I. General Information
Nanjing Museum, the first large national comprehensive museum in China, is located in the south of Purple Mountain, Nanjing City and the south of Zhongshan Gate, taking an area of 70,000m2, with two exhibition halls (history exhibition hall and for art exhibition hall) taking 35,000m2 construction area, both of them being splendid palatial architecture stimulating the architectures in Liao Dynasty, trees and grasses full of the museum decorated by various stone inscription relics, with cultural landscape and natural landscape formed a delightful contrast.
II. Organization System and Evolution
National Government established national central museum with Cai Yuanpei as the first chairman of board of directors according to proposal of Chinese modern democratic revolution and educationist Cai Yuanpei in 1933. It was designed to start the construction of three exhibition halls for culture, technique and nature in 1936 but stopped for the war. Until the early 1950s, central government repaired and expanded cultural exhibition hall, namely current history exhibition hall. After establishment of the People's Republic of China, it was still called as national central museum led by Ministry of Culture; it was renamed as national Nanjing Municipal Museum in March, 1950, firstly affiliated to Bureau of Cultural Relics of Ministry of Culture, and later affiliated to Culture Department of East China Administration Committee; then affiliated to Bureau of Culture of Jiangsu Province since 1954; consolidated with Nanjing Municipal Museum, Jiangsu Provincial Museum and Relics Administration Committee of Jiangsu Province in the name of Nanjing Municipal Museum in 1959. Since establishment of the museum to 2007, the directors of Nanjing Municipal Museum include: Xu Pingyu, Zeng Zhaoyu, Yao Qian, Liang Baiquan, Xu Huping, and Gong Liang.
III. Structural Establishment
Nanjing Municipal Museum is deputy department wholly institution, setting 14 departments including office, human resources organization department, security department, archaeological research institute, ancient art research institute, national folklore research institute, cultural relics protection research institute, ancient architecture research institute, exhibition art research institute, storeroom, relics collection department, editorial department, service department and library, and affiliating “Jiangsu Station of National Exit Inspection and Quarantine for Cultural Relics” and “Jiangsu Provincial Antique Shop”.
IV. Personnel Structural
To the end of 2007, 203 staff, among which most were specialized technicians including 186 with college education or higher (24 with undergraduate degree and 101 with graduate degree) and 95 with medium professional title or higher (18 with senior title and 27 with vice-senior title) , were engaged in archaeological research, technical research for protection of cultural relics, research on cultural relics, research on ancient art, folklore research, exhibition and display, press of book and magazine, as well as foreign exchange in Nanjing Municipal Museum. In addition, 120 extra contract workers were employed for security and cleaning.
V. Main Collections and Characteristics
Nanjing Municipal Museum has over 400,000 collections in various types from Paleolithic period to the contemporary era, including stoneware, earthenware, jadeware, bronze ware, chinaware, painting and calligraphy, embroidery, bamboo carving, folklore and contemporary art, and 1,062 cultural relics higher than first national grade. Archaeological products possess high value of history, art and science in the collections. Where, there are over 10 national cultural relics including“stringed jade ornament”during Neolithic period, “precious reticulated bronze pot” and “gold coin of Chu” during the warring states period, “gold beast” in the Western Han Dynasty, “Jade Seal of Prince Guangling” and “cattle light with silver ornaments” in the Eastern Han Dynasty, “bronze inkstone bronze decorated with fine gold mosaic beasts” in the Eastern Han Dynasty, “celadon beast-shaped jar” in the Western Jin Dynasty, “seven hermits in the bamboo grove and Rong Qiqi” pictorial molded brick in the Southern Dynasty, as well as “underglazed red vase with bamboo, pine and Chinese plum” in Ming Dynasty.
VI. Basic Display and Special Exhibition
Nanjing Municipal Museum takes the responsibility of “protecting national cultural relics, propagating national excellent traditional culture as well as improving national moral education and cultural quality and tries to offer the best cultural service for the mass with the exhibition medium.
“Display of Jiangsu history” was basic display in the early 1960s, including nearly 3,000 main exhibitors of archaeological and ethnological cultural relics and historical literatures, which exhibited political, economic and cultural development history of Jiangsu Province, and then renamed “civilization exhibition for five thousand years of the lower reaches of Yangtze River” in 1989 after revision, complement and improvement, with exhibition area enlarged to the lower reaches of Yangtze River including Suzhou Province, Anhui Province and Shanghai City as well as some districts of Zhejiang Province and Jiangxi Province, at the same time of adding two basic displays involving “archaeological display of Jiangsu” and “our yesterday-national history, national and cultural display”.
Art exhibition hall was established and open to the outside in 1999 with an exhibition area of 7,000m2, including 11 special exhibition halls for treasure, jadeware, bronze, porcelain of Ming and Qing Dynasties, painting and calligraphy, ceramic art, painting art and embroidery, with over 5,000 graceful and beautiful collections exhibited for years, and won praise and love from the whole society since opening-up and honored as “top 10 national exhibitions in 1999”by State Administration of Cultural Heritage.
Nanjing Municipal Museum holds 40 temporary displays each year based on basic display, including cultural relics’ special exhibition for the collections, fine cultural relics’ exhibition of other Provinces and Cities, works exhibition of modern artist and exhibition of artworks popular abroad.
VII. Main Academic Achievements
1.Archaeological Excavations and Researches
A group of famous experts and scholars gathered in Nanjing Municipal Museum in the 1930s and 1940s, such as Li Ji, Wu Jinding, Xia Nai, Zeng Zhaoyu and Wang Tianmu, et. al. respectively or cooperated with Central Institution of Research to investigate, excavate and research national, folklore, historic sites and folk art in Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, Gansu and Xinjiang provinces as well as presided over or took part in archaeological excavation of Cang’er district in Yunnan, that of Pengshan Cliff Tomb in Sichuan, that of Anyang Yin Ruins in Henan and that of Longshan Cultural Site of Liangcheng Town, Rizhao, Shandong. The museum concentrated two or three hundred thousand first-class national treasures once through purchase, remittance and excavation, including images of emperors and queens and Tang Xuanzong Going to Sichuan in terms of drawing as well as rare national treasures like Duke Mao Tripod and Si Muwu quadrate vessel in terms of copper ware.
In the early 1950s, Nanjing Municipal Museum consisting of main part of work team for cultural relics in Eastern China presided over or took part in excavation of cultural relics and tombs in Jiangsu, Fujian, Zhejiang, Anhui and Shandong, and numerous tombs took significant influence, such as Two Mausoleums of State of Southern Tang and Qinglianggang Site presided over by Zeng Zhaoyu, Yi Huanzhang and Zhao Qingfang. Archaeological investigation and excavation were mainly done in Jiangsu Province after 1954.
Archaeological work of Nanjing Municipal Museum mainly focused on regional cultural research and scientific archaeological excavation for large sites and obtained great achievements in the later 1950s. Until the end of 2007, a dozen of archaeological excavations by Nanjing Municipal Museum were evaluated as “top 10 archaeological excavations in China” and leaped into the front ranks of China, such as Zhaoling Mountain site, Kunshan (in 1991), Longqiu Village site, Gaoyou (in 1993), Tangcheng site, Yangzhou (in 1993), Shizishan Chu King's Mausoleum of the Western Han Dynasty, Xuzhou (in 1995), Songdacheng site, Yangzhou (in 1995), Sanxing Village site, Jintan (in 1998), Gaochengdun site, Jiangyin (in 1999), Tenghualuo site, Lianyungang (in 2000) and Aristocratic Tombs of the Yue State at Hongshan in Wuxi, Jiangsu (in 2004), and mound tombs in Jurong and Jintan, Jiangsu (in 2005), among which, archaeological excavations of Tenghualuo site and mound tombs in Jurong and Jintan obtained second prize of national field archaeology and that of Sanxing Village site won third prize, all indicating strength and level of Nanjing Municipal Museum in terms of archaeological excavations.
Based on archaeological excavation, archaeologists from Nanjing Municipal Museum collated and published several large excavation report including Archaeological Report in Nanjing and the Nearby, Neolithic Period Site in Eastern China, Two Mausoleums of State of Southern Tang, and Aristocratic Tombs of the Yue State at Hongshan in Wuxi, especially, name of archaeological culture like “Qingliangang Culture” and “Hushu Culture” attracted great attention from Chinese archaeological field.
2. Research on Protection Technology for Cultural Relics
Nanjing Municipal Museum started to research protection technology for cultural relics since the middle and later 1970s, and then protected museum-collected cultural relics and ground cultural relics of Jiangsu Province as well as a great many valuable cultural relics for surrounding provinces and districts with strong technical advantages. In recent ten years, 14 projects, such as “protection technology for ancient papers”, “NMF-1 mildew-proof agent”, and “compound insecticide with Chinese herbal medicine”, obtained various prizes from China, Ministry of Culture and the provincial cultural department. “Fragile paper omental reinforcement technology” was of advanced level in China; “new materials for bronze protection” and “new drug for termite control” were applied widely in China and obtained significant efficiency.
3. Academic Activities and Periodicals
Jiangsu Provincial Museum Association, Archaeological Association, Folklore Association and Wu Cultural Association are affiliated to Nanjing Municipal Museum with research activities like “research on pre-historical culture of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River”, “research on the story of the stone” and “research on Wu Culture” conducted relying on the association since the later 1970s. Cultural Communication issued by the four association together has become the open magazine “Southeast Culture”, the important academic journal in cultural and archaeological field at home and abroad, one of top 10 excellent scientific magazines of Jiangsu Province continuously and “double-effect” journal in Chinese Periodicals in 2001 after development for over 10 years. Since the twenty one century, based on Jiangsu Province, Nanjing Municipal Museum tries to serve the whole country through presiding or undertaking a series of academic activities like “The Fifth National People's Congress of Chinese Technology Association for Cultural Relics” and “2006 Annual Conference of Chinese Digital Museum Forum and Digitalization Professional Committee of Chinese Museum Association”, which has attracted great attention.
Since establishment, Nanjing Municipal Museum presided and complied hundreds of books on culture and archaeology, among which, Museology written by Zeng Zhaoyu and Liji sets the foundation of Chinese museology in the 1930s. High praise from the academic field is gifted to Nanjing Municipal Museum Collections, Xinyi Huating – Excavation Report of Sites during Neolithic Period, Cultural Relics Museum Archaeological Collection of Nanjing Municipal Museum, Porcelain of the Guan Yao in Qing Dynasty of China, Appreciation on Famous Collections of Nanjing Municipal Museum, Portraiture of Ming and Qing Dynasties of Nanjing Municipal Museum and Selected Paper Collection on Wu Culture of International Academic Conference.
5. Information Technology
With rapid growth of modern information technology, human civilization entered into new era of globalization and informatization, with Internet technical method reforming application method of museum. Nanjing Municipal Museum established information center in 1999. Cultural relics’ information management system was set to take cultural informatization scientific research based on planning, constructing and maintaining information network and communication network system. Since establishment, the museum obtained lots of achievements in terms of cultural informatization construction and promoted itself to be of advanced informatization construction of domestic museums. Nanjing Municipal Museum website designed and conducted obtained the title of “national excellent cultural website” issued by tens of units including Ministry of Culture, the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League, national informatization promotion work office, the Xinhua News Agency and People's Daily in 2003. The museum completed National Key Technology Research and Development Program of China during the “10th Five-Year Plan”- the research work of “Application Research of Virtual Reality Technology in Protection for Large Sites”. Information Center are invited by many cultural institutions and help a dozen of museums in planning and design of informatization and multi-media exhibition.
VIII. Foreign Cultural Exchange
Nanjing Municipal Museum took part in cultural relics’ exhibition organized by China for exhibition in the Soviet Union and German, etc. in the 1950s. Since reform and opening-up, academic exchange internationally has been increased day by day, with museum-collected cultural relics’ exhibition in Japan, German, U.S.A., France, Belgium, Finland, Hongkong, Aomen and Taiwan to promote Chinese national culture and strengthen cultural exchange among countries in the world. Nanjing Municipal Museum has signed “Academic Cultural Exchange Agreement” with Japanese Krushu National Museum, the National Palace Museum of Korea and Pennsylvania College of Science, Philadelphia, U.S.A. as well as friendly exchange activities developed on the basis of agreement. There are more and more cooperative researches with foreign academic institutions, which have obtained remarkable accomplishments in terms of “Theravada Buddhism”, “Archaeology on Early Rice Field Sites”, “Research on Jiangnan Human Bones”, and “Protection Research on Siyang Han Tomb Earthed Wooden Cultural Relics” cooperated with Japanese academic institutions.
IX. Public Service
Nanjing Municipal Museum was determined as patriotism educational base in Jiangsu Province and Nanjing City in the middle 1980s, and defined as “national patriotism educational demonstration base” by the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee in 2001, especially quality educational base for students from colleges and universities like University of Nanjing, Southeast University and Nanjing Medical University when Nanjing Municipal Museum has combined famous Chinese universities with first-class museum and made the museum the second class of university students. Meanwhile, conducted co-construction activities of the PLA men and the civilians with Naval Command College and Engineer Corps Command College and applied newspaper, magazine, TV and network in popularization of cultural relics’ knowledge so as to exert social educational function of the museum.
Nanjing Municipal Museum promoted free service for the society once a month since 2002, offered service for free for the minor and college or university students since April 1st, 2004, and offered free service for all since February 7th, 2008 as the early provincial museum in China, which gained social popularity.
Nanjing Municipal Museum has strengthened service consciousness and service ability, and developed to elites of specialized exhibition as well as public service in recent years.
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