Yin Yu Tang: the architecture and daily life of a Chinese house

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In the late Qing dynasty (1644-1911) a Chinese merchant named Huang built a house for his family in a small, remote village in the southeastern region of Huizhou in China's Anhui Province. He named the house Yin Yu Tang. For seven generations, members of the Huang family ate, slept, laughed, cried, married, and gave birth in the house. By the mid-1990s, the surviving Huang family members moved away leaving the house empty and abandoned. In 1997 the house was moved to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, and opened as a permanent exhibit.Yin Yu Tang provides a fascinating, in-depth look at Chinese domestic culture, architecture, craftsmanship, history, and the impact of these influences on individual lives. Nancy Berliner, one of the country's foremost experts on Chinese furniture and arts, takes the reader on a tour of this unique homestead providing detail on Yin Yu Tang's architecture, construction methods, decoration, furniture, and family heirlooms. She weaves a story of Chinese domestic life, culture, and the remarkable restoration and reconstruction at the Peabody Essex Museum in America.

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Yin Yu Tang: the architecture and daily life of a Chinese house

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The 200-year-old Huang family home called Yin Yu Tang (referring to a hall of shelter and abundance) was originally located in China, in Huang Cun village. It is now preserved with other historic ... Read full review


Dynasties and Time Periods Part
Mountains and Merchants Part
Hometown and Family

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About the author (2003)

Nancy Berliner is curator of Chinese art at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, and has curated exhibits of Chinese arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Yale University Art Gallery, among others. She has lectured at Harvard University, Dartmouth College, the Asia Society of Houston, and the ChinaInstitute. She has written for the New York Times, Asian Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Asian Art, and American Craft magazines, and is the author of Beyond the Screen: Chinese Furniture of the 16th and 17th Century, and Chinese Folk Art.