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Treasures in public museums unchained

By Liao Danlin (Global Times)

13:31, January 22, 2013

Portrait of Liu Suwei by Li Tiefu (Guangdong Art Museum) (GT)

Public museums reveal what's inside their enormous buildings

Public art museums have been an important part of the massive urban development in China over the past decade. For proof, just look at those large and occasionally strange art museums in every big city. Many have established themselves as popular tourist attractions because of their odd exterior. But for local residents not so interested in art or too busy to pay attention to an ever-changing skyline, these public art museums are just one more giant structure that suddenly pops up on the landscape. Even tourists often take photos outside but care little about what lies within.

The general impression of these regional mega-museums is that an expensive ticket only allows a person to view a handful of valuable artworks. But is that truly the case? Those in the industry would disagree, and to prove it, several museums have joined forces.

To help celebrate the National Art Museum of China (NAMC)'s 50th anniversary, 10 of the most representative public museums in China have put together an enormous exhibition from their best collections.

Over 500 paintings are now on display at the NAMC through February 26. It's a chance for the public to see how different regional histories and cultures influence artists and become reflected in their art. It also corrects people's misconceptions about what public museums have done in the past.

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