Longevity is held in high esteem and is one of the most frequent and popular subjects in Korean art. Enduring eternally and sustaining life, the sun, clouds, water, and mountains are the background for other symbols of long life in a landscape paradise. The pine and bamboo, noted for their hardiness and resiliency, are often compared to venerable old men. Various legends associate cranes, tortoises, and deer with happiness, good luck, and long life. Deer are said to be the only creatures able to find the sacred fungus, a supernatural mushroom of immortality.
Artist Korean
  • Embroidered Screen with Design of Longevity Symbols
Date 18th century
Medium eight-panel folding screen; silk embroidery on silk
Dimensions Overall: 55 1/2 × 144 inches (141 cm × 3 m 65.8 cm)
Block: 55 1/2 × 18 inches (141 × 45.7 cm)
Installed (33" wide angles): 55 1/2 × 133 1/2 inches (141 cm × 3 m 39.1 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase with funds from the Founders Junior Council and the Korean Community
Accession Number 1985.14
Department Asian Art
Not On View
Klaus F. Naumann;
1985-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Bulletin of the DIA 62, no 2. 1985, p. 11 (fig. 8); p. 18 (fig 17).

McCormick, Sooa Im. "Stitches Empowered: Korean Embroidery Arts from the Joseon Dynasty," Orientations 51.1 (January/February 2020): pp. 60-67, 65 (ill. fig. 8).