Performing Arts Museum, Seoul, South Korea

The Performing Arts Museum is a national museum belonging to the National Theater of Korea, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, which was established to record the history of performing arts and to preserve and exhibit performances. It is located at 59, Jangchungdan-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul.

Opened on December 23, 2009, the Museum of Performing Arts of National Theater is Korea’s first-ever museum in performing arts. Since its foundation in the 1950s until now, it has collected and stored resources in performing arts of various genres such as plays, dances, changgeuk, operas and pansori in which the resources are being served to the public through its exhibition rooms and Performing Arts Archives.

The Museum of Performing Arts was founded with the purpose of succeeding and developing Korean performing arts through systematic collection and preservation of cultural assets in performing arts. By providing various exhibits, experiential education programs and performing arts resources, it seeks expansion of opportunities for citizens to enjoy culture as well as enhancement of quality of their lives.

Advisory meeting for the establishment of the performance museum on June 5, 2006 (1st)
July 7, 2006 Seminar [Performance and Art Museum]
February 20, 2007 Performing Arts Museum Team established
February 14, 2007 Advisory Meeting for the Performing Arts Museum (Second Session)
March 1, 2007 National Theater Meeting, Initiated the establishment of the Performing Arts Museum
November 1, 2007 Performing Arts Museum Operation Plan
December 1, 2007 Completed master plan of the Performing Arts Museum
February 1, 2008 Donation of Performing Arts Materials Campaign
Completed remodeling of the Performing Arts Museum on December 1, 2008
December 23, 2009 Opening of Performing Arts Museum
Opening of the entire Performing Arts Museum on May 7, 2010
Special exhibition ‘6.25 war, memory and traces of performing arts’ held on the 60th anniversary of the National Theater on May 7, 2010
Special Exhibition of the 60th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Korea and Spain on October 5, 2010
January 14, 2011 Special Exhibition ‘World of Korean and Spanish Dance Theaters’
June 28, 2011 Special Exhibition ‘Finding a New Space, Stage’
July 24, 2012 Special Exhibition ‘Changing Mukuk’: The 50 Years of Memories and Impressions
July 22, 2013 Special Exhibition “ 73.10.17 National Theater Opens the Namsan Era ”

The Museum of Performing Arts possesses more than 220,000 pieces of valuable performance materials and displays the resources to the public through exhibition rooms and Performing Arts Archives.

Permanent Exhibition Room located in 2nd floor of the museum is divided into two sections: Performing Arts History section, displaying historical flow of Korean performing arts and Performing Arts Theme section explaining each steps and characteristics of performances before being put on the stage.

Performing Arts History Exhibition

The Performing Arts History Exhibition Room consists three spaces according to time period.

Space 1: Performing Art, looking for their origins
The origin of performing arts can be viewed through videos of traditional performing arts discovered in old murals and paintings.

Space 2: Performing Art, they bloom
Modern performing arts and related materials are exhibited in this space.

Space 3: Performing Art, they form a forest
Performing arts from the establishment of the National Theater of Korea until today and performing arts at the time before and after the Korean War.

Performing Arts Theme Exhibition
Performing Arts Theme Exhibition room consists of Room of Artists, Stage Design and Stage Costumes.

Room of Artists
This place is to celebrate the achievements of the artist and to reveal the characteristics of the genre. There are Play Room, Music Room and Dance Room keeping creative atmosphere by displaying actual keepsakes and donated materials.

Stage Design Corner
This corner exhibits finer model, the custom-built theater, stage designs and various stage props that were used during performances.

Stage Costumes Corner
Various stage costumes used in performances can be seen.

Resource Usage
The Museum of Performing Arts of National Theater owns about 220,000 aspects of data and resources. From Performing Arts Archives and the digital archive website (, anyone may easily and conveniently access and use a variety of resources in the performing arts genre including performance materials of National Theater’s resident companies specializing in dramas, dances, music, changgeuk, pansori and plays.

Audiovisual and bibliography resources related to performing arts including performance videos, audio, photos, scripts, programs, etc.

Books and periodicals related performing arts including changgeuk, dances, dramas, music, etc.

National Theater of Korea
National Theater of Korea govern the affairs relating to the development and enhancement of the culture of the ethnic arts drama Republic of Korea Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is affiliated institution. It was founded on February 1, 1991 and is located at 59, Jangchungdan – ro, Jung – gu, Seoul. The theater director shall be deemed to be a term providing officer who belongs to a high-level civil service group B class.

Since its founding in 1950, the National Theater of Korea has endured the misery of the Korean War, and for the 65 years stands firmly as the leader of art performance and as the cradle of performing arts in Korea. With the goal of recreating traditional Korean arts with in a modern fashion, 3 major resident companies within the National Theater of Korea (National Changgeuk Company of Korea, National Dance Company of Korea, National Orchestra of Korea) create unique production. In 2009, we opened the Museum of Performing Arts in order to review the past and project the future of performing arts in Korea.