Poly Art Museum

Poly Art Museum information

Location
Běijīng , China
Address
9th fl, Poly Plaza, 14 Dongzhimen Nandajie
Telephone
+86 6500 8117
Getting there
Subway: Dongsi Shitiao
More information
www.polymuseum.com
Prices
admission ¥20, audio guide ¥10
Opening hours
9.30am-4.30pm
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This small but exquisite museum displays a glorious array of ancient bronzes from the Shang and Zhou dynasties, a magnificent high-water mark for bronze production. Check out the intricate scaling on the ‘Zun vessel in the shape of a Phoenix’ (倗季凤鸟尊) or the ‘You with Divine Faces’ (神面卣), with its elephant head on the side of the vessel. The detailed animist patterns on the Gangbo You (棡柏卣) are similarly vivid and fascinating. In an attached room are four of the Western-styled 12 bronze animals plundered with the sacking of the Old Summer Palace that have been acquired by the museum. The pig, monkey, tiger and ox peer out from glass cabinets – you can buy a model for ¥15,000. The last room is populated with a wonderful collection of standing bodhisattva statues. Resembling a semidivine race of smiling humans, most of the statues are from the Northern Qi, Northern Wei and Tang dynasties. It’s a sublime presentation and some of the statues have journeyed through the centuries with pigment still attached.

Those interested in Ming-dynasty architecture should check out the nearby Imperial Granaries . Nine of the storehouses, dating from 1409, have been lovingly restored. They once contained grain and rice for Běijīng’s royalty; they now house posh wine bars and members clubs.