A Grand Mix of Traditional and Contemporary Art

Leeum Samsung Museum of Art

리움 삼성미술관

Opened in 2004 just a short walk up the hill from Hangangjin Station, Leeum Samsung Museum of Art has emerged as one of Korea's premier art galleries and museum, regularly hosting major exhibitions by famous international artists and housing some of Korea's most prized historic works of art. Three internationally acclaimed architects, Jean Nouvel, Rem Koolhaas, and Mario Botta, were each commissioned to design one of the three buildings that make up the museum grounds, giving the museum an incredibly distinct look in comparison to its peers. It holds two museum spaces as well as the Samsung Child Education & Culture Center. Museum 1 is home to the vast collection of traditional Korean art with over 9,000㎡ of total floor space, while Museum 2 holds the contemporary art exhibits with a total floor space of 5,200㎡. 


The Leeum Museum's collection of traditional Korean art in Museum 1 is one of the largest in the country, surpassed only by the National Museum of Korea, and holds some priceless pieces, many of which have been designated by the government as national treasures. The collection spans millennia, from prehistoric times all the way to the late-Joseon Dynasty period with an array of pieces ranging from ceramics, painting and calligraphy, metal works, and Buddhist art to wood furniture, folk painting, and printed books and manuscripts. Immaculate celadon from the Goryeo Dynasty, Buncheong wares and white porcelain from the Joseon Dynasty, works by renowned painters such as Jeong Seon and Gim Hong-do, as well as Buddhist folk paintings and metalworks can all be found in this diverse collection. 


While the museum's contemporary collection isn't nearly as large as the traditional Korean section, it's still a well-curated and organized space, displaying key works of modern art by both Korean and international artists. The collection of contemporary Korean works spans from 1910 to the present day, displaying important modern painters such as Lee In-sung, Lee Joong-seop, Park Soo-keun and Chang Uc-chin, as well as works by more experimental artists such as Paik Nam Jun, Lee Bul, and Kim Whan-ki. The international section focuses on contemporary art post-1945, and features the pioneering works of artists  Alberto Giacometti, Francis Bacon, Mark Rothko, Joseph Beuys, and Andy Warhol to established contemporary artists, including Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, and Andreas Gursky. 


Tours of the permanent exhibitions are available twice a day at 10:30 and 13:30, with special tours conducted in English available on weekends at 15:00. There's also a 'Leeum Digital Guide' you can borrow from the Digital Guide Desk, located to the right of the Information Desk, that's available in multiple languages. Group discounts are available for groups of 20 or more people on weekdays as long as they reserve three days in advance. 


Company NameLeeum Samsung Museum of Art (리움 삼성미술관)
Category Arts & Performance Tickets & Passes
URLs Homepage
Languages Available English Chinese
Opening HoursTuesday - Sunday: 10:30 - 18:00
Closed DaysMonday, New Year's Day, Lunar New Year, Chuseok

60-16 Itaewon-ro 55-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea 60-16

Take Line 6 to Hangangjin Station and go out Exit 1. -> Walk straight about 150 meters then turn right. -> Walk straight about 50 meters then turn right at the fork in the road. -> Walk up another 150 meters and Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art will be on your right.

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