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Korean, Celadon Bottle, late 11th–early 12th century, stoneware with gray bluish-green glaze, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of the Ewha Womans University Alumnae Association of Houston with additional funds provided by the Brown Foundation Accessions Endowment Fund.

Words and Images: Korean Uigwe Royal Documents

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Beck Building, Mezzanine
5601 Main Street Map & Directions


Presented by Yi Song-mi, PhD, professor emerita of art history, Academy of Korean Studies, Seoul

Guided by the Confucian principles of ethics and propriety, the Joseon court conducted its state rites such as royal weddings, funerals, state banquets, and the painting of royal portraits according to the prescribed ways in the Five Rites of the Nation (1474). Upon completion of each of the rites, all the details of the event, including its planning, all the materials, and expenses used for the event, and names of painters and artisans were carefully documented in a uigwe book, sometimes with illustrations. This lecture will explore how these valuable royal textual and visual documents shed light to understanding the Joseon society, art and its material culture. Questions about the content of this lecture? E-mail

Yi Song-mi is professor emerita of art history at the Academy of Korean Studies. She is a member of the National History Council of Korea, the editorial board of Archives of Asian Art, and the International Council of the Asia Society. Previously, she served as president of Korean Art History Association, professor at Duksung Women's University, and director of the university museum. Her publications include Western Influence on Korean Painting of the Choson Period (in Korean, 2000); Architectural Treasures of the World as Seen by an Art Historian (in Korean, 2000); Japanese Painting Appreciation (in Korean, 1999); The Fragrance of Ink: Korean Literati Paintings of the Choson Dynasty (1392–1910) (in English, co-author, 1996); and Korean Costumes and Textiles (in English, co-author, 1992).

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Education programs receive generous funding from the Kinder Foundation; the Institute of Museum and Library Services; ExxonMobil; the Favrot Fund; Michael C. Linn in memory of his mother Patricia G. Linn; the National Museum of Korea; Mrs. Evelyn Houstoun Chew; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Susanne M. and Melbern G. Glasscock; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; The Americana Foundation; The Boeing Company; An Anonymous Donor; Mr. William J. Hill; Cameron International Corporation; Houston Junior Woman’s Club; the Sterling-Turner Foundation; and The Susan Vaughan Foundation.