The Philadelphia Museum Of Art Debuts Treasures from Korea: Arts and Culture of the Joseon Dynasty, 1392-1910, An In-Depth Look At The Artifacts Of The Joseon Dynasty’s 500-Year Rule, March 2-May 26

Beginning on Sunday, March 2, the Philadelphia Museum of Art unveils an unprecedented exhibition of rare artifacts of the Joseon Dynasty in Treasures from Korea: Arts and Culture of the Joseon Dynasty, 1392-1910. (Photos courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art)

On Sunday, March 2, The Philadelphia Museum of Art debuts its latest marquee exhibition, Treasures from Korea: Arts and Culture of the Joseon Dynasty, 1392-1910. Set to remain on view through May 26 in the Dorrance Galleries, the exhibition spotlights the art and artifacts of the Joseon Dynasty in the first comprehensive survey dedicated the the subject in the United States.

Made up of more than 150 works from the past 500 years, many of which have never left Korea before this exhibition, guests can look forward to screen paintings, furniture, ceramics, books, costumes, textiles, calligraphy in addition to multimedia elements.

Read on for background, specifics and special events regarding the exhibition.


The rule of the Joseon dynasty lasted for more than 500 years — the longest-ruling Confucian dynasty — and consisted of 27 monarchs. The influence of the era remains evident in modern-day Korea and is evident through social norms, attitudes and modern manners.

The exhibition is a multi-institutional collaboration between the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the National Museum of Korea, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Terra Foundation for American Art, and will make only three United States stops.

One of the many items on loan from the National Museum of Korea, the 19th century mirror and stand exemplifies the handcrafted items that were common during the time of the Joseon Dynasty. (Photo courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Philadelphia is the first city to host what promises to be a extraordinary exhibit before it travels to Los Angeles and Houston.

The Exhibition

The exhibition is organized into five sections that all spotlight the intricacies of the people of the Joseon Dynasty — their values and artistic accomplishments.

Upon arrival, guests will find a giant video screen that animates some of the items that can be found throughout the exhibition.

Ten Longevity Symbols, a focal point of the exhibition, is a 19-foot panorama of a Korean nature scene which features the 10 longevity symbols: mountains, the sun, water, mushrooms of immortality, deer, turtles, clouds, cranes, pine trees and rocks. The symbols come alive through animation by the folks of Blue Cadet, on an adjacent touch screen.

Intricately-painted screens, scrolls, fine pieces of furniture, glassware, clothing, portraits of the leaders of the dynasty and more also fill the gallery, including a Buddhist hanging scroll, also a registered National Treasure, donated by the Hwaeomsa temple in Korea. It is the 40-foot scroll’s first time out of Korea and can be found hanging proudly in the PMA’s Great Stair Hall.

Many of the items on-view are on loan from the National Museum of Korea, as well as both public and private collections.

Special Events

Over the course of the exhibition, a number of special events are slated to take over the museum. As part of the PMA’s recurring Art After 5 events, a K-Pop Dance Party and Fashion Show entertains the public with special evening hours until 9:45 p.m. on Friday, March 28. First, look forward to a runway show of designs by students at the Art Institute of Philadelphia and then listen and groove K-Pop tunes.

On select Wednesdays during the duration of the exhibition (and one Sunday!), the museum presents varied Korean films — from modern day films to classic movies. Each film is slated to be introduced by Joe Kim, the founder of the Philadelphia Asian American film festival.

The complete list of corresponding events is available right here.

Don’t miss the opportunity to take in rarely-seen pieces of art and learn about one of the most powerful dynasties in world history during this multifaceted exhibition.

Treasures from Korea: Arts and Culture of the Joseon Dynasty, 1392-1910
When: March 2-May 26
Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost: Included in general admission
More info:

See below for an exhibition teaser video.

Exhibition Teaser Video



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