May 31, 2016 - Dec 31, 2016

130 Years of Memory in Relics

Ewha Womans University Museum

Ewha Womans University 130th Anniversary Special Exhibition

130 Years of Memory in Relics 
In celebration of the 130th anniversary of Ewha’s foundation, Ewha Womans University Museum has arranged a special exhibition to reminisce upon the 130-year history of Ewha. In 1886, Ewha started out with a single female student in 1886, taught by American missionary Mary F. Scranton, sent from the Women’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, at her house in Jeong-dong, Seoul. In those days, Ewha, the first modern educational institute for Korean women, was the hope and vision for women to begin a career and to fulfill gender equality. Overcoming the dark days of Japanese colonial rule, Ewha was officially accredited by the government as the first university in Korea in 1946, opening a new chapter in higher education for women. Enduring the nation’s suffering during the Korean War in the 1950s, Ewha developed into a university that adapted to the needs of the new era and led women trends at the time in the 1960s to 70s. In the 1980s, Ewha strengthened its original purpose as a university under the slogan, “University as Center of Research.” The establishment of the world’s first engineering college for women led to overcoming the crisis of women’s universities at the time and strengthened its pride and role as an educational institution. In the 2000s, Ewha faced a significant opportunity to make a new leap forward. As Ewha Bridge was dismantled and Ewha Campus Complex (ECC) was built, the Ewha campus reestablished itself as a setting for education and culture, as well as a national and international attraction. Ewha is setting the pace for change that will foster women leaders from Ewha in the 21st Century. Ewha’s 130-year history has evolved along with the modern history of Korea. Ewha’s past is not only its own history, but also reveals the changes in Korea’s modern history, education, and women’s status, helping situate Ewha’s future course and identity.
EWHA 이화 梨花
Floral designs with five petals and stamens in the center, such as a Japanese apricot blossom motif, have long been used in East Asia. In modern times, these designs have been identified and standardized. A plum blossom motif that was used as the seal for the Korean Empire and its imperial family is one such example. Early plum blossom designs were similar to a traditional Japanese apricot blossom design, but the details were rendered differently as shown in stamps, currency, formal dress, medals, court craftworks, and Western style court tableware. The familiar plum flower design with five distinctively divided petals and three stamens on each petal was standardized in the late 1900s. This became an archetypal design that influenced other floral patterns such as the pear blossom, which has similar features.The pear blossom (ewha) design found in official documents of Ewha Haktang in the 1910s to 20s was a flower with five distinctively divided petals and three stamens on each petal, which resembled the plum blossom motif used as the imperial seal since the era of the Korean Empire. It was in 1930 when pear blossom motifs began to appear that were differentiated from that of the plum blossom. Enda M. Van Fleet at Ewha College was known to have redesigned the emblem for Ewha College and Ewha Kindergarten Training School, by depicting two concentric circles with a Taegeuk symbol and a small pear blossom at the top and bottom spaces between the circles. A few years later, the  Taegeuk was moved to the bottom, and a cross was placed at the top, and the names of Ewha College and Ewha Kindergarten Training School were placed at the right and left space of the Taegeuk, and the years of each school’s founding, 1910 and 1925, respectively, were placed. Until the 1930s, the previous design was used alongside the newer ones. In 1939, the emblem was altered by the Japanese Government General of Korea, as the drawing of Namdaemun and the Taegeuk were removed, but the original design was reclaimed along with Korean liberation. Today, we can find the foundation years of Ewha Haktang and Ewha University, 1886 and 1945, placed in the basic elements of the design made in 1930.
1886-1945
Ewha was founded with the interest of developing the status and rights of women who were oppressed and confined in the feudal framework of 19th century Korean society. Mary F. Scranton, who was dispatched to Korea from the Women’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the U.S., established Korea’s first modern girl’s school, EwhaHaktang, and served as its first principal. Scranton fulfilled her mission of recovering the dignity of, and opening a new life prospects for, Korean women. In 1910, Korea went through many sufferings under the colonial rule of Japan; Rooted in the Christian spirit, Ewha showed dauntless will to overcome the suppression of the era and to accomplish endless advancements and freedom for women. Ewha’s fourth principal Lulu E. Frey established the college at EwhaHaktang, opening a new chapter in women’s higher education by establishing the groundwork that would become Ewha Womans University. In 1925, EwhaHaktang was received government accreditation as a professional school. In 1935, Ewha moved to the current Sinchon campus making its first steps toward becoming the world-class university it is todays. 
1945-1980
Ewha was officially accredited by the government as the first university in Korea in 1946, opening a new chapter in higher education for women. The foundation of the graduate school in 1950 reestablished Ewha as a research university and an incubator for Korea’s foremost women leaders. These outstanding achievements could be realized through efforts and devotion from President Helen Kim and the faculty. Even during national upheaval such as the Korean War in 1950 and the university’s return to Seoul after the Korean War in 1953, Ewha resumed classes and restored its damaged buildings. In particular, Ewha’s 70th anniversary in 1956 led to healing the wounds of war to leap forward once again. Ewha in the 1960s to 70s developed into a university that adapted to the needs of the times as it prepared a framework for recognizing the kinds of problems facing women in Korean society. Ewha led the women trends at the time and various events such as the May Queen Coronation Ceremony at the anniversary festivities held at the anniversary celebrations becoming scoops of the different media.
1980-2016
Ewha’s 130-year history has evolved along with the modern history of Korea. In the 1980s, under the new slogan, “University as Center of Research,” Ewha reorganized its academic structure and continued to put forth efforts to create the optimal environment for student learning and faculty research. The establishment of the world’s first engineering college for women led to overcoming the crisis of women’s universities at the time and strengthened its pride and role as an educational institution. In the 2000s, Ewha faced a significant opportunity to make a new leap forward. As Ewha Bridge was dismantled, a symbol filled with student nostalgia, and Ewha Campus Complex (ECC) was built, the Ewha campus reestablished itself as a setting for education and culture, as well as a national and international attraction. Ewha is setting the pace for change that will foster women leaders from Ewha in the 21st Century.
Ewha by Ewha: 130 Years of History
“Ewha by Ewha: 130 Years of History” is a participation exhibition created by not only current students and alumni, but also faculties and Ewha family members who together have made 130 years of Ewha history. Since April of 2016, Ewha community members have been providing scenes of the old Ewha campus and reminiscences of Ewha along with their stories via on/offline, and the museum compiled these data to produce an innovative video. New video is exhibited regularly from updated data that Ewha community members are constantly providing, and they can participate until December 20th through ‘130 years exhibition’ website. Through this exhibition, the museum wants to provide an opportunity to remember that students, alumni, faculties, and Ewha family members ‘altogether built 130 years of Ewha’ and ponder upon the meaning of Ewha community. The museum also tries to propose a new direction towards museums that communicate with the public by conducting the exhibition with Ewha community members who are members of the college and visitors of the museum as well as the public. 
Ewha Womans University Museum
Credits: Story

Organized by Ewha Womans University Museum

Directed by Jang Namwon

Curated by Kwon Min-kyeong, Lee Jeong-sun, Jeon Jin-hee

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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