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Cyrus Tang Hall Of China Is A New Permanent Piece Of Field Museum

By Marielle Shaw in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 27, 2015 4:00PM

The Field Museum has been hopping this year, from Vodou and Vikings to cinema and beer. Every time we turn around there’s something to see, whether it’s Sue getting her annual bath or Blackhawks garb being made in dino-size.

All the activity and excitement makes the Field Museum fresh every time we step in its doors, but what Stanley Field Hall frequenters may not think about are all the treasures that have always been a part of the museum. Not only do the man eating lions of Tsavo live here for eternity, there's also jewels from every corner of the world, amazing animal specimens from the farthest reaches, and boats, tapestries, tools and trinkets from every civilization. If you’ve ever gotten the opportunity to go behind the scenes, you know that for every amazing thing on display, thousands more wait for their moment to shine.

Now you’ll find quite a bit more to explore with the opening of a new permanent exhibit, the Cyrus Tang Hall of China. This state-of-the-art exhibit boasts 350 new artifacts on display within 5 beautifully designed galleries. Visitors enter between a towering pair of stone lions and are greeted with a 360-degree view of China’s diverse natural beauty. This sets a great tone for the exhibit, showing that “there is no one China” and allowing visitors to explore the ways that the country's customs, people and tradition have formed and changed over time.

Some of the most outstanding pieces in the exhibit are those recovered from the Java Sea Shipwreck, including incredible pottery and a model of the ship itself. Among other highlights are beautiful jades and delicate hairpieces and the Qingming scroll, a 27-foot painting depicting life along the river. The scroll itself is on display, with only a small portion being exposed at a time, but visitors can see the entire thing with a large touch screen beside it, which allows you to search by category or simply look from start to finish.

Gallery after gallery tells the story of the Chinese people in a new light, encouraging you to think of the people and their stories rather than simply admiring them through art. And just as you’ve finished your journey through China, the exhibit presents a grand finale unlike anything else we’ve seen at the museum, blossoming into the bright, clean space of the East Garden that stuns with its dramatic Spirit Stones, which are limestone formations sculpted by the waters of the Taihu Lake and donated by the city of Suzhou, China.

The Cyrus Tang Hall of China is a beautiful addition to the Field Museum, fitting right in with both the older collections and being as lush and up-to-date as the newest exhibits within its walls. It offers the right amount of interaction to keep kids interested, while still displaying some of the most priceless objects in the world.

The Cyrus Tang Hall of China opened June 24th, and will be a permanent part of the Field Museum’s collection. For tickets and information, click here.