The Art of Korea: Highlights from the Collection of San Francisco’s Art Museum, by Kumja Paik Kim

The San Francisco Asian Art Museum has an exceptional collection of Korean art, extraordinary in breadth of periods, styles, mediums and scholarship. This gorgeous, large-format book halves each spread to display works of art prominently, surrounded by lots of restful white space, with concise paragraphs of description and lists of pertinent data, all annotated and referenced should one wish to learn more. Authored by the curator of that section of the museum, a comprehensive introduction gives essential and contextual background and provides thorough endnotes as well as a bibliography. Organized by materials—an extensive “Ceramics” chapter; “Paintings” from ancient to modern works—I appreciated the rarer showcase of pieces in the “Works in Metal and Lacquer” and “Textiles” chapters. A wonderful book that makes me itch to see the collection.