|Location||201 Renmin Avenue, People's Square, Shanghai, 200003|
|Director||Ma Chengyuan (1985–99)|
|Public transit access||People's Square Station on Lines 1, 2, and 8 (Shanghai Metro)|
The museum was founded in 1952 and was first open to the public in the former Shanghai Racecourse club house, now at 325 West Nanjing Road. In 1959 the museum moved into the Zhonghui Building at 16 South Henan Road, which previously housed insurance companies and bank offices.
Shanghai Museum owes much of its current existence to Ma Chengyuan, its director from 1985 until his retirement in 1999. When the museum was omitted from Shanghai's five-year reconstruction plan in 1992, Ma lobbied Mayor Huang Ju for its rebuilding. After seeing the dilapidated rooms of the Zhonghui Building, Huang agreed to allocate a prime site on the People's Square, but the museum had to raise its own building funds. Ma raised US$25 million by leasing the old building to a Hong Kong developer. He also made many trips abroad to solicit donations, mainly from the Shanghai diaspora who had fled to Hong Kong after the Communist revolution, raising another $10 million. The money still ran short, but he eventually won another 140 million yuan from the city government to complete the building.
Construction of the current building started in August 1993. It was inaugurated on October 12, 1996 to wide acclaim. It is 29.5 meters high with five floors, covering a total area of 39,200 m². Designed by local architect Xing Tonghe, the 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. The Shanghai Museum houses several items of national importance, including one of three extant specimens of a "transparent" bronze mirror from the Han Dynasty.
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 Museum has an important collection of ancient coins from the Silk Road, donated since 1991 by Linda and Roger Doo. The collection contains 1783 pieces from the Greeks to the Mongol Empire.
- Ancient Chinese Ceramic Gallery The Shanghai Museum. Shanghai: Shanghai Classics Publishing House, 1996. (English & Mandarin Chinese edition.) ISBN 7-5325-1721-7
- Shanghai Museum
- American Friends of the Shanghai Museum
- Service Installation - Visitor's Information
- Jasper Becker (3 January 2001). "Ma Chengyuan and the creation of Shanghai Museum". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
- "Ma Chengyuan, 77, President of Shanghai Museum, Dies". New York Times. 15 October 2004. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
- Shanghai Museum
- Chen, Doo, and Wang, 2006
Chen Xiejan, Doo R, Wang Yue (2006) Shanghai Museum's Collection of Ancient Coins from the Silk Road
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