Workshop: Between Tradition and Modernity – Korean Collections in Hungary and Germany

Date of event:   16/02/2023 − 16/02/2023

Title: Between Tradition and Modernity: Korean Collections in Hungary and Germany
Format: Online
Date and time: Thursday, 16 February 2023
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm CET

ACN – Europe invites you to the online workshop Between Tradition and Modernity. Korean Collections in Hungary and Germany with Maria Sobotka and Beatrix Mecsi as speakers and the participation of Elmer Veldkamp as discussant. Beatrix Mecsi (ELTE University Budapest) and Maria Sobotka (Humboldt Forum Berlin) offer rare insights into the origins and the development of Korean collections in Hungary and Germany. The presentation of certain pieces, individuals, and networks is followed by a discussion with Elmer Veldkamp (Leiden University).

While the origin of most Korean collections in German museums dates back to the late 19th century, the majority of objects from Korea in Hungary have appeared in different times and routes, and under various circumstances.

About 300 Germans either visited Korea or lived and worked in Korea until January 1, 1910, when the Korean Empire, proclaimed by King Gojong in 1897, finally virtually ceased to have sovereignty. In the 19th century, diplomats traveled to Korea and acquired Korean art and cultural artifacts for museums in their home countries. Later, individual collectors began to form an important source of acquisition for museums. The first presentation will give a brief overview of the origins and the development of Korean collections in German museums until today.

After looking through the short outline of the most important events in the history between Hungary and Korea, the second part of the presentation will focus on two different types of paintings which ended up in the collection of the Ferenc Hopp Museum of Asian Art, Budapest. Through these objects, we show the circumstances of their acquisition and the history of their reception. The first example is a group of life-size copies of the wall paintings of the Anak 3 tomb from Goguryeo, commissioned by a Hungarian diplomat in North Korea in the 1950s by contemporary North Korean painters, while the other is a rare standing woman portrait (Miindo) from the Joseon period which came to the museum from the private collection of the renown Hungarian architect and designer Lajos Kozma (1844-1948), who might have purchased it in Paris.

The event is free, but registration in necessary. Please reserve a spot through Eventbrite.