Centre for Asian Art and Design


Exhibiting Archaeology

Lecture: Exhibiting Archaeology: 
Ancient Artworks in Context
By Dr Chen Shen


Many artworks were preserved and recovered from archaeological sites and burials of ancient time. Therefore archaeological context and historical information of ancient arts to be displayed in museum galleries are always challenged by design installations and visual impacts on visitor experiences.

This talk introduces the recent exhibition Warrior Emperor and China's Terracotta Army at the Royal Ontario Museum and the Montreal Museum of Fine Art in Canada. The two museums take different approaches to exhibit one of the greatest archaeological discoveries from China.

The successful venues demonstrate both historic perspective and visual design/media are equally important in exhibiting ancient artworks in cultural context.

About the Speaker

As professor at the University of Toronto's Department of East Asian studies Anthropology Centre, where he teaches courses on Art and Archaeology of Early China and Technology and Material Culture in Ancient China, Dr. Chen Shen is a renowned scholar and author of Anyang and Sanxingdui: Unveiling the Mysterious of Ancient Chinese Civilizations. He is the senior editor of Current Research in Chinese Pleistocene Archaeology and also serves as Academic Trustee of the Archaeological Institute of America..

Dr. Shen is also a senior curator of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and was instrumental in curating numerous exhibitions at the ROM including 2002's critically acclaimed Treasures from a Lost Civilization: Ancient Chinese Art from Sichuan and most recently, The Warrior Emperor and China's Terracotta Army.