The Nanjing Municipal Museum, founded at the beginning of 1978 and located at the Chaotiangong Palace in Nanjing City of Jiangsu Province, is a local historical andart museum of China. It used to be the Relics Management Committee of Nanjing Municipality founded in October 1949. It is one of the organs founded the earliest in China that combines the functionaries of relics management, archeological collection, collection, protection and researches and education.
TheChaotiangong Palace, the largest ancient building complex with the unique style of imperial palace in Jiangnan (a region in the lower Yangtze valley, including southern Jiangsu and Anhui Provinces and northern Zhejiang Province), covers an area of over 70,000 square meters. At the beginning of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), it was the site for rehearsing the ceremony and propriety before attending grand ceremonies or being presented at court. In the middle period of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), it was divided into three parts, the central part became the ConfucianTemple, the east wing the school ofJiangningfu Prefecture and the west wing the Memorial Temple of Revered Bian. The existing buildings include the Wanren Palace Wall (towering palace wall), the Eastern and Western Lane Gates, the Lingxingmen Gate, the Jimen Gate, the Dachengdian Hall (the main hall of the Confucian Temple), the Chongshengdian (sage-reverence) Hall, the Eastern and Western Corridors, the Yubeiting Pavilion (pavilion with an imperial tablet), the Feiyunge (flying clouds) Pavilion, the Feixiage (flying rosy clouds) Pavilion, and the Jingyi Pavilion, all rehabilitated from 1866 to 1870 in the Qing Dynasty.
The Museum has collected over 80,000 items of various kinds of relic samples and artworks through the ages, 134 items of which are Class One Collection featuring the unearthed relics from the tombs of the wealthy and influential clans in the Six Dynasties (the six dynasties between the downfall of the Han in 220 and the reunification of China in 589 which had their capital what is known as Nanjing) and the arts and crafts from the tombs of the founders and aristocratic families in the Ming Dynasty. The collections of relics from the Six Dynasties rank number one inChinain terms of quantity, variety and historical and artistic value. The sixteen epitaphs unearthed from the tombs of Prime Minister Wang Dao, and the clans of Xie An and Xiao Rong are the treasured objects to study the calligraphy in the Six Dynasties and the calligraphy history ofChina. A pair of celadon wine vessels in the shape of lotus flower unearthed from an unknown Southern Dynasty (420-589) tomb represents the highest accomplishment of the celadon artworks in the Six Dynasties. The celadon vase with the pattern of figures and plum flowers unearthed from the tomb of Mo Ying is regarded as the masterpiece of the Chinese celadon wares at the end of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and beginning of the Ming Dynasty.
The Museum has a space of over 2,000 square meters for display. Its basic exhibition is the Exhibition of Historical Relics of Nanjing, mainly showing the development history of the ancient city of Nanjing and the features and achievements of the construction of the ancient city civilization of China, giving priority to the prosperous Six Dynasties, science and culture from the 3rd to the 6th century as well as a period of full bloom of the city and the achievements in arts and crafts from the mid-14th to the 18th century. Since 1978, the Museum has held 32 exhibitions on special topics, such as the Unearthed Relics from Brick Tombs of Ming Dynasty, the Arts and Crafts through the Ages, the Collections of Painting and Calligraphy from Ming and Qing Dynasties, the Achievements of General Investigation of Relics and Historic Sites inNanjing, and the Relics Donated by Celebrities of Nanjing. An exhibition on the special topic of the Relics from the Tombs of the Wang's Clan in Eastern Jin Dynasty was once held at home and the Exhibition of Relics of Nobilities of Ming Dynasty was held inJapan.
The publications of the Museum, compiled independently or jointly with the related units, areEpitaphs of Six Dynasties Unearthed in Nanjing,Pottery Figurines of Six Dynasties,Mingzhengjun Tablet of Tang Dynasty,Survey of Nanjing Sceneries, theScenic Spots and Historic Sites of Nanjing,Collection of Museology Papers of Naning City Museum,Collection of Archeological Papers of Six Dynasties of Nanjing City Museum, andNanjing City Museum.