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Henan Museum

August 17th, 2006 No comments
A rose-purple Chinese flowering crabapple style ceramic flower pot unearthed in Yu County, Henman Province

A rose-purple Chinese flowering crabapple style ceramic flower pot unearthed in Yu County, Henman Province

Address: Henan Province, Zhengzhou City, Nongye Road, #8

The Henan Museum is one of China’s oldest museums. It is a ‘key’ museum, with modern displays and exhibitions, modernized equipment, and a unique architecture. In 1961, along with the move of the provincial capital to Zhengzhou, it moved to its current location. In 1991 that museum was remodeled and in 1999 the official reopening was held, when the name was officially declared the Henan Museum.

The new Henan Museum is set in the central section of Nongye Road in Zhengzhou City, Henan Province. It covers an area of more than 100,000 square meters, with a building area of 78,000 square meters.
The exhibition hall space is more than 10,000 square meters. The building uses a combination of both traditional architecture and path breaking new technology.
Henan is situated in the middle reaches of the Yellow River. Its ancient name is Zhongzhou, or central region. It is one of the important areas for the rise of the Chinese people’s early

A Warring States period gold-plating silver belt hook inlaid with jade unearthed in Hui County, Henan Province

A Warring States period gold-plating silver belt hook inlaid with jade unearthed in Hui County, Henan Province

The representative display in the main hall of the Henan Museum

The representative display in the main hall of the Henan Museum

civilization. Because of this, exhibitions in this museum are mostly related to the ancient history and culture of the Henan region, including objects, historical traces, ancient architecture, archaeological discoveries and arts and crafts.

In the past several decades, the collecting, protection, research, and exhibition of this museum’s artifacts as well as their promotion and educational material on them have seen great advances. Objects from the Museum’s collections have

traveled to America, Japan, England, Germany, France, Australia, and Denmark for exhibition and have been widely praised. The Henan Museum applies modern management systems, its security systems of surveillance and alarms are consolidated into a central unit, to ensure the safety of the objects. The automatic management system of the buildings can monitor and adjust all of the surveillance and condition systems of the various buildings. This enables ambient environmental conditions to be monitored and adjusted, to protect the collections and exhibited objects and to control the required levels of temperature and humidity.

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Cultural Palace of Minorities

October 1st, 2005 No comments

Address: Beijing, Fuxingmennei Dajie, #49

 

The exterior of the Cultural Palace of Minorities in Beijing

The exterior of the Cultural Palace of Minorities in Beijing

The Cultural Palace of Minorities is located on the west end of Chang’an Street, in Beijing. This is a focal point where all the nationalities of the country can come together for cultural exchange: it is a microcosm of the greater family of diverse peoples that make up China. The building occupies some 30,000 square meters and is a multistoried tower-like structure. It stands 13 stories high and has two wings that flank the central hall.

Some 30,000 objects constitute the collections of the Museum, including scripts, costumes, and handicrafts that relate to minority peoples. The territory from which they are drawn extends to Tibet,
Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Guangxi, Ningxia, Yunnan and Guizhou. The material encompasses artifacts from all 56 of modern China’s ethnic minorities. It also includes historical objects

Minorities’ garments displayed in the Cultural Palace of Minorities in Beijing

Minorities’ garments displayed in the Cultural Palace of Minorities in Beijing

from peoples who once lived on the same territories including Xiongnu,Dangxiang, Qidan, Dian peoples among others. Traditional clothes are a particularly striking part of the collection.

There is also a wealth of religious artifacts relating to every kind of religion in China. Among the objects from Tibet are scriptures, documents, laws, treaties and books that constitute an invaluable historical record. Historical relics are also held in this museum. They include musical instruments dating to the Tang dynasty, armor from the Yuan dynasty, items from the Western Xia, weapons from the Qing dynasty, and so on.

A corner of minorities’ cultural exhibition hall in Cultural Palace of Minorities in Beijing

A corner of minorities’ cultural exhibition hall in Cultural Palace of Minorities in Beijing

Based on these collections, the Museum has held exhibitions of ancient scripts,costumes, bronze drums, and a great diversity of other topics. As an example, an exhibition of the Tong minority of Guizhou showed local architecture using not only actual objects but models of architectural sites. It brought in young Dong boys and girls to dance, play instruments, and perform so that the audience could feel they were situated in the deep mountain passes of the Dong people.

An extensive library of books in twenty-four different national minority languages is located in the basement of the Museum. The languages include Han, Mongolian, Tibetan, Korean, Uighur, Kazakh, and others, in some 400,000 volumes. Among these are rarely seen scripts, and artistic works of great value in the form of golden sutras, carved woodblocks, manuscripts, paintings and early rubbings. These have scientific as well as artistic value, in narrating the history of the cultures of all of China’s people.

Shaanxi History Museum

August 17th, 2005 No comments

Address: Shaanxi Province, Xi’an City, Yanta Road, #70

A Tang-triple-color ceramic camel that carries a small musical band on its back with a female performer standing in the middle singing and dancing

A Tang-triple-color ceramic camel that carries a small musical band on its back with a female performer standing in the middle singing and dancing

The Shaanxi History Museum is situated on Yan Ta Road in Xi’an City, Shaanxi Province. It covers 65,000 square meters, with a building area of 60,000 square meters. The newly built modern building recreates Tang-dynasty architecture and successfully symbolizes the great extent of Shaanxi history and its remarkable culture.

Exhibited in the main exhibition hall are 2,700 works of art, with an exhibition line that extends 2,300 meters. The exhibition space is divided into an introductory hall, permanent exhibitions, special exhibitions, and temporary exhibitions, as well as one that has been named the National Painting Hall.

The Museum’s permanent exhibition primarily displays Shaanxi’s ancient history. Representative pieces from all periods have been selected to show the development of civilization in this region. The exhibition space of this display is 4,600 square meters. It includes three exhibition rooms, divided into seven parts (Prehistory, Zhou, Qin, Han, Wei-Jin-North and South dynasties, Sui-Tang, and Song-Yuan-Ming-Qing). The superlative 2,000 selected objects include: painted Neolithic ceramics reflecting early people’s living conditions and their pursuit of vibrant art forms, bronzes
reflecting the rise of Zhou people, bronze weapons including swords, and statuary of horses and soldiers, reflecting the

A Tang-dynasty gold bowl with lotus petal carving unearthed in Xian

A Tang-dynasty gold bowl with lotus petal carving unearthed in Xian

way in which Qin unified all under heaven, Tang-dynasty gold and silver objects and Tang sancai ceramics, reflecting the most flourishing period of feudal glory. All of this is accompanied by models of archaeological sites, and drawings, and photographs.

These works systematically exhibit the ancient history of Shaanxi from 150,000 years ago to the year 1840. Since several historical periods all based their capitals on Shaanxi territory, such
as Zhou, Qin, Western Han, Sui and Tang, the exhibits emphasize these periods and these places.
This not only expresses the extent of culture in ancient Shaanxi, it also displays the highest level of cultural development of China’s social economy.

A bronze ox zun (a kind of ancient wine vessel) of the Western Zhou Dynasty unearthed in Qishan County, Shaanxi Province.

A bronze ox zun (a kind of ancient wine vessel) of the Western Zhou
Dynasty unearthed in Qishan County,
Shaanxi Province.

The temporary exhibits hall, located on the east side of the museum, has had a variety of exhibitions including Tang-tomb wall paintings, that is to say 39 of the actual paintings. Shaanxi’s wall murals of this kind rank first in the entire country. They are fluid in concept and line, they have marvelous details, and they both depict Tang customs and are superb works of art. The special exhibition hall is located on the west side of the museum. Its first two exhibitions were a Shaanxi bronzes exhibit (260 were on display) and a Shaanxi-through-the-dynasties terracotta masterpieces exhibit (341 objects were exhibited). The area of this hall is around 2,600 square meters.

The Shaanxi History Museum contains 115,000 objects in its collections. The more representative of these include bronzes, Tang-dynasty tomb wall paintings, terracotta statuary, ceramics (pottery and porcelain), construction materials through the dynasties, Han and Tang bronze mirrors, and coins and currency, calligraphy, rubbings, scrolls, woven articles, bone articles, wooden and lacquer and iron and stone objects, seals, as well as some contemporary cultural relics and ethnic objects.

Taipei Palace Museum

August 4th, 2005 No comments
Mao Gong ding ( a kind of ancient vessel)

Mao Gong ding ( a kind of ancient vessel)

Address: Taiwan, Taipei City, Shilin Wai Shuangxi Zhishan Lu Er Duan, #221

The Taipei Palace Museum is located in the northwestern part of Taipei City, facing Shuangxi Park and surrounded by verdant trees and rolling hills. The palace was constructed as a replica of the Beijing Palace Museum. It has an area of more than 10,000 square meters and is grand and imposing in haracter.

Approximately some 620,000 historical items and works of art are stored here, in a magnificent four-storied building. The construction of the Taipei Palace Museum was begun in 1962 and completed in the summer of 1965. Some 240,000 of the items that are kept here originally belonged to the Beijing Palace Museum.In 1949, 3,824 crates of objects were moved to Taiwan. Among these were the great treasures of ‘hua-xia,’ a term that also means China, but in a more comprehensive cultural sense, including Shang and Zhou bronzes, jades, works of calligraphy from Jin and Tang dynasties onward, paintings from Tang and Song dynasties onward, ceramics from famous kilns from Song and Yuan dynasties onward, bamboo items, rare books, documents from the Qing dynasty, as well as sculptures, jades, lacquer works, enamels, and so on.

Most of the items on display are shown in the main building of the museum. This building is divided into four levels, with

The jade Chinese cabbage displayed in the Taipei Palace Museum

The jade Chinese cabbage displayed in the Taipei Palace Museum

the main entrance being on the second floor. The great hall of the second floor has a bronze bust of Sun Zhongshan (Sun Yatsen), made as a replica of the one in Nanjing at Sun Yatsen’s tomb. All around this sculpture hang very famous paintings and works of calligraphy; in the corridor leading to Sun Yatsen are two of the most famous long scrolls in the history of Chinese art.

Several national treasures are on the must-see list for visitors. Among these is the Mao Gong ding dating from Western Zhou, unearthed during the latter years of the Qing dynasty in the Daoguang reign (1850) in the province of Shaanxi. The height of this ding is 53.8 centimeters and its diameter is 47.9 centimeters. It has three legs or feet and two upright handles or ears. Its ornamentation is very simple as is the exterior. On the inside of the Ding is an inscription of 491 characters – the longest inscription of any known Chinese bronze.

A large number of calligraphies and paintings by famous painters are exhibited in the Taipei Palace Museum. These include Li Gonglin (1049-1106, notable Song-dynasty painter), Chen Juzhong (years of birth and death unclear, a Southern-Song painter), Qiu Ying (around 1509-1551, a Ming-dynasty painter), Wang Hui (1632-1717, an early Qing-dynasty painter), Fan Kuan (around 950-1027, Song-dynasty painter), Guo Xi (1023-around 1085, Song-dynasty painter), Wang Xizhi (303-361) and so on.
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