Honolulu Museum of Arts (IST)

16th-century Korean paintings found in Honolulu

Honolulu Museum of Arts (IST)

Honolulu Museum of Arts (IST)

Jayapura, 27/2 (Jubi/BusinessIslands) – The Honolulu Museum of Art has discovered two paintings from late 16th-century Korea in its collection, including one that’s been called an “earth-shattering” find.

“This is like discovering a lost Vermeer,” said Shawn Eichman, curator of Asian art at the museum, referring to the Dutch master, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

The paintings are from the estate of Richard Lane, an art collector and dealer. Lane, who lived in Japan for about 50 years, helped catalog the museum’s James Michener collection of Japanese prints. He left his personal library to the museum when he died in 2002.

When museum officials went to Japan to claim the materials, they came across his separate personal collection. It contained some 20,000 items, including more than 3,000 paintings, books made from woodblocks, and other artifacts. The museum acquired the entire collection for about US$26,000 in 2003, but without a catalog, it was unclear what it contained.


Asian art experts have been studying the pieces over the past decade.


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