Genghis and the Great Mongol Khans: The Exhibition

  • EDINBURGH, United Kingdom
  • /
  • August 02, 2015

  • Email

One of the most comprehensive explorations of the life of Genghis Khan and his successors ever presented internationally to be brought to life in new major touring exhibition. 

“Spanning over 1000 years, GENGHIS: Rise of the Mongol Khans digs beneath the plethora of legends surrounding Genghis Khan to unearth the complete story behind the largest continuous land empire in history and some of the most effective leaders and warriors the world has ever seen. This is the history of the Mongols - as it has never been told before.” 

Leading producer of international touring exhibitions, Nomad Exhibitions, have today announced the creation of one of the most comprehensive exhibitions on Genghis Khan and the Mongol empire ever presented internationally. The new touring exhibition unveils the extraordinary story of one of the greatest land empires in history and the powerful Khans that shaped it through over 150 ancient treasures expertly sourced from museums across Inner Mongolia, China. GENGHIS: Rise of the Mongol Khans has been developed in collaboration with a consortium of leading Inner Mongolian curators and scholars. It will be launched at the National Military Museum of the Netherlands and is proposed for hire to museums worldwide from 2017.

The Mongol Empire: A Complete Story

GENGHIS: Rise of the Mongol Khans reaches beyond the often told tales of the life of Genghis Khan to reveal the lesser-known wider history of the Mongol empire. First unveiling the ancient nomadic roots of the Mongol tribes, the exhibition then explores the rise of Genghis Khan and foundation of the Mongol empire before telling the story of the most prominent Great Khans who succeeded Genghis: Ögödei, Güyüg, Möngke and Kublai. From the Golden Horde to the Persian Il-Khanate, the disparate realms which emerged at the distant corners of the vast Mongol territory and the foundation of the magnificent Yuan dynasty are examined. In its final section, the exhibition reflects on the dissolution of the empire following 1368 and the great legacy of this pivotal period in history for Asia and for the world.

Tim Pethick, Managing Director of Nomad Exhibitions says, “With this exhibition we wanted to move beyond the usual representations of Genghis Khan to explore the extraordinary characters that contributed to his success and followed his rule. It will be a comprehensive insight into the foundation, development and decline of the Mongol empire and the fascinating lives of the Great Mongol Khans who ruled it.”

Voices of the Past

The story of Genghis and the Mongol empire traverses territorial and cultural boundaries and is told in many languages. By piecing together eyewitness accounts from the far-reaching corners of the empire, displaying extracts from contemporary Mongolian, Chinese, Persian and European sources, the exhibition presents the history of the Mongol empire with an innovative comprehensive and representative approach. Featured primary sources will include The Secret History of the Mongols, the only surviving contemporary account of the life of Genghis Khan and early Mongol empire written by the Mongols themselves. Also featured, The Travels of Marco Polo, the thirteenth-century text by Venetian merchant Marco Polo, which tells of his twenty years of travel throughout the Mongol empire in the service of Kublai Khan.

“For this project we wanted to combine outstanding artefacts with literary treasures of the times” says Manon Delaury, International Partnerships Director at Nomad Exhibitions. “The exhibition will call upon a blend of extracts from different sources which were written during and after the rise of the Great Khans, conveying powerful insights into contemporary perceptions and questioning the distance between real facts and myth” she adds.

1000 Years of Treasures

GENGHIS: Rise of the Mongol Khans features some of the rarest exhibits from Inner Mongolian collections. Artefacts selected address every aspect of life in the Mongol empire and cover the 1000 year period from the Liao dynasty to the present day. This wide-ranging collection includes household objects, items of traditional Mongol costume and adornment and eclectic religious artefacts from various regions of the vast empire. Examples of Mongol armour, weaponry and equestrian equipment provide a vivid glimpse into the sophisticated action of the Mongol cavalry. Personal items once belonging to the Mongol ruling family, from the brand of Genghis Khan and the seal of a Mongol princess to a golden cup once used at palace banquets, exude an intimate sense of connection to the Great Khans themselves. Many of the objects featured have never before been exhibited outside of Asia and will be displayed together for the first time.

“Inner Mongolia Museum holds a very large collection of artefacts that encompass the entire period of the Mongol empire, from the nomadic ancestors of Genghis Khan to the fall of the Yuan dynasty” comments Mr Ta La, Director of Inner Mongolia Museum. He continues “With this exhibition, we want to offer visitors the opportunity to see some of the rarest treasures of our collections, including some recently excavated objects that have never been exhibited, and share with them the latest research developed in regards to Genghis and his successors.”

Exhibition Partners

GENGHIS: Rise of the Mongol Khans is the result of a partnership between Nomad Exhibitions and Inner Mongolia Museum. The exhibition content and collection have been developed through close collaboration between Nomad Exhibitions and a curatorial consortium of leading historians and academics including Mr Fu Ning, Vice Director of Inner Mongolia Museum, researcher, research librarian and Executive Director of the Inner Mongolia Institute of Archaeological Museums and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Cultural Relics Identification Committee, Mr Chen Yongzhi, Director of the Institute of Archaeology and Cultural Relics of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Mr Buyanhuu, one of the most influential scholars on Mongolian history in the world.

GENGHIS: Rise of the Mongol Khans will start touring in Europe in 2017 with a major presentation at the National Military Museum of the Netherlands, a brand new Dutch national museum which recently opened in Soesterberg. For this first showing, the exhibition will dive into the military conquests of the Great Khans, with a particular focus on the warfare of the times.

“We are looking forward to welcoming the premiere of the exhibition at the National Military Museum. This exhibition will be the first military exhibition of this scale, and the first major presentation telling the story of Genghis Khan and his heirs in the Netherlands.” says Hedwig Saam, Director of the National Military Museum of the Netherlands.

After its presentation in the Netherlands GENGHIS: Rise of the Mongol Khans is proposed for hire to museums worldwide from summer 2017.

18 shore place
Wishart Warehouse
Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Nomad Exhibitions are creators and producers of touring exhibitions for museums and cultural institutions worldwide. Based in the United Kingdom, the Nomad team facilitates international collaborations on exhibitions, organises international tours and offers a portfolio of world culture, history, art and architecture exhibitions based on original collections from Europe and Asia. Nomad touring productions are available for hire worldwide.

  • Email

ARTFIXdaily Artwire