Smithsonian - National Museum of Natural History

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Book title in Korean


An Ethnography of the Hermit Kingdom
The J. B. Bernadou Korean Collection 1884–1885


Chang-su Cho Houchins
Introduction by Paul Michael Taylor
(Table of Contents)


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In 1884, Smithsonian Secretary Spencer Baird appointed J. B. Bernadou, a naval officer, to gather a collection of material culture from the Hermit Kingdom, which had been closed to outsiders until 1882. Baird gave Bernadou the official title of “Smithsonian Attaché” to the American Legation. Richly illustrated with beautiful color photographs, An Ethnography of the Hermit Kingdom will interest art-, social-, and diplomatic-historians; anthropologists; linguists; students of Korean culture; and all those who appreciate the aesthetic quality of these objects, and the stories they tell.

This ethnographic catalogue of historic Korean objects includes chapters that cover a wide range of pre-industrial material and intellectual resources (including ceramics, textiles, furniture, paintings, manuscripts and maps) that illustrate Korean life styles, values, philosophy, and aesthetics. (158 pages; 111 illustrations, 99 in full color.)

Chang-su Cho Houchins is a specialist in East Asian Ethnology with the Smithsonian’s Asian Cultural History Program, Department of Anthropology.

Generous contributions for this publication were given by Sigong Tekku (Time and Space Tech Corporation), Seoul, Korea, with special thanks to Mr. Park Ki-seok, President, Sigong Tekku, and by Madame Lee Hee-ho, First Lady of Korea.


ISBN: 0-9724557-3-6 (softcover)
Published 2004 by the Asian Cultural History Program, Smithsonian Institution
Note: All proceeds benefit the Smithsonian's Korean Heritage Fund.