This three-bay reception hall was originally part of a traditional Suchou style courtyard house located in the east Tung-t'ing district near the present town of Tung-shan. Built in the early seventeenth century by the Wu family, it served as the main ceremonial hall (ta chung tang) of a traditional upper-class home. It was a public space where elders carried out rituals honoring their ancestors, received guests, entertained family and friends, and celebrated family events like birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings. As the most important room in a Confucian household, it was set with grand examples of fine furniture, hung with calligraphic panels declaring Confucian values, and decorated with fine art objects to express the social status and wealth of the family as well as its cultural refinement and artistic taste. The first original reception hall to enter an American collection, the room serves as an exhibition gallery for classical furniture featuring alternating installations for receptions and ancestor worship.