First established in 1952 and relocated in 1996, the Shanghai Museum has a collection of more than 120,000 rare cultural pieces including bronze artifacts, ceramics, calligraphy, paintings, lacquer wares, oracle bone inscriptions and coins. The museum is especially famous for its collection of bronze pieces.
The 1,200-square-meter showroom has housed more than 400 beautifully decorated bronze artifacts, which reflect the development of the Chinese society from the 18th century BC to the 3rd century BC. With its dark green color, the showroom conveys an artistic atmosphere of history and culture. The ancient statue showroom has over 120 statues on display, including the simple and colored wood statues from the Warring States period (475-221 BC), Buddha statues from the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-543) and the pottery figures (including horses and soldiers) of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Visitors can also get a clear picture of what the ancient seals lShanghai Museumooked like in the past in the Seal Showroom. The room consists of four parts, has over 500 seals on display, which date from the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BC). Entering the showroom of furniture of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties the visitor almost feels he/she is in a Chinese-style garden and mansion. In a 700-square-meter showroom, more than 100 pieces of furniture are on show. In the Coin Gallery, the visitor can find nearly 7,000 coins made from a variety of metals including bronze, gold, iron and copper, which chart the development of coinage in China.
The museum also has a library collection of more than 200,000 books on Chinese art and history. It also has an Archaeological Department, which takes charge of archaeological fieldwork. To date, the department has successfully discovered 27 cultural heritage sites over the past decade.
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