Located to the east of the Wenchang Tower in the Summer Palace, the Wenchang Gallery 文昌院 is the largest and the most impressive gallery of its kind in any classical Chinese garden.
On display in its six halls are thousands of artifacts extracted from the Summer Palace, covering some 3,600 years from the Shang and Zhou dynasties to the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1911. The exhibits include bronzeware, jewelry, chinaware, furniture, paintings, calligraphy, ancient books, enamels, clocks, handicrafts made of gold, silver, bamboo, wood, ivory, horn and lacquer, and other miscellaneous items, representing almost all types of Chinese antiques. As one would expect in an imperial garden, these artifacts demonstrate the highest techniques and craftsmanship of their times, and many were once highly important symbols of the state. Also on display in the halls are objects related to the everyday life of emperors and empresses in the Qing court. They are of great historical value and provide some of the most reliable material evidence of the court culture in imperial China.