Museums in the modern age have benefited enormously from the generous contributions made by individuals. The collection of the National Palace Museum now ranks as one of the world's foremost in terms of quantity and quality. Unparalleled for its holdings of Chinese artifacts, the Museum was established back in 1925 with objects and art inherited from the Ch'ing dynasty court. These treasures, some of which can be traced back to the imperial collection more than a thousand years ago, have been supplemented by private donations over the years.
Although the imperial collection suffered losses at the fall of each dynasty, it has always been regarded as a symbol of court pride. Consequently, no effort was spared to retrieve and add works to the collection over the ages. Considering China's long history, it is not difficult to see how it grew considerably over the Sung (960-1279), Yuan (1279-1368), Ming (1368-1644), and Ch'ing (1644-1911) dynasties. One of the most important sources has always been donations. With the establishment of the Palace Museum, the once private collection of the imperial family became the core of a public institution devoted to the preservation of Chinese art and culture for all. Many people have made great sacrifices to ensure that this tradition is enjoyed for generations to come.
From inception to maturity, the National Palace Museum has been fortunate to enjoy the support of many individuals all over the world. Although the Museum has an annual budget for purchasing artworks, conditions in the art market often prevent the acquisition of ideal pieces. Consequently, the Museum created a policy for accepting donations as a way to encourage individuals to contribute to the greater good of society. Since the Museum was reestablished in Taipei in 1965, it has benefited from the generous contributions of many individuals, thereby expanding it well beyond the scope of the original imperial collection.
these generous donations, the Museum provides certificates of gratitude or
may even request the President of the ROC to present an award of
distinction. Those who make substantial donations are also honored with
individual exhibition and publication of their works. Regardless of the size
of the contribution, however, the donor is given credit in the text that
accompanies the display or publication of each piece. As with the many other
items in the Museum collection, restrictions in terms of time and space
prevent all donations from being displayed at once. Consequently, in this
gallery, a rotation schedule has been arranged to make them available over
time for public viewing. In such a way, the Museum wishes to express yet
another token of appreciation to the many who have generously donated over
the years and to serve as encouragement for others to follow.