Room 47g

Plan a visit

The first group of Korean objects arrived at the Museum in 1888, forming the base of an outstanding collection that spans the fourth century to the present day, and includes ceramics, embroideries, lacquerware, inlaid metalwork, fashion, product design and digital art. This combination of historic and contemporary materials offer a comprehensive view into the rich cultural heritage and diversity of current studio practices in Korea.

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Highlights from the collection include a rare gilded celadon stand, a slate burial chest from the Goryeo period (918 – 1392), lavish embroideries and elegant paraphernalia from a gentleman scholar from the Joseon dynasty (1392 – 1910). Recent acquisitions in fashion, product design and digital art have expanded this collection, alongside rare and colourful art from North Korea. Part of this collection is displayed in the Korean Gallery, opened in 1992 as the first permanent gallery devoted to Korean art in London.

Collection Highlights

Jar, 1750 – 1850, Korea
Purse, 1850 – 1900, Korea
celadon bottle
Long-necked celadon bottle, 1200 – 50, Korea
ornamental pendant
Ornamental pendant, made by Eun Young Kim, 1991, Korea
Persimmon Village, print, by Ch'ang-yon Ham, 21st century, North Korea
lacquer bowls
Set of five coloured lacquer bowls, designed by Hae-cho Chung, 2013, South Korea
stackable sewing boxes
Stackable sewing boxes, 1850 – 1950, Korea
Female train attendant with a trolley, painting, by Chong-Ch'ŏl Yi, 1989, North Korea
lacquer Box
Side-dish lacquer box, 1550 – 99, Korea
brush pot
Brush pot, 1850 – 1900, Korea
paper artwork
Aggregation10-SE032RED, paper artwork, by Kwang-Young Chun, 2010, South Korea
Jar, 1400 – 1600, Korea