Bowers China exhibition
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Bowers Museum Exhibit: Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China’s First Emperor


Bowers Museum in Santa Ana has experienced many "firsts" in the arts and collections world. This unique cultural museum is credited with bringing rare objects and treasures from around the globe to Southern California in never-seen presentations and touring exhibits on loan from cities and collectors worldwide. The latest such exhibit, Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China’s First Emperor, will unveil 20 complete life-sized figures, the most ever to have left China, in a 120-object touring archive of rare artifacts over 2200 years old.


Only one of two museums in the United States to host this special display (the other is Houston Museum of Natural Science), guests will feast their eyes on life-size clay figures that includes warriors, battle garb, horses and items that tell a story of the formation of China today.  Recently signing agreements with Chinese cultural officials in Xi’an, China, the exhibit will include the largest and most  noteworthy collection of objects ever to travel from what many believe is the most significant archaeological discovery of the 20th century.


Court officials, acrobats and generals, half-sized bronze chariots and  life-sized bronze animals that were found in what would have been gardens within the tomb complex belonging to China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang (259 – 210 B.C.,) shed light on one of the most important men in history. Unifying several separate warring states in 221 B.C., he established the foundation of China today. Among his many efforts was the  construction of the 30-foot-high, 3,000-mile-long Great Wall of China to protect his empire.


Qin Shi Huang's heavily guarded tomb was surrounded by thousands of Terra Cotta Warriors and replicated an underground city. 500 tons of mercury flowing as rivers and a jeweled ceiling representing the heavens are portions of the tomb, most of which is unexplored.

Bowers Museum President Peter Keller said, "No previous exhibit from China has ever been allowed to include more than 20 ‘level one’ objects. We are bringing 51 ‘level one’ objects.” Previous significant exhibits have included Secret World of Forbidden City, and The Dead Sea Scrolls.


Voted Orange County, California's favorite museum for more than a decade, Bowers Museum is close to  Disneyland Resorts, and features eight permanent and special exhibits.


Bowers Museum
2002 N. Main St.
Santa Ana, CA 92706
(714) 567-3600



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