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US museums present gems of Chinese art

Masterpieces of Early Chinese Painting and Calligraphy in American Collection, an exhibition jointly held by the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, opened in Shanghai today.

Many of the 60 ancient Chinese art pieces, spanning more than 400 years, returned to their homeland for the first time.

The art of Chinese ink painting flourished during the Jin, Tang, Song and Yuan dynasties more than 1,000 years ago. Various styles and techniques were developed during this period and became models for imitation by the later generations.

The exhibition is held to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Shanghai Museum which was founded in 1952 in the building of the former Shanghai Race Club in today's People's Square and moved to a bank building on Yan'an Road E. in 1959. It moved back to People's Square to its new building in 1996.

With more than 140,000 antiques and art works in its collection, Shanghai Museum ranks among the largest museums in the world. It is most famous for its collection of ancient bronzes, ceramics, paintings and calligraphies.

"By viewing this exhibition, we can better understand the evolution of Chinese calligraphy and painting. This is also a rare opportunity for us to explore the cultural and social background of those ages," said Chen Xiejun, the Shanghai Museum curator.


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