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Eye on the Museum (3)

Museum Collection
The Museum has a collection of over 16,200 items. With Hong Kong and Chinese art as the core, the Museum's collections are divided into five major categories: Chinese Antiquities, Chinese Fine Art, Hong Kong Art, Historical Pictures and Xubaizhai Collection of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy.

Historical Pictures
Apart from the Chater bequest in 1926, the Government also acquired in 1951 collections of Mr Wyndham O. Law and Mr Geoffrey Robley Sayer. Together with the precious donation of Sir Robert Ho Tung in 1955, the museum formed the Historical Pictures Collection with a steady growth up to more than 1,200 pieces of work. Our collection ranks among the four most comprehensive Historical Pictures collections known to date.

Foreign factories in Guangzhou   Sir Robert Ho Tung
Foreign factories in Guangzhou 
  Sir Robert Ho Tung
Image provided by the Hong Kong Museum of History

Chinese Fine Art
The Chinese Fine Art Collection houses more than 5,400 pieces of modern Chinese art and Guangdong paintings and calligraphy. The rich catalogue of works is the result of many purchases, but its establishment has also depended on the invaluable support of different donors, including Wong Po-yeh and Ho Tse-chung (Guangdong paintings), Lau Siu-lui (Taiyilou Collection), Wu Guanzhong (Wu's paintings), Linda Chang (New Literati paintings), Ho's family and Hong Kong Fine Arts Association (He Qiyuan's painting) and Association of Artistic Exchange of Painting and Calligraphy of the Guangdong People's Political Consultative Conference (Ink-rubbings of calligraphy).

Vice-Chairman Lin of the Association of Artistic Exchange of the GPPCC donoted the ink-rubbings to the Museum    
Vice-Chairman Lin of the Association of Artistic Exchange of the GPPCC donoted the ink-rubbings to the Museum    

Chinese Antiquities
Chinese Ceramics was part of the core collection when the museum opened in 1962, with items purchased from the Henry Yeung's Collection of Chinese ceramics. Since then, the collection has continued to grow, both by acquisition and by generous donation. To date, it amounts to over 2,200 items and accounts for about half of the holdings in the Chinese Antiquities collection with items dated from the Neolithic period to the early decades of the 20th century, the collection provides a general overview of Chinese ceramics.

Chinese Antiquities Gallery    

Hong Kong Art
Since its establishment, the Museum's Hong Kong Art Collection has steadily grown to more than 4,500 works of art today. The collection reflects the development of Hong Kong art at different stages. From the 1960s to 1970s, expatriates in Hong Kong had certain influence in the art circle, especially artists, art critics, art educators, cultural promoters and gallery owners. The first item of the collection is a painting by Ms Julia Baron. In the same year, the museum selected a painting by Mr Hon Chi-fun from Hon's solo exhibition organized by the Chatham Gallery which was owned by a foreign lady.

Julia Baron   Hon Chi-fan
Julia Baron
Amah Standing 1957
  Hon Chi-fan
On wet soil 1962

Xubaizhai Collection of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy
The Xubaizhai Collection can be regarded as a refuge of art works. After the downfall of the Qing dynasty in the early twentieth century, Puyi, the last emperor, smuggled a large number of Chinese paintings and calligraphy works out of the Forbidden City, and his subsequent loss of power became a curse for the treasures. Many of them were gradually dispersed and disappeared, while some found their way to the care of private collectors. Low Chuck-tiew, owner of the Xubaizhai Collection, managed to acquire several works of this origin, which were then donated to the Museum of Art together with his collection of more than 600 pieces of Chinese paintings and calligraphy.

Avadana-sutra, volume 6 in small regular script (section)    
(Tang dynasty, 618 – 907)
Avadana-sutra, volume 6 in small regular script (section)

Click here to enter the Museum Collection Databank.

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