In the China Institute’s new virtual series, The Forbidden City at 600, the Institute celebrates “the architecture, history, design, and secrets of Beijing’s iconic Forbidden City complex” on the 600th anniversary of its opening. Located in Beijing, the Forbidden City is a 15th-century imperial palace complex so named because most Chinese subjects were not allowed to enter. The next talk in the series, which will air on March 17th, will focus on women in the Imperial Palace and you can register to watch here!

Image by Pixelflake via Wikimedia Commons

The Forbidden City was commissioned by the emperor of the Ming dynasty in 1406. After years of construction, the palace finally opened to the court in 1420. The 178-acre compound served as the seat of Chinese power for more than five centuries through both the Ming and Qing dynasties. Today, it is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the Palace Museum.

In the latest talk of the China Institute’s The Forbidden City at 600 series, Jan Stuart, top China curator at the Smithsonian, and Di Yajing, architecture expert from the Palace Museum, will share objects and spaces used by the women of the imperial court. Following that, Jay Xu, director of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, will join them in a wide-ranging conversation about life within the walls of the Forbidden City. Wang Xudong, director of the Palace Museum, will open the program with thoughts on the conservation of the Forbidden City for the next 600 years.

Formal opening of China Institute’s current headquarters on 65th Street on December 1, 1944

For almost a century, the China Institute in New York City has been working to “advance a deeper understanding of China through programs in education, culture, art, and business.” Founded in 1926 by Chinese reformers Hu Shi and Kuo Pingwen and American educators John Dewey and Paul Monroe, the institute has provided generations of New Yorkers with classes, art exhibits, lectures, and special events that “bring to life the depth, complexity and dynamism of China.”

Women in the Imperial Palace

You can see all of the China Institute’s upcoming public programs here. Untapped New York will also be hosting a special online event in partnership with the China Institute, coming soon! Gain access to unlimited online free virtual events like this one and unlock a video archive of 100+ past events as an Untapped New York Insider starting at $10/month!

Next, check out The Definitive Food Guide to New York’s Many Chinatowns