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China Academy of Art is responsible for preserving the venerated art of shadow play and established the museum in a 100-year-old villa beside the school.
Traditionally, donkey or cowhide was cut into various shadow play human and animal characters. The museum has 47,000 shadow play puppets in its collection, including some dating back to the Ming (1368-1644) and Yuan (1271-1368) dynasties and contemporary works.
The puppets originate from Hebei, Shanxi, Gansu, Henan, Hubei, Shaanxi provinces, as well as northeast China.
Some are masterpieces to be found nowhere else, including the "Picture of Amusement and the Animal World," an animal character which dates back to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
T-shirt and postcards on the shadow play theme are on sale at the museum.