Penang State Museum and Art Gallery

Penang State Museum and Art Gallery

Penang State Museum and Art Gallery
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About
Penang State Museum and Art Gallery Officially open in 1962, the Museum houses a fine collection of old photographs, maps, charts and other historical relics. There are also Malay daggers (keris), Chinese furniture, embroidery and paintings of old Penang. At the Penang State Museum there are also interesting sections which recounts the bloody nine days of rioting between Chinese secret societies in 1867, attributed by bewildered British authorities to a rambutan-throwing incident. Georgetown suffered a near civil war before the administrators took a firm hand. The societies were heavily fined and the proceeds used to build police stations which subsequently kept the peace. The Penang State Art Gallery on the other hand is situated at a different premise which is at Dewan Sri Pinang, Light Street, a stone thrown away from the Museum premise . There are two Art Galleries which is situated in Dewan Sri Pinang. The Art Gallery on the Ground floor displays the works of local artists and is the venue for special exhibitions meanwhile the exhibition hall at the 3rd Floor housed the Permanent Collection which comprises of paintings donated or bought from the artists.
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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles257 reviews
Excellent
56
Very good
125
Average
54
Poor
12
Terrible
10

Nomadman411978
London, UK3,144 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Solo
The Penang State museum is currently in the the old hospital building in McAllister Road whilst the main museum building is being renovated which I was told could take several years.
So the current museum is really makeshift with just a fraction of the items of the museum being exhibited in McAlister Road. There is something of the history of the island and some historical exhibits relating to the various communities. Entrance is only one RM and will take around 30 minutes.
Written June 28, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Choo-Beng G
Singapore, Singapore374 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2018 • Friends
Pity. I had looked forward to visiting this place as I had heard that they have sown rare artefacts from the now demos lived stately mansions of Penang. Also they have a sterling collection of Peranakan antiques as well.
Imagine my disappointment getting there on a sunny afternoon to see that the place is still closed. I didn’t manage to get to the temporary venue at MacAlister Street.
Written July 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ayllim
Adelaide, Australia112 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2019 • Solo
According to the Star newspaper dated 25 March 2017, the museum will remain closed for 3 years for major renovation works.
There is a temp museum at 57 Macalister Rd but nowhere as good.
Pity the Musuem staff cannot be bothered to update their website and Facebook to clearly state this basic bit of information!
Or to correctly say that they are closed during Public Holidays!
Written January 1, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

emmeister
Singapore, Singapore182 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2017 • Solo
The museum ia closed for developmental works till November 2017. The temporaet museum is now located at 57 Macalister Road occupying a former hospital. Nothing much on display at the moment unless you are interested in the history of the building.
Written September 6, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mukherjee_av
Kolkata (Calcutta), India67 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2012 • Family
Located on Lebuh Farquhar, entry fees are RM1/-. A great way to spend some quality time looking at the heritage of Penang. Some cars used by important people are also on show including the one which was fired upon.
Written January 27, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ACEY1
Rugeley, UK32 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018 • Couples
The main building is closed for renovation so it’s been moved. 1MR per person but there’s nothing really here.

B block has a nice calligraphy image of a ship, two beds, some clothes, tiffins and a video of I think a wedding. Well presented, air conditioned but no information explaining the exhibit or its purpose.

C block has a mock classroom. There are replicas of the Free School newsletter which have some interesting and dated articles (especially when it comes to women and education). Some information about the Free School of Penang and photographs of the staff. There is also an exhibit of young adults reinventing the traditional tiffin case.

It’s all air conditioned, places to sit in C block. If you have a spare 1MR and want 10-20mins escape from the humidity then crack on but I wouldn’t make the effort to visit.
Written December 27, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

castiel21
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia778 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2017 • Family
My kids really excited to the visit the museum and to learn more about penang history.

It's really difficult to park our vehicle because lack of parking space. We had no other choice but to park at fort Cornwallis's parking lot. Nearly 10 minutes walk.

When we arrived at the museum, we saw a notice stating the museum was closed for renovation until july. Really frustrated. They should do partial renovation or maybe do it not during the peak season.

But no matter what, they should provide ample parking space.
Written May 3, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

angooredcow
Springfield510 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2014 • Couples
This is not your typical museum as we know it in the western world. It does not have big windows, fancy lighting, huge glass cases, interactive displays, many levels of exhibits, and priceless objects. This is just a simple small museum housed either in an old school or next to a school called Hutchings Primary School.

It is in town and an easy walk from any part of downtown. It is almost adjacent to the historic Anglican Church and diagonally across from one of the oldest girls' school in Malaysia, The Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus. It is also a short walk from the Temple of the Goddess of Mercy and the Esplanade. You will pass many frangipani trees with beautiful fragrant white flowers. Stop to smell the flowers. Just be aware of the punitive heat which will slow you down.

The admission price is very small, more like a donation to the cause rather than a fee. It is worth a visit because it captures Penang's past which is quickly fading due to overdevelopment and a disregard for history.

There are beautiful artifacts from all three cultures -- Chinese, Indian, and Malay. Some of them are impressive and definitely, interesting. As you stroll from exhibit to exhibit, you will get a very good sense of what it was like in Penang not too long ago. Some things are still in existence in contemporary Penang but much of that particular lifestyle has sadly and definitely disappeared.

So much more can be done for this museum to make it a real museum, in every sense of the word. I am not sure, however, whether there is a lack of meaningful artifacts, a shortage of skilled curators to present the museum more effectively or a limited budget or disinterest. Much more can be done to reflect Penang's past. But, on the brighter side of things, this museum is at least a step and an effort in the right direction to showcase Penang before it is too late.

The museum is an educational and cultural lesson for tourists. It is down memory lane for the older Malaysians. A rich historical past has given way to alas, a modern life.

The building is air-conditioned, an escape from the heat, to say the least. There are cold drinks sold and clean bathrooms.

As part of a well-rounded visit to Penang, the Penang State Museum and Art Gallery is highly recommended.
Written April 29, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Myo M
Coquitlam, Canada26,861 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016 • Solo
Was really "pretty surprised" when they asked me one ringgit for admission since I knew by that time that the admissions for pretty much all the sites on the island were like between 20 & 30 ringgit (except like the temples which are totally free), and yes I was surprised again when I got inside and saw the "fairly comprehensive" displays that mainly focus on the "social history" of the island (the lower floor's displays kind of center around the theme of "marriage" with settings of bridal rooms & such for different ethnic groups, whereas the upper floor's displays are about various social aspects of the day-to-day life in the colonial 19th & 20th centuries with knowledge to gain of things like how the "coffee culture" of Malaysia came about and their education system "for all" regardless of ethnic group or religion as it has been since the early days of the colonial settlement on the island). And so although not as much as I would have liked to learn (more "political history" would be nice although there are displays pertaining to it here & there), I can definitely say that I learned the history of Penang more at this place than at the other place of the same idea, namely Penang Time Tunnel (not too far from here) that cost me like 27 ringgit for the displays that were kind of "uninteresting" I think mainly because of the cramped setting (although that place has a 3-D fun section as well and not just a history museum like this).

And nearby, pretty much just next door to the left after coming out of this place is Church of the Assumption (with an outdoor shrine for Virgin Mary but with just a "pretty modest" interior without anything ornate or glittering as at some churches) and then just a little further walk (with a left turn when you get to Lebuh Leith) will bring you to the blue-colored Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (although if you're pressed for time, I would much rather suggest the light-green-colored Pinang Peranakan Mansion on Lebuh Church which is a lot more worth it than the blue one); also there's St. George's Church (with its beautiful front pillars & a little lovely pavilion for Francis Light) pretty much just next door to the right after coming out of this place, so in fact this museum is "between two churches" namely St. George's on one side and Assumption on the other.

Coming by bus, it's just about a 20-to-25-minute walk from the Komtar terminal where every bus on the island gets to (go straight along Jalan Penang after getting off the bus until getting to the 3-way intersection with Lebuh Chulia and Lebuh Leith where you take Leith followed by a right turn onto Lebuh Farquhar where you'll first pass Church of the Assumption on your right before getting here).
Written March 29, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tenderlife
KL55 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2016
There are a lot of fake reviews. The rankings in Penang things to do is rigged. One of the better things to do in Penang. Also one of the better museums in Penang and its only RM1. It not very well organized, but it is highly recommended to visit this museum to get some basic understanding about the history of Penang before visiting other sites.
Written February 13, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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