Shanghai Travel Guide
The Shanghai Museum is a museum of ancient Chinese art, situated on the People's Square in the Huangpu District of Shanghai, People's Republic of China.
The museum was founded in 1952 and was first open to the public in the former Shanghai Racecourse club house, now at 325 W. Nanjing Road. In 1959 the museum moved into the former Zhonghui Building at 16 S. Henan Road, which previously housed insurance companies and bank offices. In 1992, the Shanghai municipal government allocated a piece of land on People's Square to the museum as its new site.
Construction of the current building started in August 1993. It was inaugurated in October 12, 1996. It is 29.5 meters high with five floors, covering a total area of 39,200 m². Designed by a local architect, the new museum building is designed in the shape of an ancient bronze cooking vessel called a ding. It is said that the inspiration for the design was specifically provided by the Da Ke Ding, now on exhibit in the museum. The building has a round top and a square base, symbolizing the ancient Chinese perception of the world as "round sky, square earth".
The museum has a collection of over 120,000 pieces, including bronze, ceramics, calligraphy, furniture, jades, ancient coins, paintings, seals, sculptures, minority art and foreign art. It has eleven galleries and three special temporary exhibition halls. The permanent galleries are:
- Gallery of Ancient Chinese Bronze
- Gallery of Ancient Chinese Sculpture
- Gallery of Ancient Chinese Ceramics
- Gallery of Ancient Chinese Jades
- Gallery of Ancient Chinese Paintings
- Gallery of Ancient Chinese Calligraphy
- Gallery of Ancient Chinese Seals
- Gallery of Ancient Chinese Numismatics
- Gallery of Chinese furniture in Ming and Qing dynasties
- Gallery of Arts and Crafts by Chinese Minorities
The Shanghai Museum houses several items of national importance, including one of three extant specimens of a "transparent" bronze mirror from the Han Dynasty.