Review: The museum successfully represents the great extent of Shaanxi history and its remarkable culture as well as the most flourishing period of feudal glory, the Tang dynasty; however, it only houses a dozen Buddhist sculptures. For the past few decades, the museum was considered one of the most attractive museums in China, but many newly built or newly renovated museums reveal its outmoded exhibition design and technology by comparison. To see more Buddha sculptures, the Xi’an Beilin Museum is a recommended site, as is the brand new Xi’an Museum opened in May 2007.
Introduction: The building complex recreates Tang-dynasty architecture and showcases the great extent of Shaanxi history and its remarkable culture. Shaanxi Province is the birthplace of ancient Chinese civilization and Xi’an was the capital city of thirteen dynasties spanning over 1,100 years. Consequently, the ancient history of Shaanxi is to some degree the ancient history of China. Opened in 1991, the museum is situated in the southern suburb of Xian City, northwest of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.
The Shaanxi History Museum contains 115,000 objects in its collections. The more representative of these include bronzes; Tang-dynasty tomb wall paintings; terracotta statuary; ceramics; construction materials; Han and Tang bronze mirrors; coins and currency; calligraphy; rubbings; scrolls; woven articles; bone articles; wooden, lacquer, iron, and stone objects; seals; and some contemporary cultural relics and ethnic objects.
The 2,000 selected objects for special display include: painted Neolithic ceramics reflecting early people's living conditions and their pursuit of vibrant art forms; bronzes reflecting the rise of the Zhou people; bronze weapons including swords; statuary of horses and soldiers, reflecting the way in which Qin unified all under heaven; and Tang-dynasty gold and silver objects and its ceramics, reflecting the most flourishing period of feudal glory.
Admission fee: 50 yuan (Mar to Nov); 35 yuan (Dec to Feb)
Opening hours: 9:00-17:30 (Nov 15 to Feb 28/29)
8:30-18:00 (Mar1 to May 31 and Oct 8 to Nov 15)
8:30-18:30 (June 1 to Oct 7)
Bus route: 5, 19, 24, 26, 27, 30, 34, 400, 401, 521, 527, 701, 710, 721, 722; Tourist Bus 6 and 8.
(China.org.cn Wang Zhiyong November 10, 2007)