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Ch'aekkori Screen
Scholars' Paraphernalia (Ch'aekkòri)

Artist/maker unknown, Korean

Geography:
Made in Korea, Asia

Period:
Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910)

Date:
Mid- 19th century

Medium:
Ink and color on silk; mounted as a ten-fold screen

Dimensions:
Each panel: 47 x 12 inches (119.4 x 30.5 cm) Each mount: 68 x 17 inches (172.7 x 43.2 cm)

Curatorial Department:
East Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
2002-74-1

Credit Line:
125th Anniversary Acquisition. Purchased with funds contributed by the Korean Heritage Group, the Hollis Family Foundation Fund, and the Henry B. Keep Fund, 2002

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Label:
Korean literati of the Joseon dynasty greatly admired exotic goods imported from China and sought to surround themselves with the accoutrements of the Confucian scholar-official. They collected Chinese ceramics, scrolls, brush pots and inkstones, many of which are depicted in the screen type known as ch'aekkòri (scholar's books and utensils). These screens became extremely popular in Korea in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, often substituting for the expensive Chinese objects, and the painting styles range from very sophisticated to folk.

Additional information:
  • PublicationGifts in Honor of the 125th Anniversary of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

    Korean literati of the Chosòn dynasty were great admirers of the Chinese tradition and sought to surround themselves with the accoutrements of the famed Confucian scholar-official. They collected Chinese ceramics, scrolls, brush pots, and ink stones, many of which are depicted in the screen type known as ch’aekkori (scholar’s books and utensils). These screens became extremely popular in Korea in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, often substituting for the expensive Chinese objects, and the painting styles range from highly sophisticated to folk.

    This extraordinary example was obviously executed by a painter of great skill, although he has not signed the piece. The ten panels feature stacks of books, often next to the brushes and ink stones the scholar would use for his calligraphy. Floating above are elegant examples of Chinese ceramics of exotic and archaistic shapes, holding auspicious fruits or flowers such as pomegranates and lotus. One panel includes a large piece of coral from which a gold watch hangs. The artist has rendered all the objects in great detail and subdued colors, reflecting the refined taste of the cultured patron who commissioned the screen.

    In 1928 the Museum acquired a nineteenth-century Chinese Scholar’s Study as one of its celebrated period rooms, and this elegant Korean screen serves as a beautiful example of the transmission of Chinese culture as reinterpreted by skilled Korean artists. Felice Fischer, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Gifts in Honor of the 125th Anniversary (2002), p. 65.

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