Maintaining Heritage Series | Colonial Botanic Gardens

Date: 06 June 2012, Wednesday
Time: 7.00pm - 9.00pm
Venue: NUS Museum

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This talk will touch upon the beginnings of botanic gardens in Singapore from the time of Sir Stamford Raffles and the first Agri-Horticultural Soceity. The purpose and history of colonial botanic gardens will be described, with particular reference to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew as the imperial hub of this British network, and thereby set the context for the development of the Singapore Botanic Gardens (SBG) in the 19th century through to modern times.

The critical role played by SBG in the early economic development of Malaysia and the SE Asian region will be addressed and the Gardens' cultural significance justified in relation to a desire to see it inscribed as a future World Heritage Site.

About the Speaker
Dr Nigel Taylor took up his post as Director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens (National Parks Board) in September 2011. Prior to this, his entire career was developed at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England, where he was first employed as a botanical scientist in 1977, studying the Garden's living collection.

In 1955, he was made Curator of the Royal Botanic Gardens, and directed the horticulture and public education teams during a period of major change, leading the inscription process for the Gardens as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003 and subsequently helping grow visitor numbers to 1.5 million.

In the latter part of his tenure at Kew, he became a key media spokesman for the Gardens and an authority on their history, besides managing a series of major projects, including a new Alpine House, the Tree Top Walkway and Landscape Master Plan.

This talk is held in conjunction with the exhibition Capturing the Straits: Painting and Postcard Views from the 19th and Early 20th Centuries.

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