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Zhejiang Museum

Zhejiang Museum
The Scene of Zhejiang Museum

Zhejiang Museum or Zhejiang Provincial Museum is a representative site of culture and humanity in East China. Visiting to Hangzhou, this is a must-see site among innumerous worthwhile cultural and natural attractions. Originally built in 1929 and used to be called Zhejiang Provincial-Level Museum of West Lake, Zhejiang Provincial Museum is the largest comprehensive center of literae humaniores in Zhejiang province for collecting, displaying and studying antiques and valuable articles of culture and history. The amount of collection is more than ten thousand. The typical articles are pottery, lacquerwork, wooden handicraft, bone-ware and ivory-ware of Hemudu Culture Relics as well as the jadeware and silk products of Liangzhu Culture Relics. The highlights also include the bronze-ware, porcelains made in Yue Ceramic Kiln, Longquan Ceramic Kiln and imperial ceramic kilns of Southern Song Dynasty. In addition, the treasured ancient bronze-made mirrors of Shaoxing and Huzhou and the masterpieces or artworks of painters and calligraphists of Zhejiang province in Ming and Qing Dynasties are all available in collection of Zhejiang Museum. These treasures are famous and represent the cultural history of Zhejiang province.

The Evolutional History of Zhejiang Museum

A part of original site of Zhejiang Provincial Museum is the famous imperial library in Jiangnan Region(Southeast China)---Wen Lan Ge(Culture Bloom Pavilion), and in 1931, it was renamed Provincial-Level West Lake Museum. After the establishment of P.R.C, it was renamed officially Zhejiang Provincial Museum. Today's building complex was rebuilt and extended in 1993 and covers roughly 20,400 square meters. Formerly, it is constituted of two sections: History and Culture Department and Natural Science Department. In 1980, the History Part was separated and became the Research Institute of Archeology of Zhejiang Province. In 1984, the Natural Science Department was separated as well and became Zhejiang Museum of Natural History. Currently, Zhejiang Provincial Museum is comprised of several different branches or halls. They are Historical Hall of Cultural Relics, Hall of Celadon Porcelains, Hall of Painting and Calligraphy, Hall of Coins, Hall of Craftworks, Hall of Gifts and Souvenirs, Art Hall of Lv Xiaguang, Art Gallery of Chang Shuhong, Furniture Hall of Ming and Qing Dynasties and Hall of Quintessence. Besides, there is also a branch of museum in Wulin Road. The whole building complex is featured with the typical architectural style of Jiangnan Region. All the single buildings are interlinked with the long corridors, and the whole structure forms the characteristics of Hall in Garden and Garden in Hall. The classic traditional buildings naturally and humanistically linked together are in harmony with the beauty of West Lake.

ceramic statue
Ceramic Figurine Statue
Bronze Ware in Zhejiang Museum
Bronze Ware in Zhejiang Museum
statue of bodhisattva
The Bodhisattva Statue

Collections in Zhejiang Provincial Museum

According to some data show, there are more than 100,000 articles collected in museum, and 158 of them are the first-rate collections. The earliest collections are the artificial rice planting site and the lacquered bowl of Hemudu Culture in Neolithic times as well as the silk pieces and flax-made cloths of Liangzhu Culture. The collection of diversity of bronze-made weapons, bronze-made hand farm implements, decorated pottery and primitive porcelains are all shown vividly in museum, and a series of ceramic samples of different types of celadon ceramic kilns from East Han Dynasty to Ming Dynasty are exhibited over there. Another highlights is the well-preserved calligraphy and painting masterpieces of ancient and modern times, and the representatives of them are Painting of Buddhist Jingtu Branch Evolution, a colored religious painting created in the reign of Emperor Daizong(726-779), and a half part of painting titled Fu Chun Shan Ju Tu(富春山居图, Dwelling in Fuchun Mountain), a quite famous painting created by Huang Gongwang(黄公望, 1269-1354) in Yuan Dynasty(1206-1368) and the other part is collected in Taiwan. Nowadays, majority of the ancient paintings and calligraphic works preserved in museum belong to Ming and Qing Dynasty. And the modern artwork representatives are the paintings of Huang Binhong(黄宾虹, 1865-1955), and his painting works in museum are more than 3700. What’s more, Zhejiang region was the place that capitalistic economic bud earlier appeared and developed and the strategic area of Taiping Heavenly Kingdom (1851-1864) in late period, so the related historical materials of economy and documents of revolution are preserved in museum as well.

On the basis of its preserved cultural relics and collections, Zhejiang Provincial Museum sets out a glorious Zhejiang with nearly 7000 years of history in a multilayered way. All year long, the collected antiques and articles are being displayed in different themed halls such as Hall of Cultural Relics, Hall of Painting and Calligraphy, Hall of Celadon Porcelain and Hall of Craftworks. In the meantime, aperiodically, many high-level themed exhibitions at home and abroad are spotlighted in Hall of Quintessence. Moreover, there are also the Memorial of Huang Binhong located on Qixialing(栖霞岭, Peak of Glow’s Habitat) and Calligraphic Art Gallery of Sha Menghai located on Longyou Lu. It is another impressive characteristic formed of a series of famous people’s residences, memorials and masterpiece display. In 1999, Zhejiang West Lake Gallery was officially opened, which extended to a larger horizon of Zhejiang Provincial Museum.

Sha Menghai Calligraphy
Sha Menghai's calligraphic
masterpiece shown above.
Similar to Huang Binghong,
Sha Menghai firstly was a scholar,
a traditional and mutli
-talented scholar in the aspect
of Chinese traditional culture
and history, hence his calligraphy
is also featured with the
bookishness and scholarly
Fu Chun Shan Ju Tu
Fu Chun Shan Ju Tu, or
Dwelling in Fuchun Mountain,
is a quite famous old traditional
painting and half preserved in
Zhejiang Museum, and the other
is preserved in Taipei National Palace
Museum. In 2010, under the sincerely
appeal of Premier Wen, Two parts
were successfully displayed together.
It is a national treasure
out of question.
Huang Binghong Painting
This is the representative painting of Huang Binhong, a famous modern painter, calligraphist and educationist. Huang Binhong's painting was featured with the traditional stlye of scholarly painting, which highly focuses on the spiritual expression rather than the exact shape of objects. It is highly valued actually.

Hundreds of displays and exhibitions have been held in Zhejiang Provincial Museum. Featured with historical and cultural characteristics, the exhibitions including Displaying of Zhejiang History and Cultural Relics, Displaying of Hemudu Culture, Displaying of Historical Sites in Hangzhou, Displaying of Folk Craftworks in Zhejiang, Displaying of Celadon Porcelain in Zhejiang and Exhibition of Ancient Painting and Calligraphy in Zhejiang are all influential in different periods. Some collections featuring the local culture used to be displayed in Japan, U.S.A and Germany. Some relevant books and academic forums are also successfully operated. Many cultural and archeological exchanges are often held in this museum. By the way, a free themed lecture titled Wenbo Dajiangtang, Grand Lecture of Culture and Museum Science, regularly held in museum as well, which aims at publicizing and popularizing the knowledge of cultural relics collection and conservation, and generally it is comprised of several themes like History and Cultural Relics, Famous Figures’ Painting and Calligraphy Appreciation in Ancient and Modern Times as well as the Study of Ancient Porcelains, Folk Craftworks and Custom. Usually, it is available monthly, but mostly arranged on the weekend

In the aspect of collection authentication and preservation, Zhejiang Provincial Museum also has a scientific system and invited many famous experts such as Xu Bangda, the antique and collection authentication expert of The Palace Museum in Beijing, and Zhang Pusheng , the expert of Nanjing Museum, and so on.

Wulin Branch of Zhejiang Provincial Museum

Writer: David from Seeraa International
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