Shanghai Museum is a large museum of ancient Chinese art. It is sited on the People's Square in the Huangpu District of Shanghai, China.
Ihis museum was founded and first open to the public in 1952 and then moved into the former Zhonghui Building in Henan Road in 1959. In 1992, the Shanghai municipal government allocated to the museum a piece of land at the very center of the city, the People Square, as its new site. This magnificent new Shanghai Museum was open in its entirety to public 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 museum boasts 120,000 pieces of rare and precious cultural relics in 21 categories.
The exterior look of Shanghai Museum
The museum has a collection of over 120,000 pieces, including bronze, calligraphy, ceramics, furniture, jades, paintings, ancient coins, seals, minority art and foreign art, sculptures, etc. The Shanghai Museum houses several items of national importance, including one of three extant specimens of a "transparent" bronze mirror from the Han Dynasty.
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 traditional cultural and the spirit of modern times. When viewed from above, the circular top with a glass dome in the center looks like a huge broze 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 5,000-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 if about 20 tons. These eight sculptures were molded and magnified after the prototypes carefully selected from over 300 stone and bronze sculpture relics of the Han, Sui and Tang Dynasties collected by the interior decorations of 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 this modern electronic commentary and interpretation guide, visitors will better enjoy the artistic beauty if the select works of ancient culture at their own pace while touring around the museum.