Nanyang Stone-Carved Art Museum in Han Dynasty
Address: 398 Hanhua Street, Wolong district, Nanyang, Henan province
Website: http://nyhhg.com (Cn)
Hours: 8:30 - 17:30 8:30-17:00 (Winter)
Closed Mondays (except for national holidays)
Tel: (+86 377) 62061279
General admission: Free (passport required for entry, a max of 1,000 admitted daily)
The museum is devoted to the art of pictorial stones, which dates to China's Han dynasty (206 BC- AD 220). Established in 1935, it houses more than 2,000 pictorial bricks, and is the country's oldest and largest museum of its kind with the largest collection.
The museum offers 2,400-square-meter exhibition halls displaying a selection of more than 200 pictorial stones under the following subjects: productive labor, architectural art, historical stories, social life, astronomy and mythology, ancient wrestling, dance acrobatics, and auspicious animals and deities. They all transport you to the material richness and spiritual concepts of the people of the ancient Han empire, including the architectural achievements, the Confucius mindset promulgated by the top ruler, the hierarchical social order, the recreational activities of both aristocrats and common people, and their primitive understanding of the universe and firm belief in an afterlife.
Construction of the original museum was completed on Oct 10, 1935. One hundred and eighteen Han Dynasty portrait stones were collected at that time. In 1959, a big construction project related to the museum led to gathering of 500-plus such stones. In the middle 1970s, the collection numbered from 500 to more than 1,000, and, in 1976, a new hall was built to the northeast of the original museum, which opened to the public in 1979. The museum was approved for rebuilding in 1988 and the current version was completed in late 1999.