Exhibition to memorialize 150th birthday of Cai Yuanpei
An exhibition showcasing renowned educator Cai Yuanpei’s footprint in Shanghai has been unveiled in Shanghai to mark his 150th birthday.
Cai, who was born in 1868 and died in 1940, pioneered China's education revolution by introducing modern science and art into textbooks. He was known for being the first education minister of the Republic of China, president of the reputable Peking University and founder of the National Academy of Art, the precursor of the China Academy of Art.
Ma Jingran, the director of Jing’an History Archive, said that Cai also had deep connections with Shanghai, which was "where he tested his education methods — he then practiced his education methods by opening schools.”
In November 1927, Cai founded the precursor of Shanghai Conservatory of Music, the first state-owned music school in China. He also headed the translation department of the Commercial Press, based in former Zhabei District, and helped with the publication of China’s first modern textbooks.
Cai and his family settled down in Shanghai in August 1928, but they left in November 1937. Over that period he moved five times — his last residence on 884 Yuyuan Road was well preserved and has been renovated into a memorial to him.
Photos and items that he once used are displayed in the Sihang Warehouse Battle Memorial, which served as a military headquarters for the Japanese during their occupation of Shanghai during World War II.
Also exhibited are manuscripts of a comic book about his life created by renowned painters Pang Xianjian and Hong Zhongqi.
The exhibition will run through May 30 and admission is free of charge.