Sooa Im McCormick

Korean Art

Korea Foundation Curator of Korean Art

Sooa Im McCormick joined the Cleveland Museum of Art in 2015 and is primarily responsible for the Korean art collection. Her interests include Korean art and architecture from the 1600s to the present and the crosscurrents in East Asian visual culture from the 1600s to the 1800s. McCormick holds a PhD from the University of Kansas, with a dissertation titled “Comparative and Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Chinese and Korean Court Documentary Painting in the Eighteenth Century.” She earned an MA in art history from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, with a thesis on Edo-period Japanese painter Itō Jakuchū’s bird-and-flower paintings. She also completed graduate coursework in art history at Hongik University, Seoul, where she focused on Chinese and Korean art.

At the CMA, she has curated the exhibitions Chaekgeori: Pleasure of Possessions in Korean Painted Screens (Julia and Larry Pollock Focus Gallery, August 5–November 5, 2017) and Gold Needles: Embroidery Arts from Korea (Arlene M. and Arthur S. Holden Textile Gallery and Korea Foundation Gallery, March 8−July 26, 2020). She is currently working on a major international loan exhibition focusing on masterworks of the Goryeo period (918–1392), which examines the artistic legacy of those works from a cross-cultural perspective. As a cutting-edge scholar, she has published a number of articles that deal with the intersections between art and ecology and the issues of gender and diversity, such as “Stitches Empowered: Art of Embroidery and Patchwork from Korea” in Orientations (March 2020) and “Re-Reading the Imagery of Tilling and Weaving of Eighteenth-Century Korean Genre Painting in the Context of the Little Ice Age” in Mountains and Rivers (without) End: An Anthology of Eco–Art History in Asia (2019).

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