Korea

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.

Exploring Korea

Photo of Jar, 1750 – 1850, Korea. Museum no. C.15-1919. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Jar, 1750 – 1850, Korea. Museum no. C.15-1919. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Purse, 1850 – 1900, Korea. Museum no. T.102-1924. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Purse, 1850 – 1900, Korea. Museum no. T.102-1924. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Long-necked celadon bottle, 1200 – 1250, Korea. Museum no. C.72-1911. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Long-necked celadon bottle, 1200 – 1250, Korea. Museum no. C.72-1911. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Pendant (Norigae), Eun Young Kim, 1991, Korea. Museum no. FE.426-1992. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Pendant (Norigae), Eun Young Kim, 1991, Korea. Museum no. FE.426-1992. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Print, Ch'ang-yon Ham, 21st century, North Korea. Museum no. FE.20-2010. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Print, Ch'ang-yon Ham, 21st century, North Korea. Museum no. FE.20-2010. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Set of five coloured lacquer bowls, Hae-cho Chung, 2013, South Korea. Museum no. FE.98-2013. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Set of five coloured lacquer bowls, Hae-cho Chung, 2013, South Korea. Museum no. FE.98-2013. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Stackable sewing boxes, 1850 – 1950, Korea. Museum no. FE.18-1993. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Stackable sewing boxes, 1850 – 1950, Korea. Museum no. FE.18-1993. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Painting, Chong-Ch'ŏl Yi, 1989, North Korea. Museum no. FE.16-2010. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Painting, Chong-Ch'ŏl Yi, 1989, North Korea. Museum no. FE.16-2010. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Side-dish lacquer box, 1550 – 1599, Korea. Museum no. W.43-1938. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Side-dish lacquer box, 1550 – 1599, Korea. Museum no. W.43-1938. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Brush pot, 1850 – 1900, Korea. Museum no. M.401-1912. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Brush pot, 1850 – 1900, Korea. Museum no. M.401-1912. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Aggregation10-SE032RED, paper artwork, Kwang-Young Chun, 2010, South Korea. Museum no. FE.103-2013. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Aggregation10-SE032RED, paper artwork, Kwang-Young Chun, 2010, South Korea. Museum no. FE.103-2013. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Jar, 1400 – 1600, Korea. Museum no. FE.33-2008. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Jar, 1400 – 1600, Korea. Museum no. FE.33-2008. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Learn more about Korea