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THE DRAGON AND THE EAGLE: American Traders in China, A Century of Trade from 1784 to 1900

14 December 2018 - 14 April 2019
 
The dragon and the eagle have long been recognised as the symbols of China and the United States respectively. At the end of the eighteenth century, China was the oldest empire in the world, while the United States was the youngest republic. Their initial relations began when the first American trading ship, the Empress of China, sailed from New York to Canton on Washington’s Birthday, February 22, 1784. The distinctive Stars and Stripes inspired the Chinese to refer to America as the “Flowery-Flag” country.
 
 
Curated by the Hong Kong Maritime Museum, this long–planned exhibition aims to unfold the history of early Sino–American trade in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The exhibition will be divided into five sections, namely “Dreaming of the East”, “Treaty Ports”, “Speeding up the Trade”, “Exotic Tastes”, and “Building a Community”. With selections from the prominent collections of the Hong Kong Maritime Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Winterthur Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Peabody Essex Museum, the Independence Seaport Museum, the Baker Library, Harvard Business School, The Kelton Foundation, the Swire HK Archive Service, the HSBC Archives, and a number of local and US-based collectors, this exhibition showcases valuable trade goods, export artefacts, nautical instruments, and archival materials, demonstrating the two nations’ bilateral benefits in maritime trade, commerce and business, marine and nautical technologies, and social and cultural developments. The exhibition also serves as a platform for visitors to review this aspect of our shared history.
 
 
Sponsors Acknowledgements:
 

Cathay Pacific Airways                

Hinrich Foundation 

Anthony and Susan Hardy 

Crown Worldwide Group  

Modern Terminals Limited

Valles Steamship Co., Ltd

Keesal, Young & Logan           

The American P&I Club    

Title Sponsor

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Silver Sponsor

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Special Thanks

U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong and Macau

Hong Kong Maritime Museum Endowment Trust

Activating Local Records – the Story of High Island

29 November 2018 to Mid-March 2019

Thanks to the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust for their steadfast support for the “Activating Local Records – the Story of High Island” project, it has been possible to conduct extensive research on the history and culture of High Island, Sai Kung which has been duly recorded. These comprehensive records on the local area cover its natural landscape, places of historical interest, human activities, religious customs, education, economy and development. Through this exhibition, the audience will have the opportunity to better understand the pivotal status of Sai Kung as a regional hub of the Maritime Silk Road in Hong Kong, South China and maritime trade, the important stories of the fishermen of Hong Kong’s islands. This exhibition is one of the major activities held in commemoration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust.

Passions for Shipbuilding

18 November - 31 December 2018

Co-organised with the Shipowners Association, this exhibition aims to provide the public, particularly young people, with first-hand experience and close appreciation of modern shipbuilding. It seeksto do so through usage of various representative modern ship models, and learning opportunities regarding the structures of merchant ships, the development of shipbuilding technology in green shipping, and the reduction of air emission. Showcased examples include the famous vessels, and the first aircraft carrier, Liaoning, which travelled to Hong Kong and was re-built by the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC). Some examples also demonstrate the development of shipbuilding in Greater China, with strong support from the shipping industry in Hong Kong. The first order for a large Chinese-made bulk carrier was ordered by a shipowner in Hong Kong.
 
The exhibition hopes to help the public, students and parents to appreciate and better understand the vital importance of the shipping industry, environmental concerns and precautions of the latest technology in the industry towards a better world. It also hopes to arouse interest among young people of the shipping industry and professional maritime-related job opportunities that are available around the world.

To See a World in a Grain of Sand: Ancient Maritime and Overland trade

From 17 May 2016 
 
 
‘To See a world in a Grain of Sand’ is an exhibition that uses a small number of objects to communicate about the extensive maritime and overland trade routes of the past. Sand is an interesting metaphor for the land and sea trade which characterised the ancient Silk Road. The objects chosen for this exhibition highlight key themes around the circulation of commodities, people and ideas across the Silk Road over time.
 
Inspired by the first line of the poem by British poet William Blake (1757-1827), this exhibition explores the idea that the miniature can capture the essence of the vast. For the Silk Road, this includes both the maritime and land routes and the fascinating cross-cultural exchanges on art and culture across China, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.
 
This exhibition offers visitors a glimpse into the spread of decorative style, religious ideas and the development of technology that came about as a result of centuries of trade and cultural connections between China and the world. The artefacts on display include materials from different cultures related to China – far and near. They include export ceramics from China and Southeast Asia, gemstones from Southeast and Central Asia, Mongolia and the Mediterranean, Turkish saddles decorated with textile patternand ancient Roman glassware used in China. Some of the Chinese export ceramics on display demonstrate the influence of nomadic and Central Asian metalwork.