Big Art Museum
Exhibition: What is a Museum? An Educational Art Exhibition
Duration: 10 March – 30 April 2014
This exhibition focuses on defining the functions of an art museum to general public and also to
students in special educational tours.
The International Council of Museums (ICOM) defines a museum as: "a nonprofit making, permanent
institution in the service of society and of its development, and open to the public, which acquires,
conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits, for purposes of study education and enjoyment, material
evidence of humans and their environment."
The American Association of Museums (AAM), however, has altered its official definition to insist only
on the use of objects, not on their ownership. To be a museum, in its definition, is to meet the following
requirements: 1. be a legally organized not-for-profit institution or part of a not-for-profit institution
or government entity; 2. be essentially educational in nature; 3. have a formally stated mission; 4. have
one full-time paid professional staff member who has museum knowledge and experience and is delegated
authority and allocated financial resources sufficient to operate the museum effectively; 5. present
regularly scheduled programs and exhibits that use and interpret objects for the public according to
accepted standards; 6. have a formal and appropriate program of documentation, care, and use of collections
and/or tangible objects; 7. have a formal and appropriate program of presentation and maintenance of exhibits.
Based on these definitions, three principle function s can be defined for a museum, the collection it has,
the research it does and the public programs it runs.
Through this exhibition, the general public and the students will find the necessary information
in a real Big Art Museum.
About the museum:
Big Art Museum in Shanghai is one of the most modern museums in Shanghai. Since the establishment in 1995 it is the place of high cultural activities in the heart of the city. Big Art Museum preserves the cultural heritage of China and promotes the Chinese art with local and national focus in view. More than 10.000 works of art, including Chinese painting and calligraphy, silk paintings and paintings of historic importance, as well as works of local artists are kept in the museum. Highlights of the collection are on display in the exhibition areas. To get a special character, the museum presents different thematic exhibitions, designed according to the works of local, national and international artists.
Big Art Museum promotes art among the public and plans a wide range of educational programming to enhance the knowledge of art. Local schools are among the regular visitors of the museum for educational purposes. The museum was closed for about three years for a major renovation in the middle of September, 2014. In mid-October 2017, a grand international exhibition inaugurates the museum.