|Title||Unhyeongung Palace and Regent Heungseon Daewongun|
|Period||2017-12-08 ~ 2018-03-04|
|Location||Special Exhibition Hall A, Seoul Museum of History|
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Unhyeongung Palace and Regent Heungseon Daewongun
□ The purpose of this special exhibition is to give patrons the opportunity to see, up close and personal, artifacts related to Unhyeongung Palace, These artifacts make up the largest collection in the Seoul Museum of History. Since 1993, on at least 10 occasions, the museum has donated artifacts housed in Unhyeongung Palace, and has now built up an extensive collection of more than 8,000 items related to the palace and Regent Heungseon Daewongun.
□ The exhibition consists of five sections: Section 1 – Unhyeongung Palace Seen Through the Life of Regent Heungseon Daewongun; Section 2 - Regent Heungseon Daewongun’s Life of Confinement in Qing China; Section 3 – The Unhyeongung Palace Account Book: Income and Expense Records; Section 4 – The State Funeral of Regent Heungseon Daewongun and His Wife; Section 5 – Folding Screen of Royal Banquet in the Imin Year.
This special exhibition offers guests a valuable opportunity to learn about the political turmoil, artistic spirit, and remorse and regrets that the regent experienced and endured in his lifetime.
Section 1 – Unhyeongung Palace Seen Through the Life of Regent Heungseon Daewongun
□ Exhibitions displaying artifacts related to Regent Heungseon Daewongun have generally focused on his artistic side or political views. However, this special exhibition shows the history of Unhyeongung Palace and its remaining artifacts, and follows the regent’s life across a 40-year period, beginning with the enthronement of his biological son King Gojong.
□ Several places in Unhyeongung Palace have been set up to look as they would have been during Regent Heungseon Daewongun’s life. This includes Noandang Hall, which is laid out to look like it did when the regent held more authority than the young king, Norakdang Hall, where the wedding ceremony of King Gojong and Queen Myeongseong was held, and Irodang Hall, where the regent spent his later days after stepping down from power.
Section 2 - Regent Heungseon Daewongun’s Life of Confinement in Qing China
□ This exhibition is the first of its kind to show how the regent lived during his time of confinement in Qing China. His daily life and surroundings while in confinement, little-known to the public, are dramatically put on display. Key exhibit items include short letters sent to his family, his ink painting of orchids sent to his grandson Yi Jun-yong as a birthday present, and his journal, titled Seokpa Japgi, which he kept during this period.
Section 3 – The Unhyeongung Palace Account Book: Income and Expense Records
□ The Tongjo Suji is an account book that recorded the financial matters of Unhyeongung Palace. It goes into tremendous detail about the palace’s income and expense records during the period from 1889 to 1892.
Section 4 – The State Funeral of Regent Heungseon Daewongun and His Wife
□ When Regent Heungseon Daewongun’s wife, the biological mother of King Gojong, passed away in January of 1898, the king ordered a temporary office called Yejangcheong to be established to manage all the affairs regarding the state funeral. In the next month, before his wife’s funeral had concluded, Regent Heungseon Daewongun also died, and the Yejangcheong office was appointed in charge of the joint state funeral. All of the procedures and ceremonies carried out during the state funeral were recorded in a book titled Yejangcheong Deungnok. This section is dedicated to recreating various events from the funeral, based on the contents of that book.
Section 5 – Folding Screen of Royal Banquet in the Imin Year
□ The last section of this special exhibition has on display Folding Screen of Royal Banquet in the Imin Year, the most recent donation from Unhyeongung Palace.
- The paintings on this folding screen depict scenes from a royal banquet held at Gyeongungung Palace in 1902, also known as the “Imin” Year. The banquet was thrown to celebrate King Gojong turning 51 years old and joining the ranks of the elderly under the official Agency for the Elderly classification.