About Yun Yong-gu (1852-1939)
Yun Yong-gu was a celebrated literati painter of bamboo, orchids, and landscapes. He is best known, however, for his unsurpassed haengso hanso (classic) calligraphy. One of the last Joseon Dynasty government officials, he was ranked as a high official in the court. After Japan's annexation of Korea in 1910, the Japanese offered him the title of baron, which he refused. He left the public realm to live for the next 30 years as a hermit in the mountains, where he spent his time in the literati pursuits of painting, calligraphy, and music. At the end of his life, he emerged for one major exhibition, "Famous Calligraphers & Painters of the Joseon Dynasty." Yun's calligraphy is in the selected collections of Ho-Am Art Museum, The National Museum of Korea, San Francisco Asian Art Museum, Harn Museum of Art, Smart Museum, and The Arthur M. Sackler Museum at Harvard University.