The depth and style of a museum are determined by the quality and quantity of its artifact collection. The National Palace Museum's (NPM) original artifact collection primarily comprised those inherited from the Qing court. However, as the number and types of artifacts increase and new vitality and values are instilled into the museum, the NPM subsequently emerged as one of the top museums around the world. To celebrate the 90th anniversary of the NPM, this special exhibition catalogue will introduce antiquities, paintings and calligraphy, and rare books and historical documents that the NPM has acquired over the years; they include Qing court artifacts that had been scattered around the world (exemplifying the NPM's effort in artifact acquisition) as well as those donated to the NPM by the public. The kind gesture made by the public often allows the NPM to enrich the artifacts displayed at its exhibitions. In addition, artifact donations by the public occasionally feature rare and world-famous masterpieces, which generate a great buzz.
This exhibition catalogue is divided into three chapters, which are "Antiquities," "Paintings and Calligraphy," and "Rare Books and Historical Documents." "Antiquities" spans across six thousand years of Chinese history beginning from the time of the Hongshan culture to that of the modern-day era to display the evolution of human civilization, ideologies and beliefs, the society, and artistic fashion. "Paintings and Calligraphy" introduces artistic masterpieces created by scholars over the course of Chinese history that reveal how people sharpened their skills in the exploration of life, the times, nature, and aesthetics. "Rare Books and Historical Documents" collects numerous types of books and documents to show how people adopted various types of writing methods such as engraving and drawing to facilitate civilization development and spread wisdom to the world. In the "Book of Poetry, Minor Odes of the Kingdom, Decade of Lu Ming, and Tian Bao" section, nine "如" (pronounced "ru" in Chinese) are used to connect the various elements of nature (e.g., mountains, rivers, the sun, the moon, pines, and high mounds) to symbolize God's blessing, long life, and thankful wishes. This special exhibition catalogue will provide readers with an opportunity to enjoy various artifacts as well as understand the responsibility shouldered by the NPM to preserve national treasures as well as the history and significance of the NPM's efforts. In addition, endeavors to study the past and innovate for the future will create "energies" for the NPM, maximizing its potential.