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Letter

Gim Jeong-hui

Asian Art

On View: Asian Galleries, South, 2nd floor
MEDIUM Ink on paper
  • Place Made: Korea
  • DATES 1830
    DYNASTY Joseon dynasty
    DIMENSIONS frame: 20 3/4 × 32 3/4 × 1 1/4 in. (52.7 × 83.2 × 3.2 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed "Hi" and dated equivalent of 4 January 1830
    COLLECTIONS Asian Art
    ACCESSION NUMBER 2022.37.4
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the Carroll Family Collection
    PROVENANCE Prior to 1980, provenance not yet documented; by 1980, acquired by Joseph and Roberta Carroll of New York, NY; 2021, loaned by the Joseph P. Carroll Trust and Roberta Carroll Trust to the Brooklyn Museum; 2022, gift of the Joseph P. Carroll Trust and Roberta Carroll Trust to the Brooklyn Museum.
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Letter written in loose, cursive but legible Chinese characters, on a horizontally oriented sheet of paper, formerly folded at the center, now matted and framed. Letter consists of 17 vertical lines of script with an old stamp at the top right. Contents have been translated: "I found your letter dated last year when I came back from P'yong Yang recently. Although it was last year's, your news brightens up the new year, and I understand how happy you must be. It's the first month of the year and everything seems refreshed. Your future is auspicious, your words and thoughts calm and orderly, and you are just and magnanimous in everything you do. Much congratulations. I greeted the new year in a foreign land, feeling anxious as I would feel at the prospect of being separated from my parents. Furthermore, knowing that I can not see my younger brothers and sisters hurts me so much that even if my heart were made of stone, it would melt. I appreciate very much the food you sent me. I know that it was sent with much care. I shall write to you from time to time. For now, I bid you a happy New Year." Translation courtesy of Professor Edward W. Wagner, Korea Institute, Harvard University Gim Jeong-hui (alternate names Wandang and Chu'sa) was a great calligrapher and literatus during the last decades of the Joseon period. He was a member and founder of the Chusa school of scholarship (named after his sobriquet) which modeled itself on the Chinese Southern school. He traveled to China as a young man, and his calligraphy style refers to Chinese eccentrics and to Chan Buddhist forms.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Asian Galleries, South, 2nd floor
    CAPTION Gim Jeong-hui (Korean, 1786–1856). Letter, 1830. Ink on paper, frame: 20 3/4 × 32 3/4 × 1 1/4 in. (52.7 × 83.2 × 3.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Carroll Family Collection, 2022.37.4 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2022.37.4_PS11.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 2022.37.4_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2023
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