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Guangdong Folk Crafts Museum

Updated: 2008-01-18 18:00:39

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Situated inside the Chen Clan Academy at the Zhongshan Road in Guangzhou City, the Guangdong Folk Craft Museum collects, preserves, studies and shows various folk craft works in the Guangdong area. It was opened to public in 1959 with an inscription by Guo Moruo on its front tablet.

The Chen Clan Academy, also known as Chen's Ancestral Temple, was first built in 1890 during the reign of Guangxu. The whole structure covers 15,000 square meters with 6,400 square meters as principal section. It is in fact an architectural complex of 19 quadrangle compounds symmetrical on both sides of a central axis. The Chen Clan Academy is known for its superb art of decoration because it epitomizes the folk decoration art of Guangdong. It is also famous for "three kinds of carving, three kinds of sculpture and one kind of iron casting" and named "the best ancestral temple in Guangdong". The three kinds of sculpture are stone carving, wood carving and brick carving.

The museum collects craft art works and related historical documents of artists in the past generations and modern times. Since 1959, Yang Quan, a Hong Kong collector and connoisseur of cultural relics, has donated more than 4,000 cultural relics he has collected for lifetime to the museum. The museum has also received many donations from other individuals. At present, the museum houses about 15,000 pieces of exhibits, of which more than 100 belong to the Class One collection. Among the treasures it keeps are embroideries of Chaozhou from Tang to Qing Dynasties (618-1911), pottery sculptures of Shiwan and large ink-slabs of Duanxi of modern times. There are sculptures of modern times. There are sculptures of ivory, ivory ball, and jade.

Permanent displays include representative craftsmanship of Guangdong and theme products of art and paintings. In addition, the museum often organizes various comprehensive or special exhibitions at home and abroad, such as the Exhibition of Practical Folk Crafts of Suzhou, the Hungarian Potteries Exhibition, the International Friendship Exhibition of Treasures, and so on.

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