing from the 1950s-1960s or programmes and posters from television or theatre shows in the late 1960s to early 1990s. Other items relating to the themes shared are welcome too!

Click here for examples of objects that the museum is seeking

All submissions received will be assessed based on the relevance to the theme and how representative or significant it is, in terms of revealing a fuller, more in-depth or particularly meaningful or interesting picture of how people in Singapore lived their daily lives in the 1920s to 1990s.

This public call runs from now until 15 May 2024.


Submission details

The National Museum welcomes the public to share your objects and related stories/photos with us!

Click here to submit your entry!

Relevant contributions may be featured in future exhibitions presented by the museum. The curatorial team will get in touch at an appropriate time to follow up on suitable submissions.

For further queries, please contact the museum’s Curatorial team at NHB_NMS_Curatorial@nhb.gov.sg.
Please note that unsolicited donations sent through the mail or otherwise without prior correspondence with our curators will not be accepted.

Click here for FAQs and Terms & Conditions