Drawn from the Herbert F. Johnson Museum’s permanent collection of Korean art, this exhibition features recently acquired paintings, along with ceramics, metalwork, and sculpture spanning a period of nearly two thousand years, from the proto–Three Kingdoms period to today.

The collection of Korean art was formed largely through the generosity of donors. It is particularly strong in ceramics, ranging from the proto–Three Kingdoms period through the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910) due to several major gifts. Colonel John R. Fox, a banker who from 1942 to 1962 held numerous financial posts in the U.S. military, including several related to East Asia, amassed a large collection of Korean ceramics and metalwork during his travels to Korea, Japan and Taiwan. His collection was donated to university museums and galleries at Rutgers, Cornell, Syracuse, SUNY Alfred, Connecticut College, University of Michigan, and Yale. The Johnson Museum’s major benefactors George and Mary Rockwell, working closely with curator emeritus Martie Young, strengthened the Asian art collection in many areas, including gifts of fine Korean ceramics, as well as a financial legacy for purchases of Asian art that made possible recent acquisitions of Korean paintings. Collectors William and Kathleen Cavanaugh have also been generous over many years with numerous gifts of Asian art, including Korean ceramics and sculptural works. Just a few years ago, Wan and Andrew Kim established the SIT/Kim International Acquisition Fund for the purchase of Korean art, to further underwrite our commitment in this area. Other donors have supported Korean art as well, and we are grateful to all who have assisted the Museum with gifts to the collection.

Ellen Avril   
Chief Curator and Curator of Asian Art