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Arts of Korea Hardcover – 1998

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Editorial Reviews Review

Korean art is the least-known East Asian tradition. Much was destroyed in invasions and wars, and then there are current geopolitical realities. So the dedication of a permanent Korean gallery at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1998 and the museum's cooperating with the National Museum in Seoul on an opening exhibition were benchmarks. Absent an available art-historical survey, this catalog is surely the most up-to-date and informative overview in English. The 100 objects exhibited cover roughly 2,400 years, and with 21 national treasures and other objects that probably would be so designated if not in collections abroad, they give tantalizing tastes of Korea's ceramics--including celadons of pure green or with colored inlays, stonewares decorated with white slip, and ice-white porcelains--Buddhist sculpture, religious and secular painting, and metalwork and applied arts.

The works are divided by medium, and seven essays by eminent Korean art scholars provide chronicles of ceramics, Buddhist sculpture, landscape painting, "true-view" paintings of Korea, and overviews of works in the Metropolitan's collection and the peninsula's history. The essays, excellent object-specific descriptions, 148 color plates of works exhibited, and 200 illustrations of other crucial material enable the reader to piece together the mosaic of Korea's major artistic developments.

For anyone who wants to delve into Korean art or better understand the artistic relations between China and Korea or Korea and Japan--the latter an important story now beginning to be told--this impressive and weighty tome (511 pages with a 24-page index) will remain an important reference. --Joseph Newland --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

The first comprehensive recording of Korean masterworks in two decades, this exhibition catalog presents a compelling and thorough survey of the key developments in the history of Korean art. Published in conjunction with the opening of the Metropolitan Museum's new permanent gallery of Korean art, it draws the finest examples from four major areas: ceramics, Buddhist sculpture, painting, and metalwork and decorative arts from the Neolithic period to the 19th century. Essays by leading scholars reflect the latest scholarship and examine stylistic characteristics and technical innovations in the political, social, and cultural context, particularly the Korean peninsula's relationship and interchanges with China and Japan. This landmark publication serves as an important introduction for Westerners to Korea's artistic achievements. Essential for academic and public libraries with a collection on Asian arts.?Lucia S. Chen, N.Y.P.L.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art; Third Printing edition (1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300085788
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300085785
  • Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 8.8 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,654,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Michael Gunther on July 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Arts of Korea is a large (500 pp) catalogue from the Metropolitan Museum's inaugural exhibit (1998) of Korean art. The first half of the catalogue is dedicated to 100 artifacts in the exhibits, and the second half of the catalogue is dedicated to scholarly essays. In the first half, the objects are shown in large color photographs with basic museum-label type information. In the second half, essays by senior scholars of Korean art are illustrated by poor-quality (small, black-and-white) photographs.

If I were the average museum-goer, I wouldn't necessarily buy this book, since the first half doesn't have enough info (for the average person) and the second half has too much info (again, for the average person). On the other hand, there is a lot of knowledge in this volume that will be welcome to serious fans of Korean art.
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