Beijing Art Museum is housed in the Wanshou (Longevity) Temple on Suzhou Street. Wanshou Temple was built in 1577 under the reign of Wanli Emperor of the Ming dynasty to store Buddhist scriptures in Chinese. It gradually became a temporary imperial dwelling and a place of birthday celebration for the imperial family during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Temporary exhibits by local artists are often featured here.
The People's Government of Beijing Municipal City declared Wanshou Temple one of the city's "Key Cultural Heritage of Preservation" in August 1979. Having a reputation for "Mini-Forbidden-City in West Beijing", the construction of Temple consists of eastern, middle and western sections. Up till now, only the middle and the western sections remain well preserved. This museum has collected and preserved the precious historical relics such as bronze and jade articles of Shang and Zhou Dynasties (17th-3th centuries B.C), and the ancient art treasures as potteries, porcelains, enamels, carved lacquer ware, ivory carving ,wood carving, etc of the past dynasties.
Among them, there mainly displays the valuable Chinese paintings and calligraphies of Ming and Qing Dynasties since 1368 A.D, especially the Chinese paintings within one hundred years, weavings and embroideries of Ming and Qing Dynasties, ancient coins of China and foreign countries, the modern Chinese and Japanese arts and crafts and paintings as the major characteristics of this museum.
The Beijing Art Museum undertakes to study in depth the ancient and traditional art of China and the rest of the world so as to raise the cultural level of the whole nation, cultivate the taste of the people. Meanwhile the museum provides a venue where those pioneers who, in this new historical era, can bring their talents into full play; and to provide a favorable environment in which the art zealots from all walks of life can study and appreciate works of art.