Shanghai Museum

The avid followers of Chinese art will be delighted to view the various artworks that are featured at the Shanghai Museum. It holds thousands of pieces spanning the different Chinese dynasties. Although the Shanghai Museum focuses on ancient Chinese art, it is considered as one of China’s most modern museums. It holds a total of 1 million objects, with 120,000 of them graded as precious and highly relevant works of Chinese art.

Shanghai Museum faced daylight


The Shanghai Museum is located at 201 Renmin Avenue at the People’s Square in Shanghai. It has welcomed almost 2 million visitors in 2013 alone. Its building is 29.5 meters high with a floor area of over 39,200 meters. Even the museum structure symbolizes Chinese art in itself. The building’s architecture symbolizes the ancient Chinese philosophies revolving around the concepts of square earth and rounded sky. The museum is constructed to house a total of 11 galleries and 3 special temporary exhibition halls.


The Shanghai Museum was established in 1952. It used to be located at the horseracing club at Nanjing Road. In 1959, it moved to the Zhonghui Building at Hernan Road. But because of its many acquisitions, conservations, exhibitions, research, education, and cultural exchanges over the years, it was moved yet again, but this time to permanently relocate at a government owned piece of land at the People’s Square. The Chinese government allocated the land in 1992 but the museum opened only in 1996, as the construction of the new building lasted three long years.

Shanghai Museum a boat that is on exhibition

Major Exhibitions

The major exhibitions currently housed inside the Shanghai museum are Chinese art pieces in bronze, jade, and ceramics. It also features various sculptures, coins, paintings, seals, calligraphy, and furniture. The museum also has a special section that is specially allocated to the Minority Nationalities’ Art. There are galleries devoted to each of these categories, as they are all significant to Chinese art. For one, there’s a gallery inside the museum called the Ming and Qing Furniture exhibit hall.

Making Farewells at Jingkou’ by Shen Zhou

Main Artists

One of the major Chinese artists featured at the Shanghai museum is Dong Yuan, the first Chinese painter to successfully depict the river and lake landscape of Southern China. There’s also Shi Tao, a Chinese monk painter of the Qing dynasty. Another notable Chinese art painter is Shen Zhou, who is highly identified with the Wu School of literati paintings. The other famous artists whose works are featured at the Shanghai Museum are Zhao Mengfu, Tang Yin, Ni Zan, and Wang Meng, among others.

Shanghai Museum painting of dragon

Main Artworks

There are many Chinese art works and paintings featured at the Shanghai Museum. Among the most notable pieces are as follows: ‘Mountain in Summer’ by Dong Yuan, ‘Leisurely Sound from Mountain and Spring’ by Shi Tao, ‘Making Farewells at Jingkou’ by Shen Zhou, ‘A Lady Holding Fan’ by Tang Yin, and ‘Eastern Hill at the Dongting Area’ by Zhao Mengfu.

Relevat Links:

Shanghai Museum official website

Shanghai Museum on Wikipedia