미네소타 프로젝트 : The University of Minnesota Project

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서울대학교 조형연구소
Form archives, Vol.3, pp. 137-162
미네소타 프로젝트대학교육 원조 프로그램서울대학교 미술대학국제교류전시회the University of MinnesotaSeoul National UniversityKorean WarAbstract ExpressionismAbstraction LyriqueKorean Informe1
In the course of reconstructing South Korea after the Korean War in 1945, the USA tried to administratively and financially aid universities in South Korea. This was because the USA considered that one of the roles of the university as an institution is to produce highly educated and well–skilled professionals who can serve in establishing new standards for life in general. On September 28th, 1954 the Foreign Operations Administration(FOA) and the University of Minnesota signed a three–year ‹Reconstruction Contract› which dues in September 30th, 1957. Following this, the University of Minnesota(UM) and Seoul National University(SNU) established a sister relationship. It is certain that in a technical aspect there was much that UM could offer to SNU. However, when a project official made a point that there was a lot to learn from SNU in the aspect of scholarship and scope of human thoughts, several other proposals were made in addition to the official contract articles. One of the proposals was to have an exchange with the Art College at SNU, and an international exchange exhibition that showcased each others art works was then planned and carried out. From January 8th to February 4th 1957, at the University Gallery in the Minneapolis campus of UM, a total of 61 works of art were exhibited under the title of Korean Art–Faculty and Students, Seoul National University; then the next year from May 23rd to 31, 83 artworks by faculty and student at UM were exhibited at the SNU main hall under the title of American Art, Faculty & Students, University of Minnesota. is exhibition was an art exchange exhibition between two universities, but was also the first official international contemporary art exhibition held between the two countries. Because UM was an institution that operated under US federal government aid, and SNU was an institution appointed by the Korean government under the mission of reconstructing the nation, the art exchange exhibition between these two institutions was an exchange between two nations that has an official or at least symbolic representation. Some of the exhibited works were given as gifts to each university and remained in the country of exhibition. These gifts represents friendship and trust for their sister university. Politically, UM effectively utilized this exchange exhibition to promote their effort and achievement in Korea. However, the College of Fine Arts at SNU has lost most of the artworks from UM which could be more valuable as references than as art pieces, and only five of them including professor John Roods ‹Growth› remain. SNU students works sent to UM were selected from the 7th university exhibition in 1956, and it is certain that those works are an important reference in understanding SNUs practical education at the time. However, the reality that even those works are currently not in Korea, and can only be seen by travelling to another continent makes us think once again about the significance of archiving artworks and references. On the other hand, American pure abstract works, with such scale, that excludes Abstract Expressionism and European Abstraction Lyrique came as a shock to the Korean art students at the time. It is presumed that these abstract works possibly opened a door to pure abstraction for the art students in their junior and senior year at the time of 1957–58. at was the course of Korean avant–garde; an introduction that preludes the wave of Korean Informel started to appear after 1958.

1945년 한국 전쟁 이후 남한의 재건을 위한 미국의 지원은 경제 회복과 기본적인 생활수준의 향상에 초점이 맞추어져 있었다. 이와 더불어 한국의 근대화와 계몽에 사명감을 가졌던 미국은 남한 내의 대학들이 제 모습을 갖출 수 있도록 도움으로써 선진 교육 환경 조성에 일조하고자 했다. 전쟁으로 생계유지조차 어려운 상황에서 교육에 대한 투자가 이루어진 것은, 미국 측이 나라가 닥친 어려움을 헤쳐나갈 수 있는 방편으로서 대학 교육의 중요성을 인지하고 있었기 때문이다. 미국은 보다 높은 수준의 교육으로 훈련된 전문 인력이 지역 상황에 대한 특수한 문제들을 파악하고 해결책을 제시함으로써 삶 전반의 새로운 기준을 수립하는 데 이바지하는 것을 대학이라는 제도가 할 수 있는 역할 중 하나로 보고, 남한의 대학들을 행정적, 재정적으로 지원하고자 했다. 1954년 48개의 미국 대학은 77개의 해외 대학에 도움을 주고 있었다. 당시 서울대학교 총장이었던 최규남은 이러한 미국의 대학 원조 프로그램과 관련한 정보를 접하면서 미 원조당국(OEC: Office of the Economic Coordinator for Korea)에 서울대학교에 대한 지원을 요청하였다. 미 원조당국은 한국 정부의 승인만 있으면 지원을 실시하겠다고 밝혔으나 당시 한국 정부와 문화교육부는 서울대학교에만 특혜를 줄 수 없다는 소극적인 입장을 보였다. 이에 대해 최규남은 균형배분보다는 집중투자가 시급하다는 논리를 펼친 끝에 정부 및 문화교육부의 승낙을 얻어냈다. 한국 정부의 승인이 떨어지자 미국연방정부(Federal Government) 소속기관인 대외협조처(FOA, Foreign Operations Administration)가 서울대학교를 도울 미국의 대학교로 미네소타대학교(e University of Minnesota)를 지목하였고, 미네소타대학교가 이를 수락하면서 미네소타 프로젝트(e University of Minnesota Project)를 위한 준비가 본격화되었다. 공식적인 협약에 앞서 대외협조처와 미네소타대학교 사이에 3개월간의 임시계약이 이루어졌는데, 이 기간 동안에 미네소타대학교의 보건대학원장이었던 게이로드 앤더슨(Gaylord Anderson)이 서울대학교에 파견되어 지원사업 성공 여부를 검토하기 위한 사전조사를 실시하였다.
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College of Fine Arts (미술대학)Visual Arts Institute (조형연구소)Form Archives (조형 아카이브)Form Archives (조형 아카이브) vol.03 (2011)
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