News: UF Harn Museum receives grant to restore Korean masterpiece paintings

The news release below is from the University of Florida News; congratulations to UF’s Harn Museum of Art!
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida has received a $36,000 grant from the Korea National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage for the conservation of two hanging scroll masterpiece paintings by Korean artists working in the 18th- and 19th-centuries.
This is the second consecutive year that the Harn has received funding from foundations based in Korea that are dedicated to sharing Korean culture, art and heritage. In 2011, the Harn Museum of Art received funding from the Korea Foundation and from the Korean Cultural Heritage Administration in recognition of the important role the Harn plays in preserving and studying Korean art in the United States.
The two paintings, once conserved, will go on view in the permanent Korean art gallery in the new David A. Cofrin Asian Art Wing. The 18th-century scroll painting by Kim Hongdo depicts a falcon hunt. It is notable for its rarity, as well as Hongdo’s sophisticated and controlled brushwork. The 19th-century scroll painting by Jang Seung’eop depicts a scholar in a garden and is rendered in his “blue and green” style. The packed composition, vivid colors, unrealistic figure depiction, and detailed brushwork are characteristic of his work. Seung’eop was not formally trained and rose to prominence among Korea’s new middle class for his creative amalgamation of traditional Korean and Chinese styles.
“These are two of the most important Korean paintings in our collection,” said Cofrin Curator of Asian Art Jason Steuber. “Thanks to the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage, we will be able to apply the highest possible preservation standards to these valuable works.”
The Harn Museum of Art is deeply grateful for the Korea National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage, Korea Foundation, and Korea Cultural Heritage Administration for their generous support to celebrate Korean art in the galleries and online, said Harn Museum Director Rebecca M. Nagy.
“The Korea Foundation’s contributions have been integral to the successful opening and installation of the permanent Korean art gallery in the new Cofrin Asian Art Wing,” Nagy said. “And now with the support of the Korea National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage, the Harn’s Korean masterpiece paintings will be available for the public to study and enjoy.”
In 2011, the Korea Foundation awarded the Harn $100,000 to support the installation of the Korean art gallery in the new Cofrin wing through the construction of custom display cases and specially designed lighting. The grant also will support the international symposium “Arts of Korea: Histories, Challenges and Perspectives” that will be presented Nov. 30 to Dec. 2.
Also in 2011, the Korea Cultural Heritage Administration awarded the Harn $22,000 for the development of educational materials to be presented in conjunction with the inaugural installation of Korean art in the Cofrin wing. These educational materials range from brochures for visitors and school-age children and the Korean art site on UF’s George A. Smathers Libraries website dedicated to the Harn’s Korean art collection as well as professional photography of many of the collection’s most important objects.
The Harn is one of the leading university centers in the Southeast for the study and conservation of Asian art. From frequently rotating installations to special exhibitions mounted each year, the Harn continues to make important contributions to the discourse and scholarship of Asian art. Staff and students have and are currently undertaking pioneering efforts to write manuals prescribing the best care and storage methods for Asian artwork.
This September, for example, Korean art historians and researchers from the Research Division of Artistic Heritage, National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage will visit the Harn to survey the Korean art collection for upcoming publications and entering information into important holdings of Korean art in overseas museums.
For more information about the Harn’s Korean art collection, please visit