RETHINKING THE EARLY MODERN MUSEUM IN CHINA IN THE CONTEXT OF THE CONTEMPORARY CHINESE MUSEUM BOOM
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe recent museum boom in China has drawn much attention in the West, but few have paid attention to the first museum boom in China in the early modern period, from 1911-1937. During this period, museums in China developed in a fast and vibrant manner, and aspects of these museums have shaped museums in China today. I investigate early modern museums on a micro scale, and provide a detailed account of historical information about the pioneering private museums like the Zikawei Museum, Shanghai Museum, Nantong Museum, as well as the significant national museums like the National History Museum, Institute of Antiquity Exhibition, and Palace Museum. Then, I examine the development of contemporary museums on a macro scale, with an analysis of regulations and laws, notable museums and exhibitions, in order to explain the basis of the Chinese museum boom today. I also discuss the international loan exhibition, a device that ran though the history of Chinese museums and serves the diplomatic needs of the Chinese government. Lastly, I shed light on the rising demand for foreign exhibitions in China, and point out how important it is for the West to understand the history of Chinese museums in order to facilitate successful cooperative traveling exhibitions.
Degree ProgramHonors College