The Chimei Museum: Fostering Art Appreciation in Taiwan
Passion is the word that best describes the Chimei Museum, which reopened in a grand new building in Tainan Metropolitan Park in early 2015. The source of this passion is its founder, Wen-long Shi, who has put together a broad collection that includes European paintings, historical weapons, fossils, and the museum's famous violins.
Shi gained his passionate spirit when he was a young boy. Growing up in poverty, Shi felt lucky to live near a museum and spent much of his free time there. His memories of this museum and his love of music were his inspiration for the Chimei.
In 1960, Shi founded a successful manufacturing company, and he later used the wealth that it brought him to found his own museum. Shi's dream was to start a cultural renaissance in Tainan. The Chimei Museum is home to around 12,000 items. Even in its new building, though, it is able to display only about one-third of its total collection. Still, with its broad range of items, the museum easily meets its goal of promoting music and art.