Follow along with museum founder Charles Lang Freer (1854–1919) as he gathers the objects that now form the Korean collection of the Freer Gallery of Art. This app takes a chronological approach, tracing Freer’s life and collecting history, decade by decade. You can choose to follow a chronological path or simply select objects based on aesthetic preference—much like Freer did.
Fully interactive and sleekly designed, Collecting Korea includes images of many of the 540 Korean objects in the Freer Gallery’s collection. Learn where each object falls within Charles Lang Freer’s collecting career and Korean art history. Several images are available for high-resolution, 360-degree manipulation, allowing you to examine objects from all sides and in great detail. Archival photographs, often dating to the turn of the nineteenth century, also illuminate the collector’s story. Several original videos feature curatorial interviews, gallery tours, and footage of a tea ceremony. An outline of periods in Korean art is handily available in the upper right-hand corner, along with a glossary and a map of pre-modern Korea with details about each province.
In 2009, the National Museum of Korea and the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s museums of Asian art, formed a partnership to develop and implement projects that increase the understanding and appreciation of Korean art and culture in the United States. As a result of this partnership, the National Museum of Korea generously supported the production of this app and three other, interconnected projects: the reinstallation of the Freer’s Korean art gallery and its inaugural exhibition, Cranes and Clouds: The Korean Art of Ceramic Inlay; a guidebook titled Korean Art in the Freer and Sackler Galleries; and an online catalogue titled Korean Ceramics in the Freer Gallery of Art. Visit the Freer|Sackler website at asia.si.edu to learn more.
The app was developed by Arcade Sunshine Media (arcadesunshine.com) and edited by Jane Lusaka and Joelle Seligson, Freer and Sackler Galleries. Content was written by Louise Cort, Freer|Sackler curator for ceramics, with additional contributions by curators Lee Glazer, Carol Huh, and Keith Wilson. Special thanks to Nancy Proctor, head of mobile strategy and initiatives, Smithsonian Institution, and Julian Raby, the Dame Jillian Sackler Director of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art. Footage of the tea ceremony is courtesy of Dr. Janet Ikeda, former associate dean and associate professor of Japanese language and literature, Washington and Lee University. Photo of James Cahill in China is courtesy James Cahill. Byron Kim images are © Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution. Unless otherwise indicated, archival images and photographs of objects are © Freer Gallery of Art and Freer|Sackler Archives, Smithsonian Institution; photos by Neil Greentree, Robert Harrell, and John Tsantes. All rights reserved.
Updated collections information
Ratings and Reviews
An educational and visually pleasing experience
Thank you so much for conceiving an app that makes me feel like I have seen priceless treasures up close, that I would not be able to otherwise. These breath taking pieces have survived crafting, glazing, the kiln and the centuries. Among my favorites are the celadon bowls with such thin fine walls. I am so glad people have treasured all of these lovely pieces so that we all may marvel at them.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.