In a note from Peter Hasenkamp:
As most of you know, my father (past Sig Ep grand president Bruce Hasenkamp) has donated his collection of Korean ceramics and art to the University of Michigan Museum. The museum has been building a major extension to its building for the last year and a half and the reopening is scheduled for next week. On Saturday, March 28, the museum will be open to the public and tours of the new wing will be available. I'd like to invite all of you to see the new wing and, of course, visit the Korean art collection.
Also, the museum is currently running an on-line "what's your favorite piece of art" feature. In a totally self-serving request, I'd ask you to take a quick look at this: "UMMA Artpick".
I'm sure you will all agree that item 30 (which coincidentally happens to be a Korean pot from my father's collection) is by far the best work of the group. I trust all of you will vote accordingly. To quote the guiding principle of the Illinois state government - "vote early, vote often".
From the Ann Arbor Museum notes:
Hasenkamp-Nam Collection of Korean Art
Thanks to the generosity of two families of donors—Bruce and Inta Hasenkamp of Hillsdale, California, and Elder and Mrs. Sang-Yong Nam of Ann Arbor—UMMA has acquired a major collection of Korean art, consisting of nearly 250 works of Korean ceramics, metalwork, paintings, and other decorative arts. With this single extraordinary collection, the Museum will be known for the excellence of its holdings in Korean art.
The collection—henceforward known as the Hasenkamp-Nam collection—is particularly rich in Korean ceramics, with examples from over 2,000 years of Korean history. No other art form captures the breadth of Korean history, or the genius of its craftsmen, so well as ceramics, seen as the defining art form for Korea and the area in which its artists have made their greatest contribution. Accordingly, the collection was sought after by museums across the United States.
The Hasenkamp-Nam collection includes fine examples of the characteristic shapes and techniques used in each of the key periods of Korean history and creates an inclusive survey of this superb art form, known for its richly delicate glazing and surface decorations, which have themselves evolved over time. The collection features a magnificent selection of thin-bodied gray stoneware pieces made for the elite and for funerary rituals, such as the sculpted equestrian oil lamp seen here. The collection makes its public debut at UMMA in an exhibition that runs from December 2004 through July 2005.
The Hasenkamps, who collected these extraordinary objects over many years, recognized that their collection of Korean art would have a transformative impact on UMMA and offered it to the Museum in a gift/purchase arrangement. Recognizing the immense significance of the collection to the future of Korean studies at UM, the director of the Korean Studies Program, Professor Meredith Woo-Cumings, helped the Museum secure essential financial support from Sang-Yong Nam, a UM alumnus and prominent leader in the local Korean-American community. Sang-Yong Nam and his wife, Moon-Sook, readily agreed to underwrite the purchase portion of the collection.
This partnership with the Korean Studies Program exemplifies a new and effective level of fundraising collaboration between the Museum and the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, to which the Nams have been deeply committed. Thanks to the collective efforts of all, Korean art can finally take its rightful place among the superb collections of Asian art at UMMA.