The National Palace Museum

Timeline of the NPM


Since its establishment in 1925, the Palace Museum has presented various appearances at different stages.


(1) 1924-1932 :

  • November 1924
    The last emperor of China, Pu-yi, left the Forbidden City. The Committee for the Disposition of Ch'ing Imperial Possessions, founded by the Republican government, started to make a comprehensive inventory of the articles in the imperial palaces.
  • October 1925
    The Committee for the Disposition of Ch'ing Imperial Possessions decided to follow the examples of European nations. With a core collection of Ming and Ch'ing objects, the Palace Museum was established and opened to the general public.
The front entrance of the Palace Museum, the Gate of Divine Might(New window)


(2) 1933-1936 :

  • February 1933
    The Shan-hai-kuan Checkpoint fell to the Japanese army. Considering the precarious situation in northern China, the government decided to move the museum's collections southward.
  • August 1936
    The construction of the Palace Museum's storage in the Taoist monastery Ch'ao-t'ien-kung in Nanjing was complete. The Nanjing Branch of the Palace Museum was established the following year.
A new addition to the Central Museum at Chungshan Gate in Nanjing.(New window)


(3) 1937-1944 :
The Second Sino-Japanese War commenced in July 1937. Starting from August, the collections were moved in three batches to western China.

  • Northern Land Route (1937.8-1938.7) :
    Nanjing→Shanhsi (Hsi'an→Paochi) →Sich'uan (Kuangyuan→Ch'engtu→Omei)
  • Southern Land Route (1937.8-1938.12) :
  • Southern waterway (1937.8-1939.9) :
The collections had to cross three rivers by rafts when moving from Hanchung to Ch'engtu.(New window)


(4) 1945-1964 :

  • August 1945
    With the conclusion of the Second Sino-Japanese War, the collections were reunited in Sich'uan and began to be moved back to Nanjing.
  • December 1947
    The collections arrived in Nanjing. The reunion and return of the collections were settled.
  • December 1948~Feburary 1949
    Due to the tension caused by the Chinese Civil War, the collections were shipped to Taiwan and temporarily stored in T'aichung.
  • January 1950
    Storage started to be built at Peikou in Wufeng, T'aichung and was finished in April. The government immediately established the Joint Managerial Office which was responsible for managing the collections that were moved to Taiwan by the Palace Museum, the Preparatory Office of the Central Museum and the Central Library. The collections from the three institutes were moved into the new storage.
  • July 1956
    The exhibition gallery in Peikou was built from July to December and was officially opened in the following year.
The exhibition room at Peikou, T'aichung.(New window) The exhibition room at Peikou, T'aichung.(New window) The exhibition room at Peikou, T'aichung.(New window)


(5) 1965-Present :

  • 1965
    The construction of the new museum in Wai-shuang-hsi in Taipei was completed. The government established the National Palace Museum in order to "manage, conserve and exhibit the collections of the Palace Museum and the Preparatory Office of the National Central Museum". The inauguration ceremony was held on November 12th. To commemorate the 100 anniversary of Dr. Sun Yat-seng's birth, the museum was also known as the "Chungshan Museum".
  • 1967
    Extension project phase 1 was complete. Wings were added to the main building.
  • 1971
    Extension project phase 2 was complete.
  • 1984
    Extension project phase 3 was complete. The administration building was inaugurated.
  • 1985
    Chih-shan Garden was complete.
  • 1995
    Extension project phase 4 was complete. The library building and Chih-te Garden were inaugurated.
  • 2001
    The planning of a southern branch was commenced.
  • December 2006
    The renovated main building was reopened to the public.
  • December.28, 2015
    The National Palace Museum southern branch trial operation.
Views of the National Palace Museum(New window) Preview of the National Palace Museum Southern Branch(New window)