SOAS-Alphawood Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art

Korean Ceramics: Collection Histories

Key information

12 - 15 February 2024
SOAS, Russell Square

Course overview

Join us for a week-long course exploring the richness and variety of the ceramics from Korea.

The course will begin with a historical and cultural review of Korea’s ceramic cultures. You will then look in detail at collecting Korean ceramics inside and outside Korea, with lectures on UK and US collections as well as a close look at the role of Japan in forming understanding of Korea’s ceramics after Korea opened to international contacts in the 1880s.

Lectures on early ceramics, from Neolithic times until the 10th century CE, and on the elegant and refined ceramics of the Goryeo dynasty will follow. You will consider the influence of Chinese green-glazed ceramics on Goryeo potters. Maritime archaeology has flourished in Korea since the 1970s, and you will learn about domestic and regional ceramic distribution during the Goryeo.

The Mongol conquests had a profound effect on Korea’s ceramic styles and decoration, and will be the subject of a dedicated lecture. The Joseon kingdom ruled Korea for over 500 years, and produced ceramics for ceremonial and practical purposes. Before about 1600, kilns across the country produced stonewares and porcelains in a wide range of vessel types and decorative approaches. Technical and aesthetic aspects of Korean ceramics will be introduced and the official ‘Bunwon’ kilns that supplied the royal household until the late 19th century. The course will include visits to the British Museum and the V&A galleries and collections, with curator-led viewing sessions.

Q&A sessions with curators and scholars will provide an opportunity to understand Korean ceramics over time and in depth. The course is convened by Dr Beth McKillop and run in association with the Oriental Ceramic Society.

Attendees will be eligible for a free 1-year membership to the Oriental Ceramic Society. Existing OCS members are eligible for a discounted fee.


The course runs Monday to Thursday, starting at 10am and finishing by 5pm. Lectures will take place in SOAS’ Russell Square, London campus.

The course also features visits to the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

For more information, please contact us:

Fees and funding

Fee: £625

OCS members can register at a discounted rate.

Capacity for this course is strictly limited and places are confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis. Please refer to our registration terms and conditions before booking your space.