The Korean art collection began with the donation of a group of Korean ceramics in 1966 by Bak Jeonghui, then president of the Republic of Korea, after a visit to the museum. The collection grew gradually until 2000, when the museum acquired over 200 works of art from an important collection in Los Angeles. Highlights include wonderful examples of objects from the Three Kingdoms, Goryeo, and Joseon periods, with an emphasis on Buddhist and literati painting, ceramics, lacquer, and sculpture.
Conservation of a Korean Buddhist Painting
On display in the Korean art galleries is one our latest acquisitions, added to the collection at last month’s Collectors Committee event. It is a tenth-century Seated Buddha, made of cast iron and especially notable for its size—it is the largest example of Goryeo Buddhist sculpture outside of Asia…
Q: Can you tell me about the place art holds within Korean Buddhism? A: In any religion, art is the communicator of the life of what cannot be seen—the spirit, the soul; our Christ nature, our Buddha nature. Art creates a representation of what we cannot see with our eyes. It performs the same function as in Christianity but in Buddhism the difference, perhaps, is that art tries to convey an enlightened state—the light, bright, clear, compassionate mind...