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Liaoning Provincial Museum

Address: Liaoning Province, Shenyang City, Heping District, Shiwei Road,A Western Zhou dynasty bronze utensil – a lei (a kind of ancient wine vessel) with#26

The Liaoning Provincial Museum is located in Heping District of Shenyang City, Liaoning Province. The area of the Museum grounds and buildings totals 110,000 square meters. The heart of the Museum is a three-story exhibition hall that was designed by a German architect. In 1988, a new three-story white building was built inside the grounds that include a large hall and a surrounding corridor. Historical artifacts and ancient arts are the main focus of the Museum’s collections. These include some eighteen categories of objects: paintings and calligraphy, embroideries, woodblock prints, bronzes, ceramics, lacquerware, carvings, oracle bones, celadons, costumes, archaeological material, coins and currency, stelaes, old maps, ethnic minority artifacts, revolutionary artifacts, furniture, and assorted other items. Among these some were excavated and others were passed down through the ages that are inherited, not recovered from the earth. The collections occupy an important position among museums’ collections in China.

Painting and calligraphy collections include paintings by famous Tang-dynasty and Northern Song artists, and woodblock-print editions include the Ming-dynasty Album of the Ten-bamboo Studio, the first colored woodblock print in Chinese woodblock-print history. The ceramics collections in the museum are also quite famous and valuable. Liao porcelain is unique in the art form for its treatment of colored glazes, but the collection also includes Liao monochromes such as the lovely Liao white porcelain. Many of the ceramic forms embody nomadic characteristics, and the glazes and colors are imbued with local character. Production methods continue the traditions of the Tang and Five dynasties kilns. Two permanent collections are on display in the museum. One is an exhibit on Chinese history, and the other is a display of stone inscriptions. The former deals with overall Chinese history in general but also takes local Liao history into special consideration. Contents include:

Room 1: The main archaeological findings from Paleolithic and Neolithic times in the Liaoning region. Key emphases are on the sites from early Paleolithic times at Yingkou Jinniu Shan, the Paleolithic cave site at Hezi Cave, the Hongshan Culture site, the Shenyang Xinle early Neolithic site, the Lushun Guojia Cun site, and so on.

Room 2: Key exhibits include a Xiajiadian Lower-level-culture site that corresponds to Xia and Shang periods that was discovered in Liaoning, several sites that have produced Shang and Zhou bronzes, and bronze daggers and swords that accom-panied burials, etc.

A copper gui called ‘Yufu Gui’ , a kind of food vessel used in the Western Zhou dynasty unearthed in Kazuo,LiaoningRooms 3 and 4: Show items from the period of Warring States, Qin, and Han.

Rooms 5, 6, and 7: Show items from the Three Kingdoms, the East and West Jin, the North and South dynasties. Most importantly, on exhibit here are the tomb wall paintings of Liaoyang.

Room 8: Is the exhibition hall for Sui, Tang, and the Five dynasties. The main objects on display were excavated from a Tang-dynasty grave discovered in Chaoyang, also a group of artifacts from the Bohai Kingdom, which include a group of rarely seen earthen statues.

Rooms 9 to 12: Are exhibitions for Liao, Song, Jin, and Western Xia. A key emphasis is the exhibition of items from some extraordinary Liao tombs. Also on display is a farmer ’s house site from the Jin dynasty, as well as Liao, Song, and Jin ceramics.

Rooms 13 to 18: Exhibit Yuan, Ming and Qing objects. These include Ming-dynasty maps, an inscription from a military commander of the Ming, from eastern Liaoning, also Ming-and-Qing-dynasty ceramics and paintings.

In addition to the above exhibitions, a corridor of stelaes has been set up onLiao ceramics collected by the Liaoning Provincial Museum the east side of the exhibition hall. This preserves a collection of tomb stones set up from the Han to the Ming dynasties, as well as inscription-stelaes, stone portraits, stone coffins and so on, altogether some one hundred stone objects. One of the important pieces is a Northern-Wei inscription by a famous calligrapher of the time who lived from 386-534 AD.

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