27 Jun - 19 Oct 2014
Discover the extraordinary story of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), a period of China’s history marked by economic strength and a dramatic flourishing of the arts.


Meaning brilliant or bright, the Ming era represents the starting point of modern China. A collection of original artefacts from the Nanjing Museum, including Chinese National Treasures, introduce key aspects of the Ming dynasty, focussing on the remarkable cultural, technological and economic achievements of the period. This will be the only UK showing of this internationally significant exhibition.

About the exhibition

Exquisite luxury items and rare objects reveal the wealth and opulence of the Ming imperial court. These include the iconic blue and white porcelain with which the Ming period is synonymous, as well as sumptuous silk textiles, gold and jades, and rare examples of elaborately enamelled cloisonné.

A richly coloured painting from the early Ming illustrates the symbolic grandeur and geometrical order of Beijing’s newly-built Forbidden City. It was to be the imperial seat for emperors and their households for the following five centuries, and was the world’s largest palace complex.

Artworks by leading painters reveal the preoccupations of Ming society’s cultural elite, from courtesans to dreams of escape from official life. A collection of life-size portraits show the faces of the Ming’s educated elite – men who were at the very top of the late Ming social order.

The Ming was also a period of social transformation, resulting in a thriving consumer culture. Many forms of visual art and handicraft flourished. Beautiful furniture, musical instruments, Buddhist artefacts and items of personal adornment bring to life the elegant tastes and concerns of this gilded age. Investigating the prosperous Ming economy and its effects on social order and cultural systems during the 16th and 17th centuries, the exhibition also reflects on the legacy the Ming has left Chinese culture.

You can read what visitors have been saying about the exhibition here and see inside here:

 

Win a luxury break with Scotland on Sunday

We’ve teamed up with Scotland on Sunday to offer a fabulous prize for two, including a two-night stay at Prestonfield, dinner in the Tower Restaurant and tickets to Ming: The Golden EmpireEnter the competition here.

  • Map Of The Myriad Countries Of The World By Matteo Ricci 1552 1610 And Li Zhizao 1565 1630 © Nanjing Museum / Nomad Exhibitions

    Map Of The Myriad Countries Of The World By Matteo Ricci 1552 1610 And Li Zhizao 1565 1630 © Nanjing Museum / Nomad Exhibitions
  • Dish with floral decoration Jingdezhen Jiangxi province © Nanjing Museum / Nomad Exhibitions

    Dish with floral decoration Jingdezhen Jiangxi province © Nanjing Museum / Nomad Exhibitions
  • Idly fishing on an Autumn river silk painting by Shen Zhou (1427-1509) © Nanjing Museum / Nomad Exhibitions

    Idly fishing on an Autumn river silk painting by Shen Zhou (1427-1509) © Nanjing Museum / Nomad Exhibitions
  • Hexagonal vase with floral decoration, Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province © Nanjing Museum / Nomad Exhibitions

    Hexagonal vase with floral decoration, Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province © Nanjing Museum / Nomad Exhibitions
  • Gold cicada on a leaf of jade © Nanjing Museum / Nomad Exhibitions

    Gold cicada on a leaf of jade © Nanjing Museum / Nomad Exhibitions
  • The Forbidden City And Its Architect Kuai Xiang (1398 1481) © Nanjing Museum / Nomad Exhibitions

    The Forbidden City And Its Architect Kuai Xiang (1398 1481) © Nanjing Museum / Nomad Exhibitions
  • Bamboo pot carved with pines and cranes carved by Zhu He © Nanjing Museum / Nomad Exhibitions

    Bamboo pot carved with pines and cranes carved by Zhu He © Nanjing Museum / Nomad Exhibitions
  • Calligraphy in cursive grass script by Zhu Yunming (1460-1527) © Nanjing Museum / Nomad Exhibitions

    Calligraphy in cursive grass script by Zhu Yunming (1460-1527) © Nanjing Museum / Nomad Exhibitions

 

This exhibition has been produced by Nomad Exhibitions in association with Nanjing Museum.

Ming: The Golden Empire is sponsored by

Baillie Gifford

 

#MarvellousMing

Exhibition information

Location

Exhibition Gallery 1, Level 3

Pricing

Adult £10
Concession* £8
Child (12-15) £6.50
(under 12s free)

Members go free!

Booking information

Call 0300 123 6789

Book now