Among the many sites not to be missed when you visit Shanghai is the Shanghai Museum. Filled with breathtakingly beautiful ancient Chinese art, it houses three exhibition halls along with eleven galleries. From the stunning bronze created during the Zhou and Shang dynasties to the truly exquisite furniture of the Qing and Ming dynasties, the museum’s expansive art collection boasts more than 120,000 pieces and offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of works created during a range of Chinese dynasties. The fact that it is located in such close proximity to the Radisson Blu Shanghai New World makes this museum a particularly convenient choice if you are a traveller who enjoys exploring the city’s sights on foot.
The Shanghai Museum Building
The beauty of the Shanghai Museum encompasses more than its galleries and exhibition halls. The building itself is architecturally striking, from the round design of its upper structure to the four-level atrium on which it is centred, including intricately designed iron and brass railings. With each level of the museum containing different galleries, there is artistry to interest virtually every art aficionado.
Shanghai Museum’s Galleries
Unlike the majority of China’s museums, the Shanghai Museum’s galleries categorize the art by theme rather than by dynasty, making it easy for you to find the precise types of items that appeal to you.
On the first level, you will find the Sculpture Gallery, featuring 120 sculptures that range from the Eastern Han Dynasty’s beautifully executed kneeling flautist playing a bamboo flute to several extraordinary Buddha statues. Similarly, the Bronze Gallery’s collection of more than 400 pieces showcases outstanding items, such as the wine vessels with animal masks as well as unusual food containers, both of which were used solely by royalty and other nobility.
For pottery enthusiasts, the Chinese Ceramics Gallery on the second floor will entice you with its displays of more than 500 painted and unpainted ceramic pieces, ranging from the Tang Dynasty’s tricolour pottery to the porcelain that typifies the Ming Dynasty.
The Chinese Calligraphy Gallery, Painting Gallery and Seal Gallery are all located on the third level and provide the history of Chinese writings through 1,500 marvellous scrolls that date back to the Shang Dynasty. They also house 120 paintings in elaborate and simple line-drawn styles along with stone seals used by emperors to stamp official documents.
Rounding out the galleries are the Chinese Currency Gallery, Jade Gallery, Ming and Qing Furniture Gallery and Minority Nationalities’ Art Gallery on the fourth floor. With more than 7,000 coins and countless collections of carved jade, well-preserved furniture, embroidery, textiles, lacquer ware and wooden masks, there is no lack of artistic offerings.
Visiting the Shanghai Museum
Providing visitors with a window into the history and the culture of China, the Shanghai Museum is one of the most fascinating places to visit in Shanghai. You may well want to visit more than once, allowing you time to take in all that the museum offers.
Keywords/Tags: China, Shanghai, Shanghai Museum, Culture, History, Travel.