Since August 2010, the Drents Museum
has been closed due to large-scale reconstructions in the existing building, and the addition of a spectacular new exhibition wing, designed by renowned architect Erick van Egeraat. On Thursday November 17, 2011, the Drents Museum reopened to the public with completely renewed presentations of the permanent collections, a new Childrens museum, a larger Museum café and a new wing for temporary exhibitions. In this new wing, the Drents Museum presented the major opening exposition The Golden Age of China, about the Tang Dynasty (618 907 AD), the glorious dynasty with the most open cultural character in all of Chinas history.
In the Netherlands, the term Golden Age has strong associations with the 17th century, the age of prosperity and unparalleled activity in the fields of architecture, visual arts, literature and science. Historians consider the Tang Dynasty one of the highlights in Chinese civilization; The Golden Age of China, the efflorescence of Chinese culture from the 7th till the 9th century AD. The trade connected with the Silk Road led to an open society with great wealth and tolerance. To the Chinese, this is the most important dynasty in their history; the Golden Age of Chinese culture.
Changan (present-day Xian) was the heart of the empire, the first city in the Orient from which the Silk Road flowed into the country like a lifeline of culture, religion and merchandise. Changaan was the largest and most flourishing Asian capital, which at some point had more than a million inhabitants. Merchants and traders from all over arrived in China with luxury articles. New cultures and religions arrived in their wake. Clothing, jewellery, utensils, ethereal oils, food and wine from abroad were popular both in palaces and among a large part of the citys population. Art and literature flourished.
The exhibition shows spectacular archaeological objects from the Tang Dynasty. Some one hundred and fifty wonderful objects of glass, silver, gold, earthenware and stone show the craftsmanship of Chinas Golden Age. The exhibition also shows unique murals depicting Chinese court life, and remarkable terracotta statues of people and animals, glazed in exquisite colours.
Magnificent camels with their loads, pretty women with curves, musicians on horseback showing the hustle and bustle of a metropolis. The exhibition will be designed by Atelier Hähnel-Bökens from Düsseldorf and will be the first international exposition in the new Drents Museum.