Treasures of the World's Cultures: The British Museum after 250 Years

Treasures of the World's Cultures:
The British Museum after 250 Years

As we look back at the course of the development of human race over the millennia, we cannot help but sense and admire the great artistic and cultural achievements of our ancestors. Only by maintaining an attitude of pondering, tracing, and cherishing the vast cultural heritage of humanity, combined with a sense of adventure for exploration, can we experience the subtleties and grandeur of the wisdom of great cultures around the world, as well as the stimulating inspiration and creativity in the process of cultural interaction. By shuttling through the corridors of history and retracing the steps of civilizations, we can further appreciate the brilliance of the cultural legacy of humanity. Art and artifacts from different regions and periods allow us to understand more fully the multi-faceted and diverse cultures of the world, which lies at the heart of the goal the National Palace Museum attempts to achieve in hosting this special exhibition.

Founded in 1753, the British Museum is renowned throughout the world for its extensive collection of more than seven million objects that covers the legacy of humanity from almost every region and every period over two million years of history. Marking the first collaboration between the National Palace Museum and the British Museum, the exhibition Treasures of the World's Cultures: The British Museum after 250 Years has been two years in the making, and it is intended to offer the audiences in Taiwan a rare opportunity to appreciate cultural treasures from around the world without embarking on journeys abroad.

This exhibition is divided into the following thirteen sections:

The selection of 271 works on view provides glimpses at the cultural legacy of humanity from the Paleolithic Age up to the 20th century that stretches from Europe, Middle East, and Asia to Oceania, the Americas, and Africa. The exhibition includes works of sculpture and painting, as well as historical and cultural artifacts in a wide range of materials, such as precious objects, glass, gold, silver, bronze, stone, wood, and ceramic. Such a diverse and pluralistic display not only offers audiences in Taiwan a cultural and artistic feast for the eyes, it also provides a first-hand understanding of the developments in world cultures as well as the glorious achievements of humanity over the ages.

Being able to examine in Taipei this group of artistic and cultural treasures from the British Museum represents a door opened by the National Palace Museum onto the cultures of the world that is unavailable in any textbook of history. It is hoped that this door will inspire audiences in Taiwan a new perspective of the great cultures of humanity.