[KS] A special exhibition in Seoul

Frank Hoffmann hoffmann at koreanstudies.com
Mon Nov 19 02:17:26 EST 2018

Sorry to reply to both of your postings today, Brother Anthony.
I do have a question about the Dilkusha house. Min and me visited it in 
2007 (see photos), while the area around it was "redeveloped" 
(bulldozed down and replaced by the usual high-rise cages). At the time 
there was still a small plate by the street identifying it as the 
Bethel House where the _Maeil sinbo_ had been printed. That was 
obviously wrong, and a somewhat surprising claim to start with, since 
its style is hardly that of a pre-1910s building. Without knowing who 
the architect was, my immediate thought was that it must have been a 
Japanese architect who planned and constructed the house. The Korean 
press, however, continues to speculate -- based on some story-telling 
-- that it was a German architect. By all means, I cannot exclude that, 
but it would certainly surprise me big time, looking at many of its 
stylistic details (look e.g. at details like this: 
And the time, 1923, would not suggest so either. My question: has there 
been any further historical research made in preparation of this 
exhibition, and do we now know who the architect was?

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More photos of the interior and exterior of the house at:


On Mon, 19 Nov 2018 11:02:36 +0900 (KST), Brother Anthony wrote:
> This week sees the opening of an exhibition in the Seoul Museum of 
> History about the house called "Dilkusha" that stands (in a very 
> dilapidated state) on the hill to the west of the Sajik Shrine, just 
> outside Seoul city wall, near an ancient gingko tree. 
> Built in 1923 by Albert and Mary Taylor, it also served as home for a 
> short while to the Grigsby family from Britain and the Boydell family 
> from Australia. My home page offers very much information about these 
> families, as well as the family history of the actress Mary 'Linley' 
> Taylor (born Hilda Mouat Biggs). 
> http://anthony.sogang.ac.kr/GrigsbyPreface.htm In those days the 
> house was surrounded by a beautiful garden. Now it is submerged in a 
> sea of towering 'villas' and the exhibition is centered on the family 
> relics donated by the Taylors' granddaughter, Jennifer, who will be 
> present for the opening. 
> While she lived in Dilkusha in 1929-1930 Joan Grigsby copied out and 
> rewrote many of the poems which James Gale had included in his 
> 'History' (printed in the 'Korean Mission Field' monthly) as well as 
> other 'gisaeng' poems translated by Jessie Mclaren. All these poems 
> were later published in Kobe as "The Orchid Door" in 1935, the first 
> volume of English translations of Korean verse ever to be published, 
> although Joan knew no Korean. The Kobe publication was made possible 
> by the artist Lillian May Miller. This intersection of all these 
> various lives serves to make Dilkusha a fascinating place of memory.
> Brother Anthony
> President, RAS Korea

Frank Hoffmann

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