Boston University Art Gallery Presents Missionary Photography in Korea

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The Boston University Art Gallery opens its season with the largest ever exhibition of Korean missionary photographs in the United States , Missionary Photography in Korea: Encountering the West through Christianity. A travelling show, organized by The Korea Society, the exhibition documents the encounter between East and West which occurred in Korea during the late 19th century. Missionary Photography captures the dawning of the new religious identities, culture clashes, and altered societal landscape of Korea which resulted from these Western Missions.

Drawn from four private collections and six institutional archives, the photographs and artifacts illustrate the forging of contemporary institutions and values in the crucible of encounters with American Christian missionaries by Koreans. The impact of early Western contact on Koreans is evident in the telltale signs of new cultural norms and new religious identities, and clues that these new ways were conflicting with long-held traditions. Less directly evident, but equally important, the images also allow the viewer to surmise how Koreans in turn had a formative impact on the missionaries, which led to intertwined personal histories that became a foundation for subsequent relations between Korea and the United States...

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