This notable catalogue—the first English-language publication on the subject—highlights the art of the early period (1392–1592) of Korea’s revolutionary Joseon dynasty. The Joseon rulers replaced the Buddhist establishment and re-created a Korean society informed on every level by Neo-Confucian ideals. They supported the production of innovative secular art inspired by past traditions, both native and from the broader Confucian world. Yet despite official policies, court-sponsored Buddhist art endured, contributing to the rich complexity of the early Joseon culture.
The exquisite paintings, porcelain and other ceramics, metalware, and lacquerware featured in the book are drawn from the holdings of major Korean and Japanese museums, the collection of the Metropolitan Museum and other U.S. collections; and private collections. Many of the works have never been seen in the United States.