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Spencer Museum hosts international exhibition, conference on Korean screens

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

LAWRENCE — The Spencer Museum of Art is one of three U.S. institutions to host the international exhibition “The Power and Pleasure of Possessions in Korean Painted Screens,” which will be on view April 15 to June 11. The opening of the exhibition is accompanied by a two-day conference, Paintings in Brilliant Colors: Korean Chaekgeori Screens of the Joseon Dynasty, on April 14-15. The conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required by Friday, April 7.

This exhibition of 13 screens from 18th- and 19th-century Korea features a genre of still-life painting known as chaekgeori, loosely translated as "books and things." Although several types of chaekgeori were popular over time, most screens include sumptuous arrangements of books, ceramics, bronze vessels, flowers, plants, and other precious and foreign objects displayed on multi-shelved structures. This is the first major exhibition to include chaekgeori screens from private collections and various Korean institutions, many of which are on view for the first time in the United States.

The Spencer's installation of the exhibition will also present selections of Korean and Chinese decorative objects and paintings from the museum's permanent collection, including the Joseon dynasty screen “Guo Ziyi's Enjoyment-of-Life Banquet,” which was recently conserved in Korea.

The Paintings in Brilliant Colors conference will open with a keynote lecture by renowned scholar of Korean art Burglind Jungmann, UCLA, and will bring together 14 art historians and curators from the United States, Great Britain and Korea to discuss the significance of color painting traditions in Korea during the late Joseon dynasty.

The exhibition is made possible by the Korea Foundation, Gallery Hyundai and the city of Lawrence. Support for the conference is provided by the Korean Foundation, the KU Kress Foundation Department of Art History, the Center for East Asian Studies, the KU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the Hall Center for the Humanities.

The Spencer Museum of Art houses an internationally known collection that is deep and diverse, with artworks and artifacts in all media. The collection spans the history of European and American art from ancient to contemporary, and includes broad and significant holdings of East Asian art. Areas of special strength include medieval panel painting and religious sculpture; the Kress Study Collection of early modern Italian painting; 19th-century American art and material culture; old master prints; photography; European, East Asian, and Indian textiles; American Indian pottery, beadwork, and jewelry; African sculpture; Japanese Edo-period prints; and 20th-century Chinese painting.

Image: "Chaekgeori" (scholar's accoutrements), late 1800s Korea, courtesy of Gallery Hyundai, Seoul.