SIR STAMFORD RAFFLES

Art Collector and Founder of Singapore


Raffles, whose name is synonymous with a luxury hotel rather than the greatest Buddhist temple in the world, was the enlightened colonial administrator of Java, Indonesia. He discovered the 8th century temple of Borobudur, hidden under volcanic ash, in 1814; acquired wondrous artefacts in Java and founded Singapore, the most important trading port in the East. This lecture tells the story of a scholar and polymath, reveals the temple and its radiant carvings, examines the art objects Raffles collected, and shows the architectural heritage of Singapore and its revival today inspired by him, with its magnificent art galleries and museums.


Denise Heywood is an art historian, author, lecturer, photographer and journalist. She worked in Cambodia in the 1990s and has been a scholar of Southeast Asian art ever since. She has written many books and articles for art, literary and travel publications and lectures for organisations such as the British Museum , the V&A and many more. Denise has led cultural tours to South East Asia for the Royal Academy, the Art Fund, and others.