Korean Peninsula Affairs Center

Christian Missionaries in Korea: Encountering the West through Christianity

Presented in conjunction with The Korea Society
September 2 - October 20, 2011
The Noble Room of Hendricks Chapel

Missionary Exhibit Photo (description in the text) 

Missionary Child with Her Nanny's Daughter
Louanne Norris Smith Collection
Courtesy of The Korea Society

When Western Christian missionaries arrived in Korea in the late 19th century, they shaped new religious identities, stoked cultural clashes, and significantly affected Korean society. The missionaries documented their encounter with the East through early cameras, allowing us to study their cultural collision today. Syracuse University’s Korean Peninsula Affairs Center presented this unique East-West encounter through pieces from The Korea Society’s exhibit Missionary Photography in Korea: Encountering the West through Christianity. The exhibit will ran in the Noble Room of Hendricks Chapel on the Syracuse University campus from September 2 through October 20, 2011, free and open to the public.
The digitally restored photographs, taken by missionaries in Korea between 1890 and 1940, are drawn from four private collections and six institutional archives and offer a perspective on life in Korea during times of profound change. From dress to sports, women’s education to medical practices, this collection demonstrates the missionaries’ impact on Korean tradition and societal norms. The collection serves as a testimony to the West’s relations with Korea before the nation was divided and defined by tension along the 38th parallel. KPAC was proud to present pieces from The Korea Society’s photography exhibit, bringing Korea’s past to Central New York.
Opening Reception held September 7, 2011 in the Noble Room, featuring commentary by Fred Carriere.

Missionary Exhibit in the Works Slideshow

 Development of the exhibit, including student participation and Prof. Carriere speaking