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Ten Reasons to Visit Silla: Korea's Golden Kingdom

Denise Patry Leidy, Curator, Department of Asian Art; and Soyoung Lee, Associate Curator, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Friday, February 14, 2014

«With just ten days remaining until the special exhibition Silla: Korea's Golden Kingdom closes on February 23, here are our top ten reasons to visit (or revisit) these exquisite treasures.»

Exhibition View

10. Because every single wonderful object will go back to Korea.

Gallery view of the exhibition Silla: Korea's Golden Kingdom. © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2013. Photography by Wilson Santiago

Zodiac Figure of a Horse

9. Celebrate the Year of the Horse.

Zodiac figure of a horse. Korea, Silla kingdom, 8th century. Agalmatolite; H. 15 3/8 in. (39.2cm). National Museum of Korea

3D Animation, Seokguram Grotto

8. Watch the "Lego for Adults" 3D animation video.

3D animation of the construction of the 8th-centuy Buddhist monument Seokguram Grotto. © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2013. Photography by Wilson Santiago

Pair of Earrings

7. View jewels worth drooling over.

Pair of earrings. Korea, Silla kingdom, second quarter of 6th century. Gold; L. 3 3/8 in. (8.6 cm). National Museum of Korea, National Treasure 90

Roof Tile with Bestial Face

6. Meet intriguing monsters.

Roof tile with bestial face. Korea, Silla kingdom, 7th–8th century. Earthenware; H. 10 1/4 in. (26.1 cm). Gyeongju National Museum, Korea

Dagger and Sheath

5. Get up close and personal with a one-of-a-kind gold dagger.

Dagger and sheath. Black Sea-area Central Asia, 5th century. Gold inlaid with garnet and glass; L. 14 1/8 in. (36 cm). Gyeongju National Museum, Korea, Treasure 635

Covered Dish

4. Enjoy spectacular ceramics.

Covered dish on perforated base with horse decoration. Korea, Silla kingdom, 5th–6th century. Stoneware; H. 10 1/4 in. (26.2 cm). Gyeongju National Museum, Korea

Psy with Iron Buddha

3. Because you never know who you might see.

Psy at the exhibition Silla: Korea's Golden Kingdom. Iron Buddha. Korea, Silla kingdom, late 8th–9th century. Cast iron; H. 59 1/8 in. (150 cm). National Museum of Korea

Pensive Bodhisattva

2. Marvel at "Korea's Mona Lisa," the sublime pensive bodhisattva.

Bodhisattva in pensive pose. Korea, Silla kingdom, late 6th–early 7th century. Gilt bronze; H. 36 7/8 in. (93.5 cm). National Museum of Korea, National Treasure 83. © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2013. Photography by Wilson Santiago


1. Imagine yourself wearing that gold crown.

Crown. Korea, Silla kingdom, second half of 5th century. Gold and jade; H. 10 3/4 in. (27.3 cm). Gyeongju National Museum, Korea, National Treasure 191

Department(s): Asian Art
Tag(s): Silla


  • H.Chang says:

    Photo #3 is hilarious! GangNam style clashes with Silla Bhudda style. Psy in composed Bhudda pose but Buddha not in horse dancing thanks god, I mean thanks Bhudda!

    Posted: February 22, 2014, 5:36 a.m.

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About the Authors

Denise Patry Leidy is a curator in the Department of Asian Art.

Associate Curator Soyoung Lee joined the staff of the Department of Asian Art in 2003, and is responsible for the Korean art collection, programs, and gallery. She has organized major international loan exhibitions with accompanying catalogues, including Silla: Korea's Golden Kingdom (2013) with Denise Patry Leidy and Art of the Korean Renaissance, 1400–1600 (2009), as well as shows focusing on the permanent collection such as Korea: 100 Years of Collecting at the Met (2015). She holds a PhD from Columbia University, with a dissertation on the relationship between Korean and Japanese ceramics from the fifteenth through the nineteenth century.

About this Blog

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