State of the Art—Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition

Over 2,500 sq. m. in nine gallery spaces are recreated to narrate the ship’s birth, loss and rediscovery. The exhibition’s curators have adopted a linear chronological style in retracing the dramatic story of the 46,328-ton vessel, one of the largest of its era and infamously labeled as unsinkable ahead of its tragic voyage.
Before boarding the ship, visitors are invited to adopt the persona of actual passengers—each furnished with short biographies—whose destinies on that fateful night are revealed on a manifest near the exhibition’s end.
Over 275 artifacts recovered from the wreckage are on show, including items like crockery, banknotes, decorative fittings, a gold pocket watch, postcards, shoes, a cravat and even a suit case containing vials of perfume.
“The case had belonged to Adolphe Saalfeld—a German-born perfumer who was taking the samples to America to seek his fortune,” said Tom Zaller, Museum Director for ArtScience Museum.
It’s easy to reimagine the grandeur of the Titanic as you saunter through the first four galleries, including an intricate replica of the ocean liner’s fabled Grand Staircase replete with detailed carvings and bronze cherub. But the harsh realities of the socioeconomic situation are exemplified in the third-class quarters recreated near the ship’s boiler room. As a moving homage, the wall is adorned with images of the four heroic boiler workers who risked their lives to save others.
Set sail at Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition through April 29, 2012 at ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands.