It is the largest and best preserved private mansion in Nanjing City. Now it has been turned into a museum exhibiting traditional daily life and handicrafts of Nanjing City.
Nanjing Folk Museum was the former residence of Ganxi, a famous scholar of the Qing Dynasty (1636-1911). It is also called “Gan Family Mansion”. It is regarded as one of the three major sites of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing dynasty in Nanjing, together with Ming Mausoleum and Ming Dynasty City Wall.
The mansion covers an area of about 10,000 square meters, and has over 300 rooms. There are mainly two important aspects that this mansion contributes to the local art and culture. Firstly, the large mansion is of great artist value in researching China’s classic architecture. Secondly, there is a large collection of precious ancient books at Jindailou (Jindai Building) in this mansion, all provide important data for researching the ancient folk culture. Gan Family Mansion also served as a spreading and publicizing center of Kunqu Opera, because the offsprings of the Gan Family are very fond of this opera and made intense research and study on this subject.
The layout, décor and furniture are well preserved. In addition, some statues and wares are placed there in order to exhibit the daily life and folk customs of Nanjing City in the past. Various traditional handicrafts such as Chinese puppet shoes, clay figurines and paper cuttings are also exhibited in the museum. Some professional craftsmen are also available on site to show how these handicrafts are made. Buy paying a small fee, visitors can also learn the techniques there.