History exhibition highlights donated artifacts

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History exhibition highlights donated artifacts


“Anmando,” a painting of a horse supposed to have been loyal to its master, left, and the Korean flag from the 20th century. Provided by the organizer

Some valuable works of art and historical relics are too precious to keep stored at home. They deserve to be on display for the general public.

That’s the motto of the Seoul Museum of History, and in gratitude to the generosity of others, it’s hosting an exhibition of treasures donated by private individuals and collectors over the past 10 years.

“We’ve received 21,000 artifacts from over 210 donors since 1996,” said Han Eun-hee of the public relations department.

“The number of artifacts is about 70 percent of the entire museum collection.”

By any standards, it’s an impressive collection.

Visitors will be treated to historic artifacts dating back hundreds of years and more contemporary items.

All the displays offer a glimpse into the lives of Korean people from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) to the 1960s and 1970s.

The exhibition is divided into four sections. Some of the displays have accompanying information that relates the personal stories behind each artifact, explaining how the owner came to donate it to the museum.

The first section includes around 80 items handed down from previous generations.

One of the more interesting artifacts is a Korean flag from the early 20th century and “Anmando,” a painting of a horse that was said to have been loyal to its master. The painting was donated by the Choi clan of
Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang.

The second section showcases common items from the past. The 60 pieces on display include furniture from the Korean War (1950-1953) era, ceramics and an electric fan from the Japanese colonial period.

The third section hosts donations from cultural researchers who devoted their lives to unearthing Korean culture.

Donated artifacts include maps and other important cultural items.

The last of the sections include donations from professional collectors. Most of these items are accompanied by anecdotes about the artifacts and how the collectors came to donate them.

By Jason Kim Staff Reporter [jason@joongang.co.kr]

The exhibition, titled “Memories of a Decade of Citizens’ Donations,” will be on display thru Feb. 1.

The Seoul Museum of History is located near Gyeonghui Palace, Gwanghwamun Station, line No. 5, exit 7.

For more information, visit http://museum.seoul.kr or call (02) 724-0196.
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