Introducing the Capital Museum
The Capital Museum of Beijing is one of the biggest and most modern art museums in China. It was originally located in the Confucius Temple in 1981 and later a new museum was built in a different location and opened to the public in 2006. With its magnificent architecture, abundant exhibitions, advanced technology and complete functions, the Capital Museum contributes to Beijing’s standing as a famous historical and cultural city, a cultural centre and an international metropolis and ranks among the first class museums both at home and abroad and is regarded as one of the first “State First-class Museums” in 2008.
The concept of the architectural design of the Capital Museum is based on human and cultural heritage, to serve the community and underlines the harmonious integration of past and present, history and modernism, art and nature. The construction of the Capital Museum itself is a piece of architectural artwork integrating both classical and modern beauty. It is of distinct Chinese architectural characteristics on one hand and a clear modern feeling on the other. The massive roof and the gradient at the entrance square take after the design from the Chinese traditional architectural style, and the stone-made exterior wall symbolizes the city walls in ancient China. A piece of Danbi (stone carved with images like dragon, phoenix or cloud for Gods to walk on) is embedded on the ground in front of the north gate of the museum. And a decorative archway from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) is set in the reception hall in which shows the “central axis” design which is commonly used in Chinese architecture. The oval-shaped Bronze Exhibition Hall implies the unearthing of ancient relics by its slanting design in which extends from the ground to the exterior of the museum.
There are three independent constructions within the new museum: the rectangular exhibition hall, the circular exhibition hall and the quadrate office and scientific research building. The open space in between is the central hall and indoor bamboo courtyard. An environment of both human and natural sentiment is created by adopting natural light, blended with the decorative Chinese-style archway, bamboo courtyard and rippling water. Articles exhibited in the Capital Museum are mainly ancient collections and unearthed historical heritages in Beijing, combined with the latest research results concerning the history, cultural heritages, archeology and relevant subjects of Beijing.
With a total of 5,622 artifacts on display, the Capital Museum mainly consists three parts: Permanent Exhibition, Masterpiece Exhibition and Temporary Exhibition.
Permanent Exhibition: It includes theme rooms like “Ancient Capital - History and Culture of Beijing”; “Ancient Capital - Urban Construction” and “Stories of the Capital City - Old Beijing Folk Customs”. They show the splendid and glorious culture of Beijing, which has constantly evolved and gradually formed its splendid development of the capital.
Masterpiece Exhibition: It includes theme rooms like “Selected works of Ancient Painting”; “Selected works of Ancient Calligraphy”; “Selected works of Ancient Buddhist Statues”; “Selected works of Ancient Porcelain”; “Selected works of Bronze Art of Beijing”; “Selected works of Ancient Jade” and “Selected works of Ancient Study Utensils”.
Temporary Exhibition: It serves as a stage to study and appreciate the culture of Beijing, cultures of other regions home and abroad.