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  • Korean Gwakbunyang Haengnakdo Folding Screen Sells for $720,500

Korean Gwakbunyang Haengnakdo Folding Screen Sells for $720,500

Popular in Korea, folding screens were created to decorate rooms and a backdrop to enhance the festive mood for special events such as weddings, birthdays, and holidays. Adorned with symbolic images with auspicious meaning, folding screens have long been loved; and more recently become a study subject among art historians, who see them essential in understanding Korean art and culture of the late Joseon period.

In the September 24, 2021 Asian Works of Art auction, a six-panel, Korean folding screen, Gwakbunyang Haengnakdo, sold for $720,500.

This screen depicts General Guo Ziyi’s birthday banquet held in his walled mansion with multiple buildings and pavilions, surrounded with auspicious flora and fauna, against a landscape with a waterfall in the distance.

The general is shown seated under an outdoor tent in the center with his sons and grandsons watching a female dancer and musicians.

Purchased by William Buchwalter Van Nortwick (1911-1988). A Monuments Man, Northwick was awarded the Bronze Star for his service during the Korean War. He purchased this screen from Samuel W. Lee & Company, circa 1951-52, where its provenance was provided as being given by King Jeongjo (r. 1776-1800) of Joseon Korea to the grandfather of the original owner, whom Lee identified as Song Sung Chin.

Asian Works of Art Director Suhyung Kim discusses
the Gwakbunyang Haengnakdo folding screen


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