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<modern korean painting> Exhibition Hall : 4. GEUMRANMUKHOE : Modern Enjoyment of Literati Culture

Ewha Womans University Museum

Ewha Womans University Museum

Geumranmukhoe was officially launched in 1953 following the recapture of Seoul, as a fine arts and calligraphy circle centering on the core members Lee Jeong-ae and Helen Kim. The name of the group was taken from the proverb Geumranjigyo, which can be interpreted as “the friendship that is strong as steel and fragrant as an orchid.” Instructors at the group consisted of Western-style painters, such as Son Jae-hyeong, Kim Yun-jung, Lee Sang-beom, Kim Yong-jin, Kim Eun-ho, Lee Byeong-jik, and Hwang Seong-ha, who were active during the transition into the modern era, while its membership was based on those related to Ewha Womans University, including Helen Kim herself. According to surviving information, the group held regular meetings estimated on a monthly basis, as well as an annual exhibition for works produced by members. Geumranmukhoe was a sophisticated meeting of artists that continued throughout the late Joseon era due to the efforts of the intelligentsia, and an extension of the fine arts and calligraphy groups of various sizes that existed during the transition into the modern era. Particularly in reference to the members that are renowned as collectors of antique art and calligraphy through the activities of the Ewha Womans University Museum, the art-historical significance of Geumranmukhoe can be surmised from the continuation of the classical behavior within artistic culture, such as creation, exhibition, and enjoyment of fine art and calligraphy, throughout the liberation of Korea and the late 1960s.

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  • Title: <modern korean painting> Exhibition Hall : 4. GEUMRANMUKHOE : Modern Enjoyment of Literati Culture

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