National Art Museum of China

The National Art Museum of China, located in downtown Beijing, was established for the collection, research and display of art. Its main exhibition hall, covering 9,900 sq yd (about 8,300 sq meters), is divided into 17 basic exhibition halls. In each of the five floors, diverse works of art display aesthetic brilliance.

At present, the National Art Museum of China owns over 100,000 art works of various types. The main collections were created around 1949. Works created in the end of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Qing Dynasty (1683-1840) and the early period of the Republic of China (1912-1949) are also significant features among the collections. Most collections are outstanding art works created by well-known artists in modern and contemporary times, awarded works from major exhibitions and masterpieces of folk works. Furthermore, over one thousand foreign works are exhibited in it.

Fine Arts

Fine arts collected in the National Art Museum were mainly created by modern artists in China, such as Ren Bonian, Wu Changshuo, Qi Baishi and Xu Beihong, and contemporary artists such as Wu Guanzhong, Dong Xiwen and Luo Zhongli. Their works attract much attention among Chinese people and foreign visitors.

The art collections in this museum appear in many forms, such as oil painting, traditional Chinese painting, fresco, woodcut, print, New Year painting, status, photography and calligraphy.

Qi Baishi (1864-1957), a famous Chinese artist and calligrapher from the 20th century, has created many excellent works. He is known as the "People's Artist of China". In Qi's paintings, the flowers, birds, insects, mountains, water and figures are life-like, and he succeeded in expressing a distinctive art spirit, with which style his works have touched worldwide audience. Qi Baishi has left a large number of masterpieces, the most well-known from door to door being "Shrimp" (1949). In the National Art Museum of China, 337 of Qi's works are collected, such as "Flowers and Insects" (an album of paintings), "Willow in Water Vapor beside Lin Bridge" (1924), "Red Lotus" (1951), and "Farming" (1952).

Another renowned famous master, Ren Bonian (1840-1895), also named Ren Yi, is the representative of modern art history at the end of 19th century. His talent lies in drawing figures, natural landscape, flowers and insects. Famous for his "prudent", "vivid" and "original" painting style, Ren has created paintings which are both refined and popular. There are 201 of his works in the museum. Among these works, "Inquiring in a Peach Garden" is regarded one of the greatest treasures in the National Art Museum of China.

There are many other masterpieces displayed: "Father" by Luo Zhongli, oil painting "Founding Ceremony of China" by Dong Xiwen, oil painting "Occupation of the President's Residence" by Chen Yifei and Wei Jingshan are a few examples of the treasures. Foreign masterpieces are also collected here, including four oil paintings, donated from German collectors, by Pablo Picasso, founder of Cubism.

Paper Cutting
Paper-cut in National Art Museum
National Art Museum of China
Shadow Puppet

Folk Arts

Folk collections are mainly divided into paper-cut, shadow puppet, mask, pottery, kites and embroidery.

Shadow Puppets are distinctive presentations of ancient Chinese people's leisure activities. Figures in the shadow puppets are mainly people of great influence in the history of China or brave and wise people from the operas. Shadow play is performed with these shadow puppets in a manner of opera performance, with singing. Paper cuts present the wisdom of Chinese people who put the experience of their daily life into practice. They are very popular in the rural areas of China, especially in Henan and Shanxi.

The paper cuts present a delicate art form, cut from paper by local people with only a pair of scissors into different patterns to take on diverse flowers, animals or mascots.

Masks are usually used to play operas in different areas of China, particularly for stage performance. Wearing the masks, people disguise themselves to celebrate festivals or give performances in stages.

Embroidery is of Chinese character, first appeared in China. With needles, the silk thread or other fibers are embroidered on a fabric into different patterns, such as mandarin ducks symbolizing eternal love, or flowers representing a happy life. The famous embroidery of China mainly originates from Suzhou, Hunan, Sichuan and Guangdong.

Featured Exhibitions

The National Art Museum of China has a featured practice of holding national and international exhibitions. So far, the most significant national exhibition was the "Lights of Dunhuang" in 2008. The number of visitors to that exhibition broke all records since the opening.

The major international exhibitions held in the past years include: Rural Landscape Painting Exhibition of the 19th Century in France, Original Works Exhibition of Pablo Picasso, Engraved Painting Exhibition of German Expressionism, Art Exhibition of Auguste Rodin, and From Titian to Goya Masterpieces from the Prado Museum.

How to get to the National Art Museum

 By Subway:
Take Subway Line 5 or Line 6 and get off at Dongsi Station. Get out from Exit E and walk west for about five minutes.
 By Bus:
1. Take bus 103 or 111 and get off at Meishuguan (Art Museum) Station.
2. Take bus 104, 108, or Special Line 11 and get off at Meishuguan Bei Station.
3. Take bus 60, 82, or 112 and get off at Shatan Lukou Bei Station.
 Beijing Bus / Subway Search

Admission Fee Free, but visitors need to get a ticket by showing identification card or passport. 4,000 tickets are issued at the door during 09:00-16:00 and 2,000 online per day.
Opening Hours 09:00-17:00, last entry at 16:00; closed on Monday except holidays.