LIFE&STYLE

Korean art among digitized collection of Smithsonian Museum

By Lee Woo-young
  • Published : Jan 6, 2015 - 20:53
  • Updated : Jan 6, 2015 - 20:53
More than 700 pieces of Korean art in possession of the Smithsonian Museum are now available to view online as the Washington-based museum released some 40,000 digitized images of ancient Asian art on its website (open.asia.si.edu).

The Korean collection includes celadon of the Goryeo period (918-1392), Buddhist paintings, folding screen paintings, porcelain and a lacquered wood box inlaid with mother-of-pearls that date back to the Joseon period (1392-1910). 
A Buddhist painting dating to the Goryeo period (918-1392) is one of some 700 works of Korean ancient art that are digitized in high resolution and made available for public view online. (Yonhap)

Also included in the list are counterfeit landscape paintings of Jeongseon, a Korean painting master from the Joseon era (1676-1759).

Most of the collections are gifts of Charles Lang Freer and Arthur Mitchell Sackler, art collectors who donated large collections of Asian and American art to the Smithsonian Institution in 1906. Some were purchased by the museum in later years.

The museum said the majority of the 40,691 artworks have never been seen before by the public and more than 90 percent of the images are in high resolution and without copyright restrictions for noncommercial use. It added that the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery are the only Asian art museums to have digitized and released their entire collections online.

Other major works include ancient Chinese paintings, bronze sculptures and jades, ancient Egypt objects and masterworks from ancient Persia.

“The depth of the data we’re releasing illuminates each object’s unique history, from its original creator to how it arrived at the Smithsonian,” said Courtney O’Callaghan, director of digital media and technology at the Freer and Sackler galleries, in a press release.

By Lee Woo-young (wylee@heraldcorp.com)