Scholar's family donates antique carpets to Shanghai Museum

Lee Lu-kuan's valuable collection will go on display at the museum's Pudong branch when it opens in 2020.

Almost 90 antique carpets from renowned scholar Lee Yu-kuan’s collection were donated by his eldest son to the Shanghai Museum on Saturday.

Born in Shandong Province, Lee (1902-2011) was a renowned collector and scholar who lived in the US for many years.

He also established a foundation in the US that sponsored Chinese students engaged in the study and academic research of ancient Chinese fine art.

Early in 2015, K.T. Lee, his eldest son, hearing that the establishment of the new branch of the Shanghai Museum was in great need of Silk Road antiques decided to act.

From 2016, it took him and his family almost two years to gather and ship the carpets from Tokyo and Los Angeles to Shanghai.

The carpets were mainly produced in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Gansu and Qinghai provinces, varying in technique, function and patterns.

The carpets will contribute greatly to the museum's collection, both as displays and in academic research.

Requiring strict controls on temperature, humidity and space, the pieces will be exhibited at the museum’s new branch in Pudong, scheduled to open in 2020.

In 2002, Lee Yu-kuan returned to Qingdao, where he lived until his death. Lee also donated several antiques including some national treasures to the Qingdao Museum when he was alive.

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