The Shanghai Museum is a museum of ancient Chinese art, situated on the People's Square in the Huangpu District of Shanghai, People's Republic of China.
1952: Museum founded and first open to the public in the former Shanghai Racecourse club house, now at 325 W. Nanjing Road.
1959: Museum moved into the former Zhonghui Building at 16 S. Henan Road, which previously housed insurance companies and bank offices.
1992: Museum allocated a piece of land on People's Square by the Shanghai municipal government, as its new site.
Construction of the current building started in August 1993. It was inaugurated in October 12, 1996. It is 29.5 meters high with five floors, covering a total area of 39,200 m².
Designed by a local architect, the new museum building is designed in the shape of an ancient, bronze, tripod cooking vessel called a ding. It is said that the inspiration for the design was specifically provided by the Da Ke Ding, now on exhibit in the museum. The building has round top and a square base, symbolising the ancient Chinese perception of the world as "round sky, square earth".
The museum has a collection of over 120,000 pieces, including bronze, ceramics, calligraphy, furniture, jades, ancient coins, paintings, seals, sculptures, minority art and foreign art. It has eleven galleries and three special temporary exhibition halls. The permanent galleries are:
Gallery of Ancient Chinese Bronze
Gallery of Ancient Chinese Sculpture
Gallery of Ancient Chinese Ceramics
Gallery of Ancient Chinese Jades
Gallery of Ancient Chinese Paintings
Gallery of Ancient Chinese Calligraphy
Gallery of Ancient Chinese Seals
Gallery of Ancient Chinese Numismatics
Gallery of Chinese Furniture in Ming and Qing dynasties
Gallery of Arts and Crafts by Chinese Minorities
The Shanghai Museum houses several items of national importance, including one of three extant specimens of a "transparent" bronze mirror from the Han Dynasty.