The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Sunday, December 21, 2014


Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth hosts major exhibition of ancient Japanese armor
File photo of the Barbier-Mueller family at traveling exhibition in Paris (Left to right) Gabriel Barbier Mueller, Niña Barbier-Mueller Tollett, Alexis Barbier-Mueller, Ann Barbier-Mueller, and Oliver Barbier-Mueller Photograph © Cyril Zannettacci. Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
FORT WORTH, TX.- Fearsome warriors clad head-to-toe in highly decorated armor, samurai of 12th- through 19th-century Japan symbolized the power, honor and valor of the country’s military elite. Led by omnipotent warlords, called shoguns, samurai have long fascinated the public. To provide insight into their military prowess and lifestyle, as well as the artistry of their elaborate armor, helmets and accoutrements of warfare, the Kimbell Art Museum hosts Samurai: Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection.

The exhibition showcases more than 140 works from The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum: The Samurai Collection of Dallas, Texas, one of the finest private holdings of samurai armor in the world. Among the works featured are 18 full suits of armor, including one formerly owned by the Yoshiki branch of the Mōri clan, a prominent family whose origins date to the 12th century. Special highlights of the exhibition include three life-size horses clad in armor, illustrating the pageantry of samurai and their mounts in battle or procession, and an impressive array of beautifully detailed helmets and masks. It is the first traveling exhibition displayed in the Kimbell’s new Renzo Piano Pavilion.

“This stunning display of exquisitely ornate and wonderfully forbidding armor re-creates the world of the samurai and brings the viewer face-to-face with the legendary warriors,” commented Eric M. Lee, director of the Kimbell Art Museum. “This is the first traveling exhibition to be showcased in the Museum’s new Renzo Piano–designed galleries, and it will be perfectly complemented by the Kimbell’s own renowned collection of Asian art in the pavilion’s west gallery, located adjacent to the special-exhibition space.

To fully appreciate the world of the samurai, the exhibition introduces visitors to their history and bushidō, the “way of the warrior.” This code of conduct incorporated martial and ethical traditions, including honesty, courage, honor and loyalty, as well as the warrior’s acceptance of death. The history of the samurai begins in 792, when Japan ended its policy of conscripting troops, which led provincial landowners to assemble their own forces for defense, giving rise to the samurai class. By 1185, warlords became the military elite, ruling in the name of the emperor. Leading them was a shogun, commander of the most powerful family or clan. Under him were daimyo, heads of other families, who were served by samurai warriors. Through the centuries, different clans vied for power. However, in 1603, Tokugawa Ieyasu became shogun and established a lasting peace that extended some 250 years (Edo period, 1615–1868). During the subsequent Meiji Restoration in 1868, the emperor reasserted his authority as supreme ruler and the samurai as an official elite class was dissolved.

"What is so intriguing about Samurai armor is that it represents a perfect blend of technical virtuosity, functionality and creative artistry," said Jennifer Casler Price, curator of Asian and non-Western art at the Kimbell. "This resulted in the production of some truly fascinating and imaginative works of art, particularly the kawari kabuto (transformed helmets), which are well represented in the Barbier-Mueller collection.”

Creating samurai armor was a highly specialized art form overseen by a lead armorer, who recruited a team of blacksmiths, soft-metal (gold and copper) craftsmen, leather workers, braid makers, dyers, painters and other artisans. The armor they produced protected the wearer and incorporated motifs reflecting samurai spirituality, folklore and nature. To protect the infantry and mounted samurai, armor became increasingly complex and varied, depending on its use and the status of the wearer. It also developed into an intricately designed work of art that served as a symbol of protection, ceremony, and prestige. The exhibition illustrates the evolution of the distinctive appearance and equipment of the samurai warrior through a detailed look at the component parts of the armor, showcasing a magnificent full suit with all of its accoutrements—several surcoats, equestrian equipment and weapons—passed down through generations for some 900 years by the powerful Mōri.

The spectacle of high-ranking samurai dressed in full regalia for battle, procession and ceremony comes to life in a display of three warriors on horseback. Of particular note is Armor of the Tatehagidō Type, shown with horse armor (bagai), a horse mask (bamen), and horse tack (bagu). Before the 17th century, samurai horses did not wear armor. Subsequently, the armoring of horses conveyed the prestige and power of their owners during ceremonies that paid tribute to high-ranking leaders or marked special occasions.

When not in use, samurai armor would be showcased for guests to see in the shoin, or special reception room of a daimyo’s home, on the 11th day of the first month of each year. In the exhibition, helmets and suits of armor are presented not only as symbols of power and authority, but also as beautiful works of art. Among the highlights are numerous exquisitely decorated helmets, such as Flame Helmet Representing the Flaming Jewel, which are created in fanciful shapes and adorned with embellishments, including horns, shells, bamboo and Buddhist iconography.

The exhibition concludes by showcasing three magnificent suits of armor that illustrate how these outfits become increasingly decorative during the 250 years of peace that marked the end of the samurai’s dominance. Included among them is the impressive Armor of the Okegawadō Type, a suit of armor featuring three six-foot-tall gilt feathers that acted as a private battle standard, which captures the high drama of the fully outfitted samurai warrior in all of his glory.





Today's News

March 10, 2014

Shoppers queue up as China mall shows country's biggest ever exhibition of Monets

Renaissance masterwork of manuscript illumination acquired for the nation

Sotheby's Hong Kong announces Modern and Contemporary Asian Art Evening Sale

Key Vincent van Gogh painting on sale by Dickinson of London and New York at TEFAF Maastricht

Italy challenges United States gun dealer ArmaLite's ad using Michelangelo's David

Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth hosts major exhibition of ancient Japanese armor

Vincent van Gogh's 'Houses at Auvers' voted Boston's favorite Impressionist painting

Garden Party: Chagall, Hockney, Mapplethorpe, O'Keeffe, and more at the Nassau County Museum of Art

First survey exhibition of Charles Edenshaw opens at the National Gallery of Canada

Exceptional $6.6 million 1937 Delahaye 135 Competition Court Torpedo Roadster tops RM sale

Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend: 13 Carat Bulgari Diamond to sell at auction

Sotheby's S/2 exhibition brings together some of Europe's most intriguing contemporary painters

MoMA PS1 and MoMA present the first comprehensive American survey of Christoph Schlingensief

BGL to represent Canada at the 56th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia

Exhibition seeks to explore the way artists have addressed female body image in contemporary art

Amon Carter, DMA, and Nasher Sculpture Center bring their masterpieces onto the Google Art Project

Exhibition of digital technology and its impact opens at the Bluecoat in Liverpool

"Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon: It Only Happens All of the Time" opens at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Works by Picasso, Calder, Toulouse-Lautrec to headline Cottone's March 29 auction

"Between the Lines: Reading Chen Linggang and Liang Weiyuan" on view at Art+ Shanghai Gallery

Museum displays 41 works of newly acquired art featuring Keith Haring and Rafael Soriano

Boscobel begins historical upgrade of its Grand Entry Hall

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Colossal statue of Amenhotep III unveiled on the west bank of the Nile in Egypt

2.- British royals crown New York visit with gala dinner

3.- Missing artwork rediscovered in "Stuart Little" sells for over 200,000 euros at auction

4.- Rossetti's Venus Verticordia soars at Sotheby's in London to sell for £2.88 million

5.- Russian magnate buys, then returns Nobel prize to American geneticist James Watson

6.- Egyptian Museum unveils four newly renovated halls of the famed Tutankhamun gallery

7.- 'The Secret of Dresden: From Rembrandt to Canaletto' on view at the Groninger Museum

8.- Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum reopens after three-year renovation

9.- More than 200 queries about works by possible heirs received on Nazi-era art hoard

10.- Attorney, artist and filmmaker reflects on the seven lessons learned at 2014 Art Basel Miami Beach



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site