LACMA Presents Korean Treasures from the Chester and Cameron Chang Collection

Kim Kwan-ho, Portrait of the Artist’s Daughter , 1957, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of Drs. Chester and Cameron C. Chang (M.D.), © The Estate of Kim Kwanho, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA

LOS ANGELES-Korean Treasures from the Chester and Cameron Chang Collection is a selection of works drawn from the largest gift of Korean art in the museum’s history. In 2021, the museum announced the acquisition of an initial major gift of 100 works of Asian art from Dr. Chester Chang and Dr. Cameron C. Chang (MD). The collection consists primarily of Korean paintings, calligraphy, sculpture, ceramics, lacquers, furniture, and other works of art ranging in date from the Three Kingdoms Period (c. 57 BCE–668 CE) to the 20th century. The bulk of the works in this collection has remained within a single family for a century and has never publicly been on view. Organized chronologically and by material, this exhibition presents 35 donated and promised gifts, including traditional Korean secular and religious paintings, calligraphies, rare mid-20th-century oil paintings from both North and South Korea, and ceramics of the Goryeo (918–1392) and Joseon (1392–1897) dynasties.

Chester Chang (Chang Jung Ki), a former LACMA trustee, was born in Seoul in 1939; he and his son Cameron are descended, through Chester’s mother, Min Byeongyoon, from the family of Queen Min (1851–1895), the last queen of the Joseon dynasty (known posthumously as Empress Myeongseong).

This exhibition is curated by Stephen Little, Florence and Harry Sloan Curator of Chinese Art and Department Head, Chinese, Korean, and South and Southeast Asian Art.

This exhibition reflects LACMA’s role as a national leader in presenting exhibitions
and scholarship of Korean art in the United States. Recent examples include Beyond
Line: The Art of Korean Writing (2018), focused on the history of calligraphy in
Korea, and The Space Between: The Modern in Korean Art (2022), a survey of
Korean art created between 1890 and 1970. Both exhibitions were the first of their
kind to be presented in the United States. Works from the Chang Collection will
empower curators and scholars alike to refine and expand their understanding of
these Korean objects and the contexts in which they were created. Korean art history
is a relatively new field of academic study in the United States, and LACMA’s
collection will provide a strong foundation for future research, exhibitions, and public
programs, especially as the field evolves.


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