Seven-meter-long painting to return to Dayton Art Institute after conservation work
Sixteen months of conservation work on a 7.2-meter-long (24 feet) painting known as “Sea, Cranes, and Peaches” has been completed by the Overseas Korean Cultural Heritage Foundation and the painting will soon be departing Korea to go back to the Dayton Art Institute (DAI) in Ohio.
The painting, made of silk, pigment and gold leaf, according to the Cultural Heritage Administration, is from around the end of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), and was probably created for the royal court. Like many other relics of Korea, the painting was taken outside the country and was donated to DAI in 1941from Mary Marvin Breckinridge Patterson, a radio journalist who reported for CBS during World War II. According to Artnews, an American visual-arts magazine, Patterson told DAI that her late uncle, “Charles Goodrich of the Goodrich tire fortune, rebuilt his drawing room to display the piece when he owned it.”
With the makeover, the painting may have a new life at the DAI, and hopefully one brighter than its past.
When the DAI first acquired the piece, it catalogued it as Japanese, then following the advice of an art historian in the late 1950s, it was categorized as a Chinese art piece. Though the elegant panel screen was exhibited at the DAI for quite some time, its poor condition consigned it to storage in recent decades. After spotting the painting in a book that categorized it as a Chinese art piece in 2007, a Japanese researcher thought it was a mistake and took a Korean scholar to check it out in 2017.
Through research based on its size, materials, technique and iconography, they concluded that it originated in Korea, not in Japan or China.
BY YIM SEUNG-HYE [email@example.com]