The Zheijiang Provincial Museum is a major museum that showcases Chinese art. It is considered as the most important art museum in the West Lake area of Hangzhou, China.
The museum dates back to the year 1929 and has had a long history behind it. In the past, it used to be known as the West Lake Museum, but its name has been changed to reflect not just the area but also the province it is found in. This is a sign of the growing relevance of the museum to the region.
Over the years, the Zheijiang Provincial Museum has amassed an insurmountable amount of relics and collectibles, which now numbers more than 100,000 for the permanent collection alone.
Things to do
The rather comprehensive museum has plenty of things to offer its visitors. It is almost always included in educational trips of Hangzhou and is considered as an important destination not just for tourists but also for educators, students, art and history lovers, and even those who are simply interested to learn more about the culture and history of China, especially the Zheijiang region.
The Zheijiang Provincial Museum offers a dazzling display of various objects such as treasured relics, world-famous pottery and lacquer ware, wooden objects, ivory objects, and bone fragments dating back to the Hemudu Culture, which thrived in the region from 5200 BC to 4500 BC. The museum also has collections of silk fabrics, jade objects, and bronze wares, all of which are of significant national importance to the country. The silk and jade articles date back to the Liangzhu Culture, while the bronze items are believed to have belonged to the State of Yue during the period of the Warring States back in 475 BC to 221 BC.
History lovers will also be highly interested in the celadon wares derived from the Yue Kiln, Longquan Kiln, and the Imperial Kiln. Two relics, known simply as the Guiji Mirror and the Huzhou Mirror, are also displayed in the prominent provincial museum. They are accompanied by works of famous calligraphers and artists who lived in the Zhejiang Province during the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
To make traveling through the museum easier and to make sure you see everything that are worth noting, divide your trip according to the divisions of the museum itself. The parts of the museum are:
• Historical Relics Hall
• Painting and Calligraphy Hall
• Celadon Hall
• Handicraft Hall
• Memorial Hall of Huang Binhong (Xixia Ridge)
• Memorial Hall of Sha Menghai (Longyou Road)
Of all these exhibition halls, the Zhejiang West Lake Gallery has got to be the best. In fact, due to the importance of the gallery, it requires guests to pay an additional entrance fee separate to the fee that the museum itself charges.
Sometimes, the museum also holds some special exhibitions featuring either local or international articles. These are usually held at the Exhibition Hall of Lasting Objects.
The museum also sometimes holds a series of international academic seminars. It has also joined overseas exhibitions in Germany, France, Japan, and Singapore, as China’s official representative. The organization behind the museum has also published books centered on cultural relics. One of their works is the academic journal Dongfang Bowu. Many also find the historic 7000 Years of Zhejiang publication quite noteworthy.