Thursday, October 07, 2010

Anti-American Art: Unfriendly Reception

There's no inscription to explain it, but this restrained and elegantly engraved 1964 North Korean stamp shows a 19th-century scene with a jubilant crowd of Koreans standing on a shore while a ship burns in the distance. That would be the U.S.S. General Sherman which thought it might have a go at opening up the very closed Korean kingdom to western diplomacy and trade. Guess again! The American ship was torched and its occupants hacked to death in 1866. The incident is celebrated in North Korea as evidence of the nature of the long relationship between that country and the U.S. Apparently the more things change the more they remain the same.

Click on the image to see it larger. (An earlier post showing a newer stamp marking the sinking of the General Sherman is here).

1 comment:

  1. this is very sad. whenever violence and such is celebrated, it makes the world worse. i don't know anything about the actual intent of the american ship and its occupants, but violence is never a thing to commemorate.

    although, you say this is a engraving? that's one hell of an engraving. i wonder how big the original is...