Saturday, June 7, 2008

Shanghai Museum

The Shanghai Museum is located in the People's Square, not far from City Hall.  Its present location dates back to 1996, however, the museum itself has operated since 1952.  The collections contain of 120,000 pieces of Chinese art and artifacts.  The museum is free to enter for all citizens, noting the government mantra that the collection is history and belongs to everyone.  It is a popular tourist destination, and after visiting it, I must say, it should not be missed. 
Some of the more interesting collections include fine Chinese porcelain, bronze sculptures, and coins.  One unique exhibit is dedicated exclusively to minority group art from within China, and this contains some unique ceremonial pieces.  
Another unique floor houses nothing but furniture from the Ming and Qing Dynasties, offering a glimpse of how wealthy Chinese citizens lived in those time periods.
This museum, while large to the casual observer, apparently does not have the same caliber of collections housed in Beijing and in Taiwan.  This once again illustrates the painful divide of the Chinese people, as, the Taiwan museum contains many of the priceless relics taken by Chiang Kai Shek when he fled in 1949.  All in all, however, it is a great museum for exposure to Chinese Art and Culture.

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