6 FEET TALL. 2,000 YEARS OLD. 1 EMPEROR’S LEGACY.
Direct from China, discover the legend behind the authentic terracotta soldiers with a fascinating journey back to the days of China’s first emperor — before and after his epic rule. Marvel at the life-size warriors up close and in person, alongside an exclusive collection of over 200 treasures and artifacts from ancient China. Now through August 26th.
In 1979 – my mom first saw the Terracotta Warriors in Xian while she was on a business trip in China. 30 years later, she went to check out the exhibit at the Discovery Museum here in New York City for the second time with Tai – a history lover!
The Terracotta Army or the “Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses”, is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BC and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife, and to make sure that he had people to rule over.
The Terracotta Army was discovered in the spring of 1974 to the east of Xi’an in Shaanxi province by a group of farmers when they were digging a water well around 1 mile (1.6 km) east of the Qin Emperor’s tomb mound at Mount Li (Lishan), a region riddled with underground springs and watercourses. For centuries, there had been occasional reports of pieces of terracotta figures and fragments of the Qin necropolis – roofing tiles, bricks, and chunks of masonry – having been dug up in the area.This most recent discovery prompted Chinese archaeologists to investigate, and they unearthed the largest pottery figurine group ever found in China.
A collection of 120 objects from the mausoleum and 20 terracotta warriors were displayed at the British Museum in London as its special exhibition “The First Emperor: China’s Terracotta Army” from 13 September 2007 to April 2008. This Terracotta Army exhibition made 2008 the British Museum’s most successful year ever, and made the British Museum the United Kingdom’s top cultural attraction between 2007–08. The exhibition also brought in the most visitors to the British Museum since the King Tutankhamun exhibition in 1972. It was reported that the initial batch of pre-bookable tickets to the Terracotta Army exhibition sold out so fast that the museum extended the exhibition until midnight on Thursdays to Sundays. According to The Times, many people had to be turned away from the exhibition, despite viewings until midnight. During the day of events to mark the Chinese New Year, the crush was so intense that the gates to the museum had to be shut. The Terracotta Army has been described as the only other set of historic artifacts (along with the remnants of ruins of the RMS Titanic) which can draw a crowd simply on the back of the name alone.
A number of terracotta warriors and other artifacts were exhibited to the public at the Forum de Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain between 9 May and 26 September 2004, and it was their most successful exhibition ever. The same exhibition was then presented at the Fundación Canal de Isabel II in Madrid between October 2004 and January 2005 and it was also their most successful ever by number of visitors. In December 2009 – January 2010 the exhibition was shown in the Centro Cultural La Moneda in Santiago de Chile.
The exhibition has traveled to North America and visited museums such as the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California, Houston Museum of Natural Science, High Museum of Art in Atlanta, National Geographic Society Museum in Washington, D.C., and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. Subsequently the exhibition traveled to Sweden and was hosted in the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities between 28 August 2010 and 20 January 2011. An exhibition entitled ‘The First Emperor – China’s Entombed Warriors’, presenting 120 artefacts from the First Emperor’s burial site, was hosted at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia), between 2 December 2010 and 13 March 2011. An exhibition entitled “L’Empereur guerrier de Chine et son armée de terre cuite” (“The Warrior-Emperor of China and his terracotta army”), featuring artifacts including statues from the First Emperor’s mausoleum, was hosted by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts from 11 February 2011 to 26 June 2011.
(dates and facts via Wikipedia)
Currently they are at New York City’s Discovery Museum Time Square and you can check it out http://www.discoverytsx.com/exhibitions/terracotta-warriors