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Reception Hall from the Palace of Duke Zhao (Zhaogongfu)
Reception Hall from the Palace of Duke Zhao (Zhaogongfu), First half of 17th century
Chinese
Wood, stone
18 feet x 46 feet 4 1/4 inches x 35 feet 2 1/2 inches (548.6 x 1412.9 x 1073.2 cm)
Gift of Edward B. Robinette, 1929
1929-163-1
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Looking Questions

  • What sort of room is this?
  • What part of the architecture is most dramatic? The floor? The walls? The ceiling?
  • What colors are used most?
  • Does the room look old? What details make you think so?
  • What designs do you see on the ceiling?
  • How are visitors to this room supposed to feel when they enter?

Art Activity: The Language of Flowers

Each flower on the ceiling of this palace hall has its own favorable meaning, which makes this structure a place of good luck. Many cultures have used flowers as symbols. In nineteenth-century England and America, a whole language of flowers was created, and gifts of flowers were interpreted for their deeper meanings. A red rose meant love while a yellow rose signified friendship. Have students research the language of flowers, and then create a card for a friend using flower drawings to convey their message.

Research Project: Beijing's Forbidden City

This reception hall was a part of a large palace complex located just outside the Imperial City in Beijing. What were the Imperial City and the Forbidden City within it? Who lived there? Why was the Forbidden City built? Is it still used? Have students research this topic and write a paper.

Group Activity: Conservation

This reception hall is only one of a number of rooms that have been taken out of historic buildings and reassembled in the Museum. Great care is taken to preserve these rooms so that people can enjoy their beauty and learn about the past. Have students watch the video in this kit and then identify a historical house or a building in their neighborhood. Visit the site and interview the director or caretaker about what steps are taken to preserve the building.
 

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