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Taiwan Museum

Taiwan Museums and Galleries

Taiwan is chock full of great museums, which range in scale from a quick half hour's perusal to massive holdings that could take a lifetime to explore.

The most astounding of them all is the National Palace Museum. Transported from mainland China at the end of the Chinese Civil War, the world's premier collection of Asian antiquities found its home in Taiwan in 1949. Modern storage and viewing facilities were later established in the hilly Taipei suburb of Wai Shuang Hsi.

Once the private imperial collection, the National Palace Museum offers an inexhaustible assortment of classical Chinese art, including many masterpieces, making it one of the premier museums of the world, and a must-see item on any visitor's checklist.

While in Wai Shuang Hsi, a visit to the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines is well worth your while. Just across the road from the National Palace Museum, it features a lovely collection of indigenous handicrafts and artwork, some impressive large pieces, and an excellent audio-visual center.

If you're in downtown Taipei, devote an afternoon to the National Museum of History. In addition to a good presentation of Chinese history and representational pieces of art from the classical period, it has a busy season of exhibitions, many on various Asian themes. The Botanical Gardens are just next door.

Another good choice in the capital is the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, which offers a modest permanent collection, but frequent exhibitions of art both local and international. Also try the Taiwan Provincial Museum, which provides excellent exhibits on the anthropology, botany and zoology of Taiwan. Next to the Shann Garden in Peitou, is the Taiwan Folk Arts Museum, a good introduction to the native Taiwanese arts tradition. For a glimpse at modern Taiwanese painting, visit the Yang San-lang Art Museum.

Taiwan's contemporary visual arts are flourishing and diverse. The best place to browse exhibits of the many new or established artists is the East District of Taipei, where you'll find any number of galleries. For the avant-garde and installation art, visit IT Park.





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