William Shakespeare/Tang Xianzu

    2016 special exhibition

    Duration: 22nd October 2016 - 19th March 2017.

    Venue: Mu Xin Art Museum in Wuzhen

    Four hundred years ago, in 1616, two of the world’s greatest theatre writers Tang Xianzu and William Shakespeare though never having met each other passed away leaving a great mark on the world’s stage of literature. To celebrate this 400 year anniversary, large scale performances, exhibitions and activities are being organized both in England and China.

    The special exhibition of Mu Xin Art Museum coincides with this memorable occasion. Though the readers of “Memoirs of Literature” would remember that Mu Xin took quite some time in his lectures to comment on Shakespeare and compare him with Tang Xianzu together with the other theatre writers of Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasty. This small exhibition with these two great contributors to the world of theater writing makes a real interesting point at Mu Xin’s museum.

    There are almost no authentic relics of Shakespeare remaining in the world today. Even his signature still raises some question. The exhibits we were able to present this time include several costumes worn by well known British actors and actresses playing different Shakespearian roles. For the part of Tang Xianzu, his tomb at his hometown was vandalized and destroyed fifty years ago, The few publications from Ming and Ying Dynasty we have borrowed from various organizations are extremely rare. And Tang Xianzu’s portrait was supposedly painted by an unknown painter during Qing Dynasty. A phoenix coronet and a pair of embroidered shoes worn by Mrs. Zhang Chonghe while she was playing the role of Du Liniang in the United States. Era unknown. The above exhibits are what’s on display in this exhibition.

    The above exhibits are on loan from: the Royal Shakespeare Company; Tang Xianzu Memorial Museum in Sui Chang; Suzhou Kunqu Opera Museum. In addition, the historical images provided by the British Library and documentary films provided by BBC, manuscripts of Mr. Zhu Shenghao, one of the earliest and best translators of Shakespearian theatre pieces in China provided by Jiaxing Library add to the richness of intrigue of the exhibition’s content as well, we express our most serious appreciation and gratitude to these organizations.