Shanghai Arts and Crafts Museum

Housed in a beautiful Renaissance-styled mansion in the heart of the French Concession, the Arts and Crafts Museum looks back at 100 years of local handiwork. That means three floors of wood, jade, ivory, and bamboo, some richly patterned tapestries, embroidery, and knitwear, and a giftshop in the basement. The garden in front is also rather special.

In a previous life, the mansion was home to the Concession’s Chamber of Industry director, later the residence of the mayor of Shanghai, and became an art research center mid-way through the last century. Some of the studios from that time still remain, and one of the nicest things about this particular museum is the chance to see the artists and craftsmen still at work; proof that not all tradition has been lost in Shanghai’s mad dash to the future.

Once you’ve had your fill of costumes and carvings, why not walk west down Fenyang Lu for a drink at neaby Sasha’s, another beatiful old building with a history all of its own.

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