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  • Introducing a Painting: Exploring the World of Museum Labels_2

    Introducing a Painting: Exploring the World of Museum Labels_2

    • Dates: 2020/04/08~2020/07/05
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 212
    CC BY 4.0

    Exhibit

     Exactly how do you introduce in writing a painting to museum visitors? This is a question which exhibit curators have always pondered, the label next to a painting being the most commonly chosen format to serve as its "spokesperson." But what if there were no labels in the exhibition galleries at all? Would people really be able to focus on and appreciate the works on display? And assuming that museum labels are still needed, what kind do visitors really want to see?

    Over the past several decades, and depending on the period and type of the exhibit, the National Palace Museum has used various label formats to accompany its works of painting and calligraphy on display. Through the years, changes have been made to the dimensions, materials, color, position, wording, contents, and translation of these cards. This exhibition takes a special look at the subject of museum labels through seven paintings in the Museum collection by the Yuan dynasty artist Ni Zan (1301-1374) or after his style. These works spanning the Yuan to Ming and Qing dynasties appear at first glance to be quite similar, but each is accompanied by a different kind of label used in the past. These Chinese and English museum cards range in length from a brief title label to very detailed descriptions. There are also Chinese explanatory cards calligraphed in brush using traditional vertical columns of characters and a modern horizontally formatted one in print. On one hand, visitors standing before the display cases can compare the various combinations of artworks and labels to gauge their different effects, while on the other hand they can appreciate firsthand an experience from the past of the written description at the Museum.

    In addition to being a retrospective of the National Palace Museum's explanatory labels for painting, this exhibition also features a questionnaire to determine how audiences feel about the different label formats, fonts, sizes, and descriptions on display. It is hoped that, after receiving feedback from visitors from different age groups, occupations, and nationalities, the Museum can improve the design and contents of its explanatory labels in the future and see how people would like them to "introduce a painting," thereby offering better service and an enhanced museum experience.

    Exhibition Package Content

  • Introducing a Painting: Exploring the World of Museum Labels_1

    Introducing a Painting: Exploring the World of Museum Labels_1

    • Dates: 2020/04/08~2020/07/05
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 212
    CC BY 4.0

    Exhibit

    Exactly how do you introduce in writing a painting to museum visitors? This is a question which exhibit curators have always pondered, the label next to a painting being the most commonly chosen format to serve as its "spokesperson." But what if there were no labels in the exhibition galleries at all? Would people really be able to focus on and appreciate the works on display? And assuming that museum labels are still needed, what kind do visitors really want to see?

    Over the past several decades, and depending on the period and type of the exhibit, the National Palace Museum has used various label formats to accompany its works of painting and calligraphy on display. Through the years, changes have been made to the dimensions, materials, color, position, wording, contents, and translation of these cards. This exhibition takes a special look at the subject of museum labels through seven paintings in the Museum collection by the Yuan dynasty artist Ni Zan (1301-1374) or after his style. These works spanning the Yuan to Ming and Qing dynasties appear at first glance to be quite similar, but each is accompanied by a different kind of label used in the past. These Chinese and English museum cards range in length from a brief title label to very detailed descriptions. There are also Chinese explanatory cards calligraphed in brush using traditional vertical columns of characters and a modern horizontally formatted one in print. On one hand, visitors standing before the display cases can compare the various combinations of artworks and labels to gauge their different effects, while on the other hand they can appreciate firsthand an experience from the past of the written description at the Museum.

    In addition to being a retrospective of the National Palace Museum's explanatory labels for painting, this exhibition also features a questionnaire to determine how audiences feel about the different label formats, fonts, sizes, and descriptions on display. It is hoped that, after receiving feedback from visitors from different age groups, occupations, and nationalities, the Museum can improve the design and contents of its explanatory labels in the future and see how people would like them to "introduce a painting," thereby offering better service and an enhanced museum experience. 

    Exhibition Package Content

  • Oversize Scrolls of Painting and Calligraphy

    Oversize Scrolls of Painting and Calligraphy

    • Dates: 2020/04/01~2020/07/09
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 202
    CC BY 4.0

    Exhibit

    Exhibit List:

    Rubbing of the King Hotae Stele
    Anonymous, Goguryeo Kingdom (37 BCE-668 CE), Korea
    Rubbing of The Classic of Filial Piety in Stone
    Emperor Xuanzong (685-762), Tang dynasty
    Copy of the King Hotae Stele
    Chuang Yen (1899-1980), Republican period
    Layers of Mountains and Waters
    Chang Kuang-pin, Republican period
    Precipitous Peaks and Layered Hills
    Chang Kuang-pin, Republican period
    Traveling Among Ancient Cedars
    Chang Kuang-pin, Republican period
    Lofty Mount Lu
    Chang Kuang-pin, Republican period 

    Exhibition Package Content

  • The Expressive Significance of Brush and Ink : A Guided Journey Through the History of Chinese Calligraphy_2

    The Expressive Significance of Brush and Ink : A Guided Journey Through the History of Chinese Calligraphy_2

    • Dates: 2020/04/01~2020/06/30
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 204,206
    CC BY 4.0

    Exhibit

    To meet the need for recording information and ideas, unique forms of calligraphy (the art of writing) have been part of the Chinese cultural tradition through the ages. Naturally finding applications in daily life, calligraphy still serves as a continuous link between the past and the present. The development of calligraphy, long a subject of interest in Chinese culture, is the theme of this exhibit, which presents to the public selections from the National Palace Museum collection arranged in chronological order for a general overview.

    The dynasties of the Qin (221-206 BCE) and Han (206 BCE-220 CE) represent a crucial era in the history of Chinese calligraphy. On the one hand, diverse forms of brushed and engraved "ancient writing" and "large seal" scripts were unified into a standard type known as "small seal." On the other hand, the process of abbreviating and adapting seal script to form a new one known as "clerical" (emerging previously in the Eastern Zhou dynasty) was finalized, thereby creating a universal script in the Han dynasty. In the trend towards abbreviation and brevity in writing, clerical script continued to evolve and eventually led to the formation of "cursive," "running," and "standard" script. Since changes in writing did not take place overnight, several transitional styles and mixed scripts appeared in the chaotic post-Han period, but these transformations eventually led to established forms for brush strokes and characters.

    The dynasties of the Sui (581-618) and Tang (618-907) represent another important period in Chinese calligraphy. Unification of the country brought calligraphic styles of the north and south together as brushwork methods became increasingly complete. Starting from this time, standard script would become the universal form through the ages. In the Song dynasty (960-1279), the tradition of engraving modelbook copies became a popular way to preserve the works of ancient masters. Song scholar-artists, however, were not satisfied with just following tradition, for they considered calligraphy also as a means of creative and personal expression.

    Revivalist calligraphers of the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368), in turning to and advocating revivalism, further developed the classical traditions of the Jin and Tang dynasties. At the same time, notions of artistic freedom and liberation from rules in calligraphy also gained momentum, becoming a leading trend in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Among the diverse manners of this period, the elegant freedom of semi-cursive script contrasts dramatically with more conservative manners. Thus, calligraphers with their own styles formed individual paths that were not overshadowed by the mainstream of the time.

    Starting in the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), scholars increasingly turned to inspiration from the rich resource of ancient works inscribed with seal and clerical script. Influenced by an atmosphere of closely studying these antiquities, Qing scholars became familiar with steles and helped create a trend in calligraphy that complemented the Modelbook school. Thus, the Stele school formed yet another link between past and present in its approach to tradition, in which seal and clerical script became sources of innovation in Chinese calligraphy. 

    Exhibition Package Content

  • The Expressive Significance of Brush and Ink : A Guided Journey Through the History of Chinese Calligraphy_1

    The Expressive Significance of Brush and Ink : A Guided Journey Through the History of Chinese Calligraphy_1

    • Dates: 2020/04/01~2020/06/30
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 204,206
    CC BY 4.0

    Exhibit

    To meet the need for recording information and ideas, unique forms of calligraphy (the art of writing) have been part of the Chinese cultural tradition through the ages. Naturally finding applications in daily life, calligraphy still serves as a continuous link between the past and the present. The development of calligraphy, long a subject of interest in Chinese culture, is the theme of this exhibit, which presents to the public selections from the National Palace Museum collection arranged in chronological order for a general overview.

    The dynasties of the Qin (221-206 BCE) and Han (206 BCE-220 CE) represent a crucial era in the history of Chinese calligraphy. On the one hand, diverse forms of brushed and engraved "ancient writing" and "large seal" scripts were unified into a standard type known as "small seal." On the other hand, the process of abbreviating and adapting seal script to form a new one known as "clerical" (emerging previously in the Eastern Zhou dynasty) was finalized, thereby creating a universal script in the Han dynasty. In the trend towards abbreviation and brevity in writing, clerical script continued to evolve and eventually led to the formation of "cursive," "running," and "standard" script. Since changes in writing did not take place overnight, several transitional styles and mixed scripts appeared in the chaotic post-Han period, but these transformations eventually led to established forms for brush strokes and characters.

    The dynasties of the Sui (581-618) and Tang (618-907) represent another important period in Chinese calligraphy. Unification of the country brought calligraphic styles of the north and south together as brushwork methods became increasingly complete. Starting from this time, standard script would become the universal form through the ages. In the Song dynasty (960-1279), the tradition of engraving modelbook copies became a popular way to preserve the works of ancient masters. Song scholar-artists, however, were not satisfied with just following tradition, for they considered calligraphy also as a means of creative and personal expression.

    Revivalist calligraphers of the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368), in turning to and advocating revivalism, further developed the classical traditions of the Jin and Tang dynasties. At the same time, notions of artistic freedom and liberation from rules in calligraphy also gained momentum, becoming a leading trend in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Among the diverse manners of this period, the elegant freedom of semi-cursive script contrasts dramatically with more conservative manners. Thus, calligraphers with their own styles formed individual paths that were not overshadowed by the mainstream of the time.

    Starting in the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), scholars increasingly turned to inspiration from the rich resource of ancient works inscribed with seal and clerical script. Influenced by an atmosphere of closely studying these antiquities, Qing scholars became familiar with steles and helped create a trend in calligraphy that complemented the Modelbook school. Thus, the Stele school formed yet another link between past and present in its approach to tradition, in which seal and clerical script became sources of innovation in Chinese calligraphy. 

    Exhibition Package Content

  • Gems from the National Palace Museum's Collection of Rare and Antiquarian Books_2

    Gems from the National Palace Museum's Collection of Rare and Antiquarian Books_2

    • Dates: 2020/02/26~2020/06/10
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 104
    CC BY 4.0

    Exhibit

    The National Palace Museum houses a collection of over 214,500 rare and antiquarian books, and its core is made up of print editions, volumes executed in movable type, imprints annotated by renowned scholars, old manuscripts, and delicately copied volumes, spanning the Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. There are also some imprints and manuscripts originating from historical Korea and Japan. While the collection may not be large in quantity, it is of quite impressive quality. Apart from giving an opportunity to better understand how academic studies and scholarship, as well as printing and binding, evolved in China over the centuries, it also serves as point of reference for authenticating later editions. The collection is therefore highly significant for the preservation of ancient literature and bibliographic research.

    When the Manchus came to rule over China, the new dynasty also took over the entire court library left by the defeated Ming and expanded the collections. Compilations of imperial writings and various other works were commissioned by imperial order, and great effort was put into actively acquiring books, which were for the emperor’s eyes only. Other sources in the National Palace Museum’s rich collection of rare and antiquarian books include Ming imprints and maps taken over from the former National Library of Peiping and rare Chinese originals and Japanese imprints assembled in Japan by Yang Shoujing who served as an attaché to the envoys to Japan in the late Qing dynasty, as well as Song and Yuan editions, local gazetteers, and various Qing literary anthologies bequeathed by donors from all walks of life. Together, they constitute a valuable complement to the Museum’s collection of imperial libraries, and those produced by private or commercial operations, in particular, are characterized by their ingenious variety and simple dignity. 

    Exhibition Package Content

  • Gems from the National Palace Museum's Collection of Rare and Antiquarian Books_1

    Gems from the National Palace Museum's Collection of Rare and Antiquarian Books_1

    • Dates: 2020/02/26~2020/06/10
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 104
    CC BY 4.0

    Exhibit

    The National Palace Museum houses a collection of over 214,500 rare and antiquarian books, and its core is made up of print editions, volumes executed in movable type, imprints annotated by renowned scholars, old manuscripts, and delicately copied volumes, spanning the Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. There are also some imprints and manuscripts originating from historical Korea and Japan. While the collection may not be large in quantity, it is of quite impressive quality. Apart from giving an opportunity to better understand how academic studies and scholarship, as well as printing and binding, evolved in China over the centuries, it also serves as point of reference for authenticating later editions. The collection is therefore highly significant for the preservation of ancient literature and bibliographic research.

    When the Manchus came to rule over China, the new dynasty also took over the entire court library left by the defeated Ming and expanded the collections. Compilations of imperial writings and various other works were commissioned by imperial order, and great effort was put into actively acquiring books, which were for the emperor’s eyes only. Other sources in the National Palace Museum’s rich collection of rare and antiquarian books include Ming imprints and maps taken over from the former National Library of Peiping and rare Chinese originals and Japanese imprints assembled in Japan by Yang Shoujing who served as an attaché to the envoys to Japan in the late Qing dynasty, as well as Song and Yuan editions, local gazetteers, and various Qing literary anthologies bequeathed by donors from all walks of life. Together, they constitute a valuable complement to the Museum’s collection of imperial libraries, and those produced by private or commercial operations, in particular, are characterized by their ingenious variety and simple dignity. 

    Exhibition Package Content

  • Treasures from the National Palace Museum's Collection of Qing Dynasty Historical Documents_7

    Treasures from the National Palace Museum's Collection of Qing Dynasty Historical Documents_7

    • Dates: 2020/02/26~2020/05/24
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 103
    CC BY 4.0

    Exhibit

    Archival documents are not merely records produced by government agencies in the course of their administrative activities but also an important source of materials for the study of policy implementation and the forming of legal institutions. Since ancient times an administrative system has existed to safeguard national archives for auditing purposes and on account of their value as reference materials. In the Records of the Grand Historian (Shiji), it is noted that King Cheng of the Western Zhou dynasty commanded his officials to store important archives in golden cabinets, indicating that the archive system in China dates back more than 3,000 years. Successive dynasties continued the practice of preserving archives, leaving treasure troves of historical documents for posterity.

    Due to their high confidentiality, it was difficult for outsiders to have access to government documents. The Qing dynasty archives in the National Palace Museum’s collection include a variety of official documents from government agencies, resumes and biographies of officials, as well as veritable records, imperial diaries and edicts, and collection of official statutes. As they were considered of great importance in state affairs, such archives were carefully sealed and preserved by the Qing court. When the Manchus came to rule over China they adopted the archival management system of the previous Ming dynasty, and clear and strict regulations for archival practice, such as registering, copying, recalling, repairing, checking, and filing, were spelled out. For example, in consideration of their frequent use by officials and the resulting physical damages, the huge number of archival documents preserved in the Grand Council (Junji chu), which oversaw the highly confidential state affairs, was to be examined and repaired every few years. This provision gives us a sense of the importance the Qing court accorded to the management, maintenance, and preservation of national archives. 

    Exhibition Package Content

  • Treasures from the National Palace Museum's Collection of Qing Dynasty Historical Documents_6

    Treasures from the National Palace Museum's Collection of Qing Dynasty Historical Documents_6

    • Dates: 2020/02/26~2020/05/24
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 103
    CC BY 4.0

    Exhibit

    Archival documents are not merely records produced by government agencies in the course of their administrative activities but also an important source of materials for the study of policy implementation and the forming of legal institutions. Since ancient times an administrative system has existed to safeguard national archives for auditing purposes and on account of their value as reference materials. In the Records of the Grand Historian (Shiji), it is noted that King Cheng of the Western Zhou dynasty commanded his officials to store important archives in golden cabinets, indicating that the archive system in China dates back more than 3,000 years. Successive dynasties continued the practice of preserving archives, leaving treasure troves of historical documents for posterity.

    Due to their high confidentiality, it was difficult for outsiders to have access to government documents. The Qing dynasty archives in the National Palace Museum’s collection include a variety of official documents from government agencies, resumes and biographies of officials, as well as veritable records, imperial diaries and edicts, and collection of official statutes. As they were considered of great importance in state affairs, such archives were carefully sealed and preserved by the Qing court. When the Manchus came to rule over China they adopted the archival management system of the previous Ming dynasty, and clear and strict regulations for archival practice, such as registering, copying, recalling, repairing, checking, and filing, were spelled out. For example, in consideration of their frequent use by officials and the resulting physical damages, the huge number of archival documents preserved in the Grand Council (Junji chu), which oversaw the highly confidential state affairs, was to be examined and repaired every few years. This provision gives us a sense of the importance the Qing court accorded to the management, maintenance, and preservation of national archives. 

    Exhibition Package Content

  • Treasures from the National Palace Museum's Collection of Qing Dynasty Historical Documents_5

    Treasures from the National Palace Museum's Collection of Qing Dynasty Historical Documents_5

    • Dates: 2020/02/26~2020/05/24
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 103
    CC BY 4.0

    Exhibit

    Archival documents are not merely records produced by government agencies in the course of their administrative activities but also an important source of materials for the study of policy implementation and the forming of legal institutions. Since ancient times an administrative system has existed to safeguard national archives for auditing purposes and on account of their value as reference materials. In the Records of the Grand Historian (Shiji), it is noted that King Cheng of the Western Zhou dynasty commanded his officials to store important archives in golden cabinets, indicating that the archive system in China dates back more than 3,000 years. Successive dynasties continued the practice of preserving archives, leaving treasure troves of historical documents for posterity.

    Due to their high confidentiality, it was difficult for outsiders to have access to government documents. The Qing dynasty archives in the National Palace Museum’s collection include a variety of official documents from government agencies, resumes and biographies of officials, as well as veritable records, imperial diaries and edicts, and collection of official statutes. As they were considered of great importance in state affairs, such archives were carefully sealed and preserved by the Qing court. When the Manchus came to rule over China they adopted the archival management system of the previous Ming dynasty, and clear and strict regulations for archival practice, such as registering, copying, recalling, repairing, checking, and filing, were spelled out. For example, in consideration of their frequent use by officials and the resulting physical damages, the huge number of archival documents preserved in the Grand Council (Junji chu), which oversaw the highly confidential state affairs, was to be examined and repaired every few years. This provision gives us a sense of the importance the Qing court accorded to the management, maintenance, and preservation of national archives. 

    Exhibition Package Content

Last Update: 2017-09-20