Books, Flowers, and Objects: Beauty, Inspiration, and Aspiration in Korean Ch’aekkŏri Screens


Thursday, March 4, 2021, 6:00pm to 7:00pm


Online Event (Zoom)

Korean Treasures at Harvard Series IV
3.4 Korean Treasures Poster

Sunglim Kim
Associate Professor of Korean Art History at Dartmouth College

Sunglim Kim is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and Asian Societies, Cultures, and Languages (ASCL) Program at Dartmouth College. Her research interests include pre-modern and 20th century Korean painting, cultural exchanges between Korea and the world, and women and gender matters in Korean art. She is the author of a book, Flowering Plums and Curio Cabinets: The Culture of Objects in Late Chosŏn Korean Art, and numerous articles. She is currently organizing a traveling exhibition on the contemporary Korean ink painter Park Dae-Sung in the United States and is writing a book on that painter. Kim is also preparing a book on women artists and art movements in modern and contemporary Korea.  

Chaired by Sun Joo Kim, Harvard-Yenching Professor of Korean History; Director, Korea Institute, Harvard University

First appearing in the late 18th century, ch’aekkŏri is a genre of Korean still life painting depicting books, ceramics, antiques, plants, fruits, and other objects. Ch’aekkŏri screens arose with the flourishing of material culture in the late Chosŏn dynasty, and were used to represent their owners’ wealth, status, and aspirations through the represented objects. Simultaneously, artists began to employ mass production techniques to meet the high demand for this new art form. There are three types of ch’aekkŏri: “bookshelf,” “tabletop,” and “isolated.” In this talk, we will see how Korean painters produced tabletop ch’aekkŏri, by looking at extant underdrawings and comparing them with various ch’aekkŏri screens that may have been produced based on them. We also will closely examine the isolated ch’aekkŏri screen in the Harvard Art Museums collection, exploring its aesthetics, symbolism, and social context. 

To attend this event online, we ask that you please register via the following link:

As we approach the event date, you will receive a reminder email with the Zoom link.

The Korean Treasures at Harvard seminar series is generously supported by the Jeffrey D. and Jean K. Lee Fund at the Korea Institute, Harvard University.