Perhaps the playground with slides, swings and seesaws was preferred when your child was younger. Perhaps their eyes lit up at a place where they could run around and play tag, but perhaps they’re growing up now and needing to roam over centuries and continents as well. One place where such roaming may be accomplished in condensed form is a museum, and if you’ve been living in Beijing but never took a family trip to the National Museum of China on Chang’an Avenue, it might be a trip worth considering this summer. Exhibitions include these topics: traditional Tibetan medicine, the Silk Road, modern Chinese culture celebrities, Venice, Emperor Qianlong, calligraphy, state gifts, African sculptures, ancient Chinese works, Chinese money, and artwork in wood, porcelain, jade, and stone.
National Museum of China
Tuesday-Sunday, 9am-5pm. Free ticket with valid id. Tickets issued until 3.30pm. 16 East Chang’an Avenue, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100006 (Official Website)
Summaries of Current Exhibitions:
The Four-Volume Medical Code Wall Chart Series – Niangben’s Thangka Art Exhibition
This is an exhibition on a comprehensive documentation of traditional Tibetan medicine. It includes explanations of basic theories, information about human anatomy and physiology, methods for diagnosis, as well as recommendations for the prevention and treatment of diseases. This branch of study is considered an important non-material cultural heritage.
Ending October 7 – The Silk Road and Russian Ethnic Cultural Heritage
This exhibition is a collaboration between the Russian Museum of Ethnography and the National Museum of China. In this exhibition, you may glimpse the 594 exhibits provided by the Russian Museum of Ethnography, which may give you a look into the cultures of southern Russia, between the Black Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
Waxwork Art Exhibition of Chinese Modern Culture Celebrities
By providing information about historical background, societal and academic contributions and relations, personal histories, and interpersonal relationships of various important figures in modern Chinese history, this exhibition aims to take a visually engaging approach to helping visitors gain a deeper understanding of modern Chinese culture and how it was formed by the individuals who resided within it.
Venice and the Venetian School
Explore 400 years of Venetian painting—look at periods of history such as the baroque period and the Age of Enlightenment via the lens of painting and how various styles evolved through different shades and hues, as countless brushstrokes of paint applied countless ways throughout the passage of time.
Digital Display of Emperor Qianlong’s Southern Inspection Tour, a classical painting from the National Museum of China Collection
This painting contains 12 scrolls and depicts scenes from Emperor Qianlong’s first time inspecting south China. This happened in 1751, when the emperor decided to accompany the Empress Dowager on her southwards trip. The emperor traveled to Shaoxing from Beijing and then returned to Beijing. He traveled for 112 days and in that period of time wrote over 520 poems.
Calligraphy Works of Ancient China from the National Museum of China Collection
The National Museum of China houses over 30,000 works of Chinese calligraphy.
Splendid Artwork in Wood – Chinese Qing and Ming Furniture
More than a hundred pieces of furniture made from lacquered wood or hardwood from the National Museum’s collection as well on loan from various other museums are on display in this exhibition.
Stone Sculpture Art of the Song Dynasty
Here you can see 30 sculptures from Sichuan collected by the National Museum. They are of the kind of stone sculptures excavated from tombs of the Song Dynasty. The sculptures depict social scenes that afford insight into the ways of life of the Song Dynasty.
State Gifts: Historical Testament to Friendly Exchanges
This exhibition features 611 gifts received by officials of the government in the course of their various diplomatic activities since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in October 1949.
Ancient Chinese Porcelain Art
The exhibition contains over 100 pieces/sets of porcelains and is divided into three sections: “Porcelain with Coloured Glaze”, “Porcelain with Underglaze Colours”, and “Porcelain with Overglaze Colours”, and exhibits span from the Western Zhou Dynasty to the late Qing Dynasty.
Exhibition of Selected African Sculptures in the Collection of the National Museum of China
This exhibition features a display of over 510 artworks selected by the African sculptuers donated by Mr. Xie Yanshen. It is composed of statues, masks, and articles for daily use amongst other items from Central Africa, West Africa, and south of the Sahara Desert.
Collection of Architectural Design of the National Museum of China
This exhibition allows you to explore how the museum building was designed and constructed via drawings and photographs relating to the architectural design and construction process of the building.
Ancient Chinese Money
Explore the National Museum’s extensive collection of money from ancient china in this exhibition, including shells, knife-shaped coins, round coins, and coins with a hollowed square center, as well as the copper and silver coins of the late Qing Dynasty.
Ancient Chinese Jades
Jade as a material has had a very special cultural significance throughout the history of China. It is seen as an embodiment of the essence of heaven and earth, and was considered sacred. This exhibition features carved jade in the shape of animals, plants, and people, for both decoration and functional purposes.
Leader People – The National Museum Collection of the Masterpieces of Chinese Modern Fine Art
This exhibition showcases the works produced since 1951 featuring iconic historic moments in modern Chinese history. Most of the works featured here were produced by artists after the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
This is a permanent exhibition that occupies a total of ten galleries in the National Museum. It displays many valuable exhibits and aims to show the evolution of the ancient Chinese civilization over the years up until the late Qing Dynasty.
Ancient Chinese Bronze Art
This exhibition features a wide range of ancient Chinese bronze art, including those excavated from ancient tombs. Bronze was used to create functional objects in the Majiayao Culture starting 5,000 years ago, and the various designs, shapes, and engravings on many of these artifacts and vessels make them rich sources of information and intriguing subjects for study.
Ancient Chinese Buddhist Sculpture
The exhibition shows the many different materials, themes, and techniques employed in the creation of Buddhist sculptures as region and time period varies.
The Road to Rejuvenation
This is another collection on permanent exhibition that serves as a reflection to the historical development of China since the time of the Opium War in 1840.