Yin Yu Tang: A Chinese Home
The Yin Yu Tang house provides a perspective on childhood in a period that bridges the conclusion of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) and the rise of a new 20th-century republic in China. The house was built for a merchant family named Huang at the turn of the 19th century and, with the consent of later generations of the Huang family, would be painstakingly deconstructed, moved, and rebuilt to open in 2003 as a permanent exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts.
The museum offers a virtual tour of the house that serves as a useful tool for exploring the lived space and material culture of a family setting, as experienced by adults and also, as detail of the exhibit reveals, by children. Students may explore this virtual exhibit as if they are setting foot in the house themselves, gaining their own perspective on the domestic space that certain children experienced as well as the household objects that were dedicated to a child’s management and education.
This source is a part of the Children in Late Imperial China, 900-1930 teaching module.
Peabody Essex Museum, Yin Yu Tang: A Chinese Home (accessed August 8, 2009).