Following the completion of “Seokjojeon Hall” by the royal family of the Korean Empire in Deoksugung Palace, the palace museum was built as part of Japan’s plans for transforming the palace into a park during the Japanese colonial period. Although the museum was in many ways an affront to national sovereignty, it remains an important cultural space for Seoul citizens even today.
Constructed out of granite and artificial stone, the museum has an elaborate middle section flanked by straight outer walls, a style that is reminiscent of famous galleries in the West. The museum is comprised of a center hall with two exhibition rooms to the sides.
Located immediately adjacent to Seokjojeon Hall, the last residence of the royal family of the Korean Empire, the museum once was seen only as a symbol of Korea’s loss of national sovereignty, but today has a more positive image as the National Museum of Arts of Deoksugung Palace.