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HomeContentsThemes > North Korea - Democratic People's Republic of Korea - DPRK


Information requests
133.01   Improving content on countries
Early photography
133.02   Felice Beato: Korean Punitive Expedition (1871)
Korean War (1950-1953)
133.03   Korean War (1950-1953): Introduction
133.04   Korean War (1950-1953): Photographers
This theme includes example sections and will be revised and added to as we proceed. Suggestions for additions, improvements and the correction of factual errors are always appreciated.
Information requests 
133.01   Asia >  Improving content on countries 
We are seeking to extend the information and examples we can share on this country.
  • Earliest photographs
  • Key photographers and their studios
  • Major documentary photographic series
  • Significant historical events
  • Books, magazines and journals - including their covers
  • Photographic societies and associations - including outings and meetings
These points are indicative of topics that could be included on this page and if you have expertise you would like to share now is the time to get in touch.
If you are able to assist in any way it is appreciated.
Early photography 
133.02   Asia >  Felice Beato: Korean Punitive Expedition (1871) 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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The Korean Punitive Expedition (1871)[1] was to address the issue of the murdered crew of the American schooner General Sherman which was lost in August, 1866. Five vessels, commanded by Admiral Rodgers left Nagasaki, Japan, on 17th May 1871 as a show of force and to establish a treaty to protect shipwrecked mariners. A dispatch from Admiral Rogers dated June 23, 1871 described the actions that followed:
To the Secretary of the Navy: The Coreans not apologizing for their treacherous attack, on the 10th we landed on Kang Noe, took and destroyed the lower fort and munitions.
On the 11th we took another fort, and then stormed and captured the stronghold. Five posts have been taken. The troops which defended them are reported as numbering 11, 000. There was desparate hand-to-hand fighting in the citadel.
The ordnance was destroyed, 481 pieces (principally small brass pieces), very many small arms, and fifty flags taken.
We counted 243 dead Coreans around the citadel. We had three killed. They were the gallant Lieutenant McKee, who was first inside the citadel, killed with bullet and spear, marine Denis Hanrahan, and landsman Seth Allen. Our nine wounded are all out of danger and doing well.
John Rodgers Commodore United States Navy.[2]
Felice Beato, well known for his work in India during the Indian Mutiny (1858), China during the Second Chinese Opium War (1856-1860) and Japan, photographed the personalities involved and the aftermath of the battlefield carnage.
When Beato's photograph of A Korean carry beer bottles and a copy of the magazine Every Saturday was reproduced for Frank Leslie's Illustrated News the engraver changed the name on the cover the publication to his own. [3] Alterations in another photograph were made so that American marines were not shown viewing the dead bodies of Korean soldiers at the interior Fort du Coude. Visual truth had been modified to create an advertisement in the first case and in the second the engraving softened the brutal truths described in the text of the article.
Within the contemporary photography magazine The Photographer's Friend (Baltimore) in October 1871 Beato's photographs were described even though he was not mentioned.
The Corean Expedition. The Navy Department at Washington have received from Admiral Rogers, with his official dispatches concerning the Fleet's operations, a very large Album, containing about fifty Photographs, illustrations of Corean Scenery and people, including the first fort captured on the 10th of June; interior view of the second fort captured; a Corean camp; a Corean magazine; United States vessels of war conveying the army on their advance upon the Corean forts; a view at the seashore, showing the line of march followed by United States troops; interior view of a fort, showing the dead and mangled bodies of Coreans killed by shells from the United States fleet; exterior of the same, showing a number of dead Coreans; interior of the Corean commander-in-chiefs headquarters, showing a number of slain and mangled Corean men and women, and similar scenes.*
In fact all scientific expeditions are now accompanied by a photographer, which shows the Art begins to be appreciated by the appreciative.
* Nearly all of the above, through the enterprise of Frank Leslie, have been reproduced, since the above was In type, in his excellent illustrated paper.[4]
Korean War (1950-1953) 
133.03   Asia >  Korean War (1950-1953): Introduction 
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The interests of photographers changed as their social perspectives reflected those of an increasingly aware society at large - they were interested in the military action but also out the civilian consequences of it. The futility and cruelty of war now went alongside the 'heroic' and this has played an increasingly important role on how photographers are allowed access to military areas. The book This is War![5] by David Douglas Duncan focused on the action and retreats of the Korean War which fought in horrendous conditions into a bitter stalemate. 
133.04   Asia >  Korean War (1950-1953): Photographers 
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Photographers of the Korean War (1950-1953) included:  

  1. Λ Stephen White, 1982, "Felix Beato and the First Korean War, 1871", The Photographic Collector, vol. 3, no. 1
    Shinmiyangyo / 1871 U.S. - Korea Conflict - website of Thomas Duvernay
    (Accessed: 3 October 2013) 
  2. Λ Received from Admiral Rodgers at the Navy Department, Washington, June 28.
    Shinmiyangyo / 1871 U.S. - Korea Conflict - website of Thomas Duvernay
    (Accessed: 3 October 2013) 
  3. Λ anon., ca. 1875, "Behind the Dahlgren Howitzers in Corea. A Naval Officier's Story", Frank Leslie's Illustrated News, pp. 437-444 
  4. Λ anon., October 1871, "The Corean Expedition", The Photographer's Friend (Baltimore), vol. 1, no. 4, p. 163. 
  5. Λ David Douglas Duncan, 1951, This Is War! A Photo-Narrative in Three Parts, (Harper & Brothers)
    For a description of This is War! A Photo-Narrative in Three Parts
    (Accessed: 26 July 2013) 
  6. Λ David Douglas Duncan, 1951, This Is War! A Photo-Narrative in Three Parts, (Harper & Brothers)
    For a description of This is War! A Photo-Narrative in Three Parts
    (Accessed: 26 July 2013)
    The archives of David Douglas Duncan are held at the Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin. 
  7. Λ Bert Hardy, 1985, Bert Hardy: My Life, (London: Godon Fraser).
    From the dust wrapper:
    "Bert Hardy, for many years Picture Post's chief photographer, has become known as one of the great all rounders of photography. His direct approach always leads him to the human side of any story, whether his subject is war, children, poverty, or simply ordinary people enjoying themselves.His pictures of the poor areas in various cities are among the most powerful of their kind, and he was one of the first photographers in Belsen, the most shocking experience of his life. Bert grew to fame during the Korean War, when his daring pictures of the Inchon landings won him many awards. Later, he shocked Britain and America with his pictures of the ill-treatment of prisoners of war. None the less, Bert is an indomitable character, and this autobiography contains countless examples of the blunt humour and determination which stayed with him throughout his career. Bert's writing always returns to the happy times; it is full of anecdote and incident, and illustrated with a mass of the photographs which made him famous; full of warmth and humour, occasionally painful, but always direct and touching. You will not forget Bert Hardy."
  8. Λ Tom Hopkinson, 1970, Picture Post: 1938-50, (Penguin Books)


HomeContents > Further research

General reading 
Bennett, Terry, 1997, Korea: caught in time, (Garnet) [Δ
Choi Injin & Park Juseok, 2001, The Century of Korean Photography: Images from the Land of the Morning Calm, (Seoul: RIHP) [Δ
Readings on, or by, individual photographers 
David Douglas Duncan 
Duncan, David Douglas, 1951, This Is War! A Photo-Narrative in Three Parts, (New York: Harper & Brothers) [Δ
If you feel this list is missing a significant book or article please let me know - Alan - 
Ernest Henry Wilson (1876-1930) - Botanical explorer in China, Japan &Korea ... 

HomeContentsPhotographers > Photographers worth investigating

Ernest Henry Wilson  (1876-1930)
HomeGeographical regionsAsia > North Korea - Democratic People's Republic of Korea - DPRK 
A wider gazeRelated topics 
Korean Punitive Expedition (1871) 
Korean War (1950-1953) 
Key dates 
Korean Punitive Expedition (1871) 
Korean War (1950-1953) 

HomeContentsOnline exhibitions > North Korea - Democratic People's Republic of Korea - DPRK

Please submit suggestions for Online Exhibitions that will enhance this theme.
Alan -

ThumbnailHiroshi Watanabe: Anthology 
Title | Lightbox | Checklist
Released (September 25, 2007)

HomeVisual indexes > North Korea - Democratic People's Republic of Korea - DPRK

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Alan -

ThumbnailFelice Beato: Korea 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
   Ethnic groups and races 
Refreshed: 19 January 2015, 01:00
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