Telephone: (21) 6327 0276
Hours: 9am – 5pm
Shanghai Museum is a large-scale art museum worthy of anyone’s time. Its 120,000-piece collection of cultural relics focuses particularly on bronze and porcelain works, books and paintings. The building is situated within People's Square, the political and cultural centre of the city. Other buildings here are the City Hall, the Grand Shanghai Theatre and the underground shopping centre.
The museum building is shaped like a large bronze pot. It has 10 exhibition halls devoted to different subjects, one hall for donated relics and three for temporary exhibitions. We had two hours to ‘see’ the collection and failed miserably. A day would be justified for this building, particularly if you have particular interest in Chinese history and artifacts.
The best way to tour the exhibition is with the English language audio guide. This uses digital random access technology, which enables you to enjoy the commentary and interpretation on the selected art works at your own pace. There is an introduction to the museum section, gallery overviews, and background sections on various other interesting topics. You access all this by use of a hand-carry controller and earphones.
We thought the most interesting sections were those with the spectacular old masterpieces but obviously others will have different ideas. There is enough variety and interest to keep most people happy for hours. Before leaving, you should visit the museum shop. We were amazed by the copies and imitations of ancient Chinese bronze, ceramics, paintings and calligraphy. We were told that workers at the museum specially make all the goods. The jades, cloisonne, lacquer and wooded wares were also appealing.