Golden Age of the Ming – Ming: 50 years that changed China Exhibition

Do you know your Ming from your Tang? Or your Song from your Qing? Well fear not, the British Museum is here to help.

This autumn, the British Museum hosts a landmark exhibition that examines one of China’s most significant dynasties – Ming: 50 years that changed China. 

Ming Blog 18

Throughout Chinese imperial history, twelve main dynasties were established which each respectively changed the social, cultural and political face of the country. Yet, many have credited the Ming dynasty as the golden age of Chinese history; this period for China was a time of extraordinary engagement with the world and of fascinating cultural diversity.                                                                                                            

The Ming Dynasty brought China into a new age of enlightenment and supremacy that has lasted till this day: Beijing was established as the capital, the Forbidden City was built and trade networks were developed as far as Africa, the Middle East and South and East Asia.

Ming: 50 years that changed China wants to take us on a journey back in time to this hitherto dynasty often left behind in the history books. It focuses on the fifty-year period, between 1400 and 1450, when China was transformed into what was the only fully-flourishing global superpower.

Visitors will be treated to a dazzling array of some of the finest and most precious objects created during the Ming period. To offer an unprecedented insight into life under the Ming court, the exhibition will be centred on four main themes, ranging from social and cultural change to court life, trade and diplomacy. Visitors can therefore expect to see a vast array of royal paintings, regal costumes, the emperor’s swords, bespoke jewellery, furniture and fine pottery – the very best examples of Ming craftsmanship.


The exhibition runs from 18 September 2014 to 5 January 2015.

Opening hours: 10.00–17.30 Saturday to Thursday and 10.00–20.30 Fridays.

To book tickets online visit the British Museum’s website:

Keep your eyes posted for our review of Ming: 50 years that changed China coming soon!

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