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The Spirit of Korea

September 13, 2000–August 27, 2002

This installation highlights the museum’s Korean art collection. The earliest pieces include fourth-century stoneware vessels. The collection is particularly strong in Koryŏ Dynasty celadon wares. Also on view are Buddhist and secular subjects in paintings and sculpture, as well as furniture.

One of the museum’s most treasured pieces, this vase is a supreme example of the understated elegance of celadon-glazed stoneware made during the Koryŏ dynasty. The skillfully incised designs include flowering lotus, mallow, herons, scrolled leaves, and magical fungi of eternity.

This cast iron sculpture in the shape of a seated tiger probably once served as a guardian or protector to keep evil spirits away. In Korea the tiger is closely associated with the Mountain Spirit, or Sansin, and is also known as his messenger.

Main Building


Dr. Felice Fischer, Luther W. Brady Curator of Japanese Art and Curator of East Asian Art; Judy Kim, Research Assistant, East Asian Art

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