USC Pacific Asia Museum

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Pasadena, California 91101
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USC Pacific Asia Museum

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Korea through Westen Eyes:
Prints and Paintings of Korea
by Paul Jacoulet and Elizabeth Keith

July 3, 2002–September 15, 2002

Keith image
Gentle in Ceremonial Dress, Elizabeth Keith, c. 1920.
Gouache; paper; 13.25” H x 16” W. Gift of Dr. & Mrs. Aziz A. Khan.

This exhibition highlights images of Korea created from the 1930s to 1960 by two European artists who were enchanted by the people and landscapes of Korea. Known in the West as the “Hermit Kingdom”, Korea was closed to the outside world until the early 20th century, when the peninsula was colonized by the Japanese, and artists from various nations arrived on its shores. These artists, though foreign observers of Korean life, were nonetheless meticulous illustrators of traditional Korean customs and habits.

Scottish-born artist Elizabeth Keith (1887-1956) lived for several years in Japan, where she learned the techniques of Japanese woodblock carving and printing. From there, she traveled to Korea and produced watercolors and print designs of Korea’s mountain landscapes, architecture and people. Her images of Korea, made from 1919 to 1960, show a warmth and sensitivity towards the people and their culture.

Jacqoulet image
La Mariée, Seoul, Corée (The Bride, Seoul, Korea)
by Paul Jacoulet, 1948. Full Color Woodblock Print.
USC PAM Collection. Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Richard W. Child.

French artist Paul Jacoulet (c.1900-1960) spent most of his life in Japan, and around 1930 visited Korea, where his mother lived for several years. He adopted two Korean brothers, who remained his loyal companions until he died. Jacoulet was fascinated by Korean people, their costumes, mannerisms and daily habits, and created elaborate Japanese-style woodblock print designs of Korean characters that are full of color, humor and, on occasion, political satire.

Most of the prints and paintings in this exhibition are from the collection of USC Pacific Asia Museum. Catalogs about the two artists featured are available in the Museum Store.

Related Lectures:

Sunday July 14, 2-4pm Authors on Asia
Helie Lee
, author of In the Absence of Sun: A Korean-American Woman’s Promise to Reunite Three Lost Generations of Her Family with Mary E. Connor, author of The Koreas: A Global Studies Handbook

Helie Lee, bestselling author of Still Life with Rice, will read from her newest biographical book. Mary E. Connor will also discuss her new book, The Koreas: A Global Studies Handbook. Ms. Conner covers border to border of North and South Korea.

Books will be available for purchase and signing. Authors on Asia programs are presented free of charge but reservations are recommended. For information and reservations, please call 626.449.2742 ext. 20.