Embroidered Screen with Design of Longevity Symbols, 18th century

  • Korean

Eight-panel folding screen; silk embroidery on silk

  • Overall: 55 1/2 × 144 inches (141 cm × 3 m 65.8 cm) Block: 55 1/2 × 18 inches (141 × 45.7 cm) Installed (33" wide angles): 55 1/2 × 133 1/2 inches (141 cm × 3 m 39.1 cm)

Founders Society Purchase with funds from the Founders Junior Council and the Korean Community

1985.14

Department

Asian Art

  • Symbolism
  • Water
  • Bamboo
  • Pine
  • Silk (fiber)
  • Mountains
  • Cranes
  • Fungus
  • Embroidery
  • Longevity
  • Screen
  • Landscape
  • Korea
  • Sun (star)
  • Clouds
  • Deer
  • Immortality
  • Tortoise

Longevity is held in high esteem and is one of the most frequent and popular subjects in Korean art. Enduring eternally and sustaining life, the sun, clouds, water, and mountains are the background for other symbols of long life in a landscape paradise. The pine and bamboo, noted for their hardiness and resiliency, are often compared to venerable old men. Various legends associate cranes, tortoises, and deer with happiness, good luck, and long life. Deer are said to be the only creatures able to find the sacred fungus, a supernatural mushroom of immortality.

Klaus F. Naumann

1985-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Bulletin of the DIA 62, no 2. 1985, p. 11 (fig. 8); p. 18 (fig 17). McCormick, Sooa Im. "Stitches Empowered: Korean Embroidery Arts from the Joseon Dynasty," Orientations 51.1 (January/February 2020): pp. 60-67, 65 (ill. fig. 8).

Korean, Embroidered Screen with Design of Longevity Symbols, 18th century, eight-panel folding screen; silk embroidery on silk. Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders Society Purchase with funds from the Founders Junior Council and the Korean Community, 1985.14.