Suzhou Museum

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Suzhou Museum
Suzhou Museum

The Suzhou Museum is a museum of ancient Chinese art, ancient Chinese paintings, calligraphies, and handmade crafts, situated in Suzhou, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China. It is free to visit

Founded in 1960 and originally located in the national historic landmark, Zhong Wang Fu palace complex, Suzhou Museum has been a highly-regarded regional museum with a number of significant Chinese cultural relics. A new museum designed by world famous architect I.M.Pei was completed in October 2006, covering over 10,700 square meter and located at the cross of Dongbei Street and Qimen Road. The design of this new museum visually complements the traditional architecture of Zhong Wang Fu. The new museum houses over 30000 cultural relics-most notably for excavated artifacts, Ming and Qing Dynasty paintings and calligraphy, and ancient arts and crafts.

Suzhou Museum
Suzhou Museum

Under the design concept of "Chinese style with innovation, Suzhou style with creativity" and the idea of "not too high, not too large and not too abrupt", the museum was built to be a modern, artistic and comprehensive museum in terms of its selected site, and quality construction. Not only does it have the characteristics of a garden of Suzhou style, but also contains the simple geometric balance of the modern art as well as the exquisite structural layout in full function. The construction of the new museum makes excellent use of spaces for the museum to educate visitors on the subjects of culture, history and art. The fact that it is adjacent to a few classical gardens, such as the Humble Administrator's Garden, Zhong Wang Fu and the Lion Forest Garden, makes it become a historical, art and cultural complex within a few blocks, enriching one another.

The new Suzhou Museum exhibits four permanent collections related to this artistically flourishing era: Wu Treasures, Wu Pagoda Relics, Wu Arts and Crafts, and Wu Paintings and Calligraphy. At the north of the first floor, stands a thatched Song Pavilion, which is also a special exhibit. It is a duplication of a scholar's studio from Song Dynasty, depicting a simple but natural style. the gallery under the ground level is designated to occasionally display collections from other museums in China, and around the world.

Suzhou Museum
Suzhou Museum

The new Suzhou Museum is said to be the last design of Mr. I. M. Pei in his career. Therefore, not only does it become a monumental building in Suzhou, but also a significant construction, merging the traditional Chinese architectural design with the future. It enhances the protection of Suzhou cultural heritages, and enables Suzhou Museum to turn on a new page.

Review of Suzhou Museum

Designed by IM Pei, the same guy that designed the Louvre Pyramids, and opened in 2006. This place was really nice. It's free to get in, so that's a plus. This is primarily a history museum. They have artifacts dating back as far as 5000 B.C. They have things from ever Dynasty. The Lotus Garden in really neat, and the outdoor garden is pretty cool too.

There are art exhibits from Chinese artists before you exit as well.I was Suzhou on a rainy day, which was probably the best thing for a Suzhou visit. The line up for the museum, which apparently is usually very long, was a mere 10 minutes.

Suzhou Museum
Suzhou Museum

The Tea House has a cool little outdoor terrasse which I couldn't use because of the rain The drinks are quite pricey if you're alone. A pot of tea which 5 can drink from is only 35rmb.

Several hundred historically-magnificent items on display and we were told there are another 100,000 items ready to be displayed, or loaned to other museums. We spent about 90 minutes here and had to rush so fast we weren't even able to read all the signage. I would suggest a full day to absorb it all and, in fact, you could spend a whole week and still miss some things

With all of the overpriced tour attractions in Suzhou (and China), visiting the Suzhou Museum restored the joy of having a cheap afternoon. This museum is quite simple but its interior and exterior architecture will have you taking photos before you even begin looking at the exhibits. Moreover, exhibits have an English placard and description. Well worth going! (2-3 hours)

How to get Suzhou Museum

Address: 204 Dongbei Street, Pingjiang, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China
Website: Suzhou Museum

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