A 40 foot tall scroll from one of Korea's largest temples hangs at the top of the Art Museum's Grand Staircase. Painted in the 17th century, it's used in Korean rituals for the dead.
"Korean life during the Joseon Dynasty was highly regimented, explains Timothy Rub, Director & CEO of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, "so everyone had their own role to play at the court and in daily life and that was true in religion as well."
The Joseon dynasty ruled Korea from the late 14th century to the early 20th, and the exhibition includes rarely seen masterpieces, from a 19-foot long panorama depicting Ten Longevity Symbols to Korean costumes, ceramics and metalwork.
"And through them, we can give American audiences an understanding of Korea not only then but also Korea today because the way people live, the way they think about family, about their own their own culture, about authority really dates to the Joseon Dynasty," says Rub.
There are books depicting the daily lives of Korean kings and queens and an interactive digital tablet to help American audiences understand.
"It's not only a survey of Korean life and culture during the Joseon dynasty, but it's full of very, very beautiful things that are rarely seen outside of Korea, says Rub, "It's going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity."
Treasures from Korea is on view through May 26th.
For tickets and show times visit theartsinphilly.org .