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Our China gallery is named after the distinguished politician and diplomat the Rt. Hon. Malcolm MacDonald. 

MacDonald was a passionate collector of Chinese ceramics. His dream was to create a chronological display of the development of this most Chinese of art forms. The backbone of this gallery is dedicated to fulfilling this dream. The gallery is a timeline of Chinese ceramic art, from the pots made and decorated by anonymous potters in the Neolithic Period through to the works of some of the most celebrated makers of the 20th and 21st centuries.   

The gallery also includes highlights from across the rest of our incredible Chinese collections, ranging from ancient bronze weapons to magnificent jades carved for the emperor and his court.  

Don’t miss:

  • Tang dynasty tomb models of farmyard animals 
  • Ancient bronze and jade items created for burial with the dead
  • A Song dynasty Dingware wedding bowl decorated with mandarin ducks  
  • A porcelain shufu cup - one of the earliest types of ceramic created on the orders of the imperial court 
  • The astronomical clock - the only other example of this type of clock is in the Forbidden City in Beijing 
  • Jades carved in the imperial workshops of the Qing dynasty.

View along the displays of ceramics in the MacDonald gallery

Gallery closure for redevelopment

The MacDonald Gallery of China is currently closed to visitors until early 2024.

As part of the Oriental Museum's ongoing commitment to updating and developing our permanent displays, we are creating new displays focused on our world class collections of Chinese ceramics. State of the art new display cases are being installed along the entire length of our Chinese gallery early in 2024. We have now closed the gallery to allow us to prepare for this. We look forward to welcoming visitors to enjoy the new displays in Spring 2024.

View along the displays of ceramics in the MacDonald gallery