The Chengdu Museum (National Shadow Puppetry Museum in Chengdu) is a non-profit institution affiliated to the Chengdu Culture, Radio and TV, and Tourism Bureau. Established on September 15, 1958, it has evolved over several stages, including its stints as the Preparatory Committee of Chengdu Chorographic Museum, Cultural Relics Administration of Chengdu City, Chengdu Municipal Museum, and Chengdu Museum. At the end of 2015, the new Chengdu Museum received permission from the Chengdu Commission Office of Public Sectors Reform, and was opened to the public on September 15, 2016.
Situated on the west side of Tianfu Square downtown, Chengdu Museum covers an area of 11,333 square meters or so, and its total floor area is about 65,000 square meters. The main buildings are the southern and northern towers. The southern tower above ground is primarily utilized as an office area and scientific research center, while the underground level is academic hall (multiple-functional). The northern tower is primarily for exhibitions: the first floor includes the lobby, Video Hall, and Special Exhibition Hall, and when you travel into the layer below ground, you will see the featured exhibition of Man and Nature. The second and third floors host exhibitions History and Culture Display of Chengdu/Ancient Times. The fourth floor exhibits Recent Historical Period and Folk Custom, and finally the fifth floor shows Puppetry and Shadow Plays of China. The total area reserved for exhibits is nearly 20,000 square meters.
There are almost 200,000 pieces in Chengdu Museum’s collection, curated into a relatively complete collection that sequences eras from Neolithic period to the Republic of China. It boasts a large collection of high quality, including bronzes, gold, silver, portrait bricks, stone carvings, ceramics, paintings, furniture, shadow figures, puppets, paintings about Taoist or Buddhist rites, masks, wood carvings, etc.
Since opened to the public, Chengdu Museum has held a series of temporary and special exhibitions including Chang Dai-chien: Nostalgia for the Motherland, Son of Heaven in the Heyday: Exhibition of the Qianlong Emperor in Qing Dynasty, Spirit of the Silk Road: Dunhuang Art Exhibition and Treasures from the Land of Abundance and the Silk Road, The Imperial Palace: Treasures of the Peterhof State Museum Reserve, Paths of Modernity: French Modern and Contemporary Art Exhibition & Valérie Belin Meta-Clichés, The Echo of Civilization: Ancient Treasures from Afghanistan and Bronze Civilization in Qin and Shu Areas. All these exhibitions have earned high praise from visitors.
Chengdu Museum is a cultural infrastructure with the heaviest investment in Chengdu since the reform and opening up. It provides diversified public cultural services for the city and coordinates the development across both the society and economy. Committed to building itself into a world-renowned metropolitan museum, Chengdu Museum will continue to promote cultural relic protection, exhibitions, education, scientific research, publications, and foreign exchanges.