Exhibitions

Special Past

Treasures from the Family of Minister Lee Hangbok

  • Location

    Calligraphy and PaintingⅡ Gallery

  • Date May-06-2020 ~ Oct-04-2020

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NATIONAL MUSEUM OF KOREA

Treasures from the Family of Minister Lee Hangbok


Lee Hangbok (1556
1618, sobriquet: Baeksa) was the minister who shouldered much of the burden of defending the Joseon Dynasty during the crisis of Imjin War, the Japanese invasions in 1592-1598. He managed differences of opinion in the Joseon court, and pursued diplomatic opportunities between Ming China. Lee was also responsible for military administration and for the consolation of commoners. He was appointed as a meritorious subject five times during his lifetime. Lee Geun Hyeong, the fifteenth-generation descendant in the primogeniture line of Lee Hangbok, donated heritages handed down through the family to the National Museum of Korea in 2019. This exhibition displays the donated collection alongside the museum collection in order to provide an overview of the life of Lee Hangbok.

 

Lee Jaeho, Assistant Curator I believe you all know Lee Hangbok (1556-1618), who shouldered much of the burden of defending the Joseon Dynasty during the crisis of Imjin War, the Japanese invasions in 1592-1598. In 2019, Lee Geun Hyeong, the 15th-generation descendant in the primogeniture line of Lee Hangbok, donated 17 relics that his family had cherished for generations. In commemoration of his generosity, the National Museum of Korea decided to hold the exhibition “Treasures from the Family of Minister Lee Hangbok.” The family of Lee Hangbok has passed on to us priceless family heirlooms related to its most-esteemed member, including the only extant Royal Certificate of Meritorious Subject Issued to Lee Hangbok, Portraits of Lee Hangbok as a Meritorious Subject, and the Thousand Character Classic, which was written by Lee and is the oldest of handwritten one in Korea. Lee Hangbok shouldered the burden of the nation’s fate during the Imjin War, a time of unprecedented crisis. He escorted King Seonjo (r. 1567-1608) to refuge and arbitrated disputes among government officials in the court. He supported the generals and soldiers fighting on the front line while comforting the people amid the devastation. He also showed remarkable diplomatic skill in dealing with the Ming Dynasty and contributed a great deal to ending the war. Lee Hangbok was named a meritorious subject five times for his deeds and respected as a symbol of integrity long after this death. The treasures that have been passed down from generation to generation in the family include not only the relics but also Lee Hangbok’s open-mindedness and integrity. This exhibition features donations made by Lee Hangbok’s head family along with some paintings and calligraphy collected by the museum. We hope you come and feel the spirit of this great prime minister.

Treasures from the Family of Minister Lee Hangbok (01:54)


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