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New! Things organized neatly, Korean edition.

Chaekgeori (Scholar's Accoutrements), a 20x200 Vintage Edition
8"x10" ($40) | 11"x14" ($85) | 16"x20" ($275) | 20"x24" ($675) | 24"x30" ($1,100)

Greetings, collectors! ‘Tis the season for spring cleaning. Time to clean up and get organized, because is there anything more delightful than your most beloved belongings stacked neatly on shelves? The things we collect are deeply personal, a reflection of identity—or shelf-worth, if you will. We’re celebrating the beauty of beloved belongings with Chaekgeori (Scholar's Accoutrements), our newest Vintage Edition.

Originally an eight-panel ceremonial folding screen from late 19th century Korea, Chaekgeori (Scholar's Accoutrements) offers rich cultural context of the art of arranging and the power of presentation. While distinctly Korean and a testament to the social fluctuations and fervor of the time, the multi-panel spectacle portrays a deeply relatable human phenomenon that spans all time and space: the joy of collecting. And boy do we know a little something about that. 😉

This print is a special one for us. Out of a few options, the team was particularly drawn to this one visually. Little did we know the incredible history we’d find behind this ardent array of cherished treasures. From social reform to political roots, global trade and feminism, Chaekgeori (Scholar's Accoutrements) took us on a wild (and scenic!) ride. And while we’ve only just scratched the surface, we can’t wait to share what we learned with you.

Chaekgeori, which loosely translates to “books and things”, is a genre of Korean folding screen that first appeared around 1783. Typically painted or embroidered on paper and silk, these screens displayed detailed compositions of precious possessions alluding to the owner’s culture and status, with a special emphasis on books. Notably however, the volumes were rarely identified by title, and instead presented pages out. This generic portrayal reflects political impartiality—a way to display erudition without publicly claiming potentially controversial views.

The rise in popularity of chaekgeori coincided with a reformist movement for greater global intellectual exchange and modernization. King Jeongjo (1752-1800) promoted chaekgeori as a major style of court painting, produced by male painters specifically for elite male consumption. Early examples exhibited the modern painting technique of forced perspective with trompe l’oeil still life, expressed through shelving—similar to earlier European paintings of Kunstkammer or Wunderkammer (cabinets of curiosities).

Delicately embroidered on silk and paper, Chaekgeori (Scholar's Accoutrements) signifies the great social, political, and economic shifts occurring in late 19th century Korea. With the rise of the upper middle and merchant class, chaekgeori as a genre expanded to appeal to a broader audience. Most remarkably, the shelves disappeared, and a wider variety of items were displayed either on tabletops, through windows, or floating in space as in Chaekgeori (Scholar's Accoutrements). And the deep browns and greens of earlier screens painted with mineral pigments gave way to bright pinks and purples as access to imported and synthetic pigments increased with international trade.

With these new formats came a shift in the types of items depicted as well as a progression beyond chaekgeori’s original gendered usage. Chaekgeori (Scholar's Accoutrements) was produced at the height of this shift, embroidered by women for women. In addition to the inclusion of traditional indicators of knowledge such as books, brushes, and scrolls, the panels showcase more feminine references like perfume bottles, fans, and mirrors.

Through technical styles, materials, and even the artisans producing them, chaekgeori imagery are visual records of major cultural shifts throughout the 19th century. They serve not only as proud reflections of individual identities but also as symbols of changing times. Chaekgeori (Scholar's Accoutrements) prompts the question: what are your most treasured possessions? Art? Books? Knick-knacks? What do they mean to you and where do they live? In the spirit of spring, let this be just the sign you needed to dust off those shelves, get organized, and find a new place of pride for that one favorite thing. Maybe even find some new art to start the season off with fresh inspo? May we recommend this new print?

P.S. As always, the dimensions we provide are for paper size, not the image itself. Since this image has panoramic proportions, the top and bottom borders will be larger than usual. Check the details section on the product page for exact image dimensions.

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Tags: new art