In the ancient world, the Korean kingdom of Silla (57 B.C.–A.D. 935) was renowned as a country of gold. Through over 100 spectacular objects created between A.D. 400 and 800—Silla's seminal period—the landmark exhibition Silla: Korea's Golden Kingdom presents the remarkable artistic achievements of a small kingdom that rose to prominence, embraced cosmopolitanism, and eventually gained control over much of the Korean peninsula. The exhibition is the first in the West to focus exclusively on the arts of Silla. Among the highlights are exquisite regalia discovered in the tombs of royalty and the elite; unique treasures made in places between China and the Mediterranean and preserved in Korea; and Buddhist icons and reliquaries reinterpreting pan-Asian styles with native aesthetics.
See a slideshow of works on view.
The exhibition features several designated National Treasures and many works with few parallels outside of Korea, including a graceful and charming gilt-bronze sculpture of a bodhisattva in pensive pose, known as National Treasure 83.
Read more about the exhibition.
Image: Crown. Korea, Silla kingdom, second half of 5th century. Excavated from the north mound of Hwangnam Daechong Tomb. Gold and jade; H. 10 3/4 in. (27.3 cm). Gyeongju National Museum, Korea, National Treasure 191
"You will find yourself transported half a world away."—Wall Street Journal
"A young, lithe bodhisattva made of gilded bronze...is jaw-droppingly beautiful, and it exudes an infectious serenity."—New York Times
"Splendid...more than 100 stunning objects."—Bloomberg
"Take a plane or the train . . . hop in your car . . . walk rapidly to The Metropolitan Museum of Art because you don't want to miss seeing Silla: Korea's Golden Kingdom."—Silver Magazine
Sunday at the Met—Silla: Korea's Golden Kingdom. Recorded November 17, 2013
The Construction of Hwangnam Daechong Tomb: 3D Animation
Introduction to the Audio Guide. Transcript available in Met Media.
The exhibition and related education programs are made possible by Samsung.
Additional support is provided by the Korea Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Transportation assistance has been provided by Korean Air.
The exhibition was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Museum of Korea, and Gyeongju National Museum, Korea.
The catalogue is made possible by the Korea Foundation, The Kun-Hee Lee Fund for Korean Art, and Grace I. Kim and Family.
For more information on visiting Korea and the original site of the Silla Kingdom, visit: www.visitkorea.or.kr.