NATIONAL TEXTILE MUSEUM


1.0 History and Background



Photo: The National Textile Museum after Refurbishment in 2010
Picture taken by Zamri Salleh (USM)


The National Textile Museum is one of the most significant and heritage landmark in the heart of Kuala Lumpur city. Situated at the far corner along Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin (it was previously Victory Avenue) and Street Market in Kuala Lumpur, the National Textile Museum was designed by Arthur Charles Norman (A.C Norman), a British architect at the Public Work Department and was assisted by A.B Hubback, assistant architect from the Public Work Department (PWD) in a grand Mughul-Islamic style. This building was previously occupied by various government departments and institution before it was conserved and refurbished as a museum in October 2007.







In July 2007, this building was gazette as one of the 50 National Heritages by the National Heritage Department, under the National Heritage Department Act 2005. The building is a 2 1/2 storied structure with an area of 3259 m2 and a floor area of 3145.3 m2.

The National Textile Museum building was formerly known as the “Federated Malay States (FMS) Railway Head Office” and its name and function has changed several times since its establishment. The construction of this building began in 1904 and completed on May 1905 and planned by C.E Spooner, the Director of PWD and also General Manager of F. M. S Railway from 1901- 1909 with the help of Ang Sing, a local contractor with the cost of  RM116,122.00.  It was reported that this piece of land was a brick kilns owned by the Captain China, Towkay Yap Ah Loy before year 1886 where they used to make excellent blue bricks. In 1886, this land became the Selangor Government Railway and was used as a warehouse and the first roofed railway station ever built in Selangor (Good Yard Station).



Photo
: The National Textile Museum after Refurbishment in 2010
Picture taken by Zamri Salleh (USM)

The National Textile Museum building is the one of the government building to be built under the “Monumental Buildings Programme” that was initiated by William Maxwell, the 3rd British resident of Selangor, and C.E Sponner, the State Engineer at that time. The programme started with the construction of Sultan Abdul Samad building and ended with Malayan Railway building namely around 1895 to 1917. Due to unsuitable character and ecstatic values for the “Monumental Buildings Programme”, this Railway Head Office, was demolished in 1895 and this piece of land was replaced by the New Central Railway Office in 1905 until 1917. When the railway station was moved to a new building, this National Textile Museum building became the office for the Selangor Public Work Department (PWD). After Shah Alam was selected to be the capital city of Selangor, this building was occupied by Selangor Water Department, Central Bank, Agricultural Bank, Malaysian Craft and was High Court.

In January 2010, the National Textiles Museum has changed its function to house a unique collection of clothing, accessories and textiles. It showcases a collection of rare and exquisite textiles of the multi-ethnic communities of Malaysia. The museum has four main galleries: Pohon Budi Gallery, Pelangi Gallery, Teluk Berantai Gallery and the Ratna Sari Gallery.


2.0 Timeline

Year

Event

Before 1886

It was reported that this piece of land was a brick kilns owned by Yap Ah Loy before year 1886.

1886

The first Selangor Government Railway (SGR) Station was built and it was used as a warehouse.

1891

It became the Selangor Government Railway (SGR) Station and administration office.

1895

Due to unsuitable character and ecstatic values for the “Monumental Buildings Programme”, this Railway Head Office was demolished.

1905 - 1917

This piece of land was replaced by a new building “New Central Railway Office” in 1905 with a cost of $116,122.00. 

1917 - 1984

In 1917 the building was subsequently handed over to the Selangor Public Works department and over the following decades it served as premises for the Selangor Water Department, the Central Bank, Agricultural Bank, Malaysian Craft

1984 – 2007

The building changed its function to High Court.

July 2007

This building was gazette as one of the 50 National Heritages by the National Heritage Department, under the National Heritage Department Act 2005.

2008-2009

This building was refurbished and restored after been gazette as a National Heritage in 2007.

January 2010 - present

In January 2010, the National Textiles Museum has changed its function to house a unique collection of clothing, accessories and textiles.



3.0 References

[Website]

1. Official portal of “Tourism Malaysia”.
Available at: http://www.tourism.gov.my/destinations/detail.php?theme=CH&map_code=textiles&state=kl

2. Official portal of “Department of Museum Malaysia”.
Available at: http://www.jmm.gov.my/en/museum/national-textiles-museum

3. My Batik.
Available at: http://mybatik.org.my/2010/07/national-textile-museum-malaysia/

4. Bubbles Goes Travel Blogspot.
Available at: http://www.bubblesgoestravel.com/2010/10/muzium-tekstil-negara-national-textile.html

5. Malaysia Traveler.
Available at: http://www.malaysia-traveller.com/textile-museum.html

[Other Resource]

1. Document compiled by National Heritage Department. Daftar Warisan Kebangsaan.