The Shanghai Museum is a large museum of ancient Chinese art. The museum was first established in 1952, and in 1992 it acquired a new site on the downtown People's Square. The magnificent new Shanghai Museum was open in its entirety to public visitors in 1996, with eleven galleries and three exhibition halls in a space of over 10,000 square meters. With bronze ware, ceramics, and painting and calligraphy as its distinctive collections, the Shanghai Museum boasts 120,000 pieces of rare and precious cultural relics in twenty-one categories, including bronze ware, ceramics, calligraphy, paintings, sculpture, furniture, jade and ivory carvings, bamboo and wood carvings, lacquer ware, oracle bones, seals, coins, and handicrafts of ethnic art.
The new site of the Shanghai Museum has a construction space of 38,000 square meters with two floors underground and five floors above the ground with a height of 29.5 meters. This grand new building, structured with a square base and a circular top with four arch-shaped handles erected on it, symbolizes the perfect fusion of China's traditional culture and the spirit of modern times. When viewed from above, the circular top with a glass dome in the center looks like a huge bronze mirror of the Han Dynasty. When viewed at a distance, the whole building resembles an ancient bronze ding tripod, shouldering in silence the heavy weight of the five-thousand-year Chinese history and civilization.
The southern entrance of the Shanghai Museum is flanked by eight dignified mighty animals in white-marble sculpture, each with a height of close to three meters and a weight of about twenty tons. These eight sculpture were modeled and magnified after the prototypes carefully selected from over 300 stone and bronze sculpture relics of the Han, Northern and Southern, Sui and Tang Dynasties collected in the museum. The museum's perfect combination of traditional culture and modern architectural style is also fully captured by the interior decoration of the museum. For example, the hall's banisters are designed with interlocked dragon patterns; the even end of each railing is covered with the type of golden dragonhead derived from the Shang bronze design. Following the stoned steps into the hall, you will lose yourself in a mixed feeling of solemnity and joy upon opening the door of history.
The Shanghai Museum has a team of senior experts specializing in research and authentication of cultural relics, as well as in field archaeology. The research team has so far published 94 academic books over the years. Meanwhile, the museum features a modern library with over 200,000 books in the fields of art and history, a laboratory of scientific conservation of cultural relics which has won several prizes of National Science and Technology Achievement, a studio for restoring and mounting works of ancient Chinese painting and calligraphy, a studio for repairing and restoring ancient bronze and ceramic works, and a multi-functional international conference hall equipped with a simultaneous interpretation system.
The Archaeological Department of the Shanghai Museum undertakes the work of archaeological excavation in the Shanghai area. The archaeologists of the department have discovered twenty-seven historical sites raging in age from the Neolithic Age to the Warring States Period. They have also unearthed over 500 ancient tombs spanning from the Neolithic Age to the Ming and Qing Dynasties, which provides evidence in support of conclusion that Shanghai has a history of six thousand years.
The museum attaches great importance to international cultural exchanges, and has held thirty-nine art exhibitions of Chinese cultural relics in sixteen countries and regions in Asia, Europe, North America and Australia, and hosted thirty art exhibitions from foreign countries and regions. These activities have played a positive role in promoting the fine traditions of Chinese culture in the world and providing channels for the Chinese to know about foreign cultures. Actively engaged in international academic exchanges, the museum has sent more than one hundred specialists and scholars to participate in international academic conferences and seminars in recent years. At the same time, the museum has organized a number of academic symposiums on its premise.
The museum boasts a modern theater equipped with an advanced video projection system and a large high-definition display screen, through which visiting researchers of cultural relics will have a better idea of the best collection with the museum. As a special tour and guide service to regular visitors, the museum offers an audio tour of the museum's finest exhibits making use of the digital random access technology available in eight languages. With the help of his modern electronic commentary and interpretation guide, visitors will better enjoy the artistic beauty of the select works of ancient culture at their own pace while touring round the museum.
|Ancient container||Ancient plate||Ancient tripod|
|Band of the wedding ceremony in old times||Carapace bone script||Dance and music performance|
|Treasure containers with eight bulls||White glaze jar||Wine vessel|
Shanghai Museum is one of the four biggest museums in China. Its exhibits range from the New Stone Age to the modern time including the Chinese cultural relics and the western artworks. The resplendent history of the six-thousand-year Chinese art is roundly well presented in this museum. It is considered the window to see through the great oriental civilization. Shanghai Museum is a must see for your Shanghai tour!