Book Report: Art Treasures of Seoul by Edward B. Adams (1980)

Book coverTo be honest, although I have recently tried to portray myself as a Sinophile, I’ve read more books about Korea in the last year than China. They include New Pearl of the Orient: Korea, Bomun Temple in Seoul Korea, Wonderful Korea, and this book.

This book is a coffee table-sized book that combines a historical study of Korea with the art trends from those eras. The book is more balanced a bit heavier on the text than a pure coffee table book, but the text is very informative and just a touch touristy. It covers the construction of pagodas and stupas, Celadon pottery, and some painters. The pottery and architecture is interesting; I’m not that into the rather minimalist painting. The painting seems very primitive relative to contemporaneous European art.

But the continued exposure is good for me. I’m getting familiar with the Silla, Koryo, and Yi time tables and whatnot just from these art books, which is good, because the library has fewer Korean history books hanging out on the shelves than Chinese history (which is about two if you don’t count the current events tomes about the forevethcoming Chinese century).

Worth a browse if you’re into that thing.

Also, do not be fooled by the back cover:

This is in now way a tie-in to the Saw movie franchise.