Reception Hall from the Palace of Duke Zhao (Zhaogongfu)
, First half of 17th century
Wood with painted decoration
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
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- 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
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.