The Suzhou Museum located in Suzhou, China is aimed at preserving the history of China in forms of Chinese art, Chinese paintings, calligraphies and handmade crafts. Begun in 1960, the museum was initially located within the Zhong Wang Fu Palace. The current museum which was completed in 2006 was designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei.
With an area of 2,200 square metres the museum’s impressive display contains over 15,000 pieces. This includes 70,000 books as well as documents and 20,000 rubbings of stone inscriptions. The Pearl Pillar of the Buddhist Shrine is an important relic displayed in the museum, the other being the Celadon lotus-flower shaped bowl, Yue Ware. The former has the shrine stored inside a double layered wood case and the shrine is an exquisite piece of work combining wood, pearl, gold, silver, jade and crystals.
The paintings and calligraphy section also has many masterpieces. The phoenix and peony design silk tapestry is regarded as a fine example of antique silk tapestries and the hanging scroll of embroidery of Xinghua village by Shanghai LuXiang Yuan Embroidery House has over a thousand coloured strings woven together. Scroll of seven bamboo paintings, an album of flowers and birds by Shenzhou, a pair of priceless scrolls done for the Ming Dynasty and a painting of a farm village done by Tang complete the collection.
China has always been popular for its work with porcelain and no museum collection is complete without at least a few of these pieces. The famille rose fast plate, a plate with a red and blue dragon in a White Sea background made during the Qing Dynasty and other beautiful works make up this collection. Most works also have a deeper meaning, like the dish with peony and butterfly design which represents long life, wealth would have in most cases been given as gifts from one family to another.
The museum is filled with an abundance of such pieces which are beautiful and interesting and they can be viewed from 9am – 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday. Suzhou accommodation is easily available for those wanting a stay in the area. A service apartment Suzhou is one such option. Citadines Xinghai Suzhou is preferred by many.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.