The Dallas, Texas-based Barbier-Mueller Museum has collected samurai armor for the past 25 years, currently housing about 300 masterful objects including horse armor, masks, and helmets crafted between the 12th and 19th centuries. Featuring the Barbier-Mueller Museum’s collection, the anticipated exhibition, Samouraï: armure du guerrier, opened November 8 at the Musée du quai Branly in Paris. The exhibition runs through January 29, 2012 and showcases more than 140 objects.
The show illustrates the progression of the gear and battle objects used by samurai warriors throughout centuries when samurai culture—closely connected to influential Japanese intellectuals—was at its peak. Armorers worked with samurai to craft beautiful, detailed, functional pieces that protected warriors and horses in battle while preserving an established aesthetic and sense of culture. Often, samurai helmets referenced frightening natural imagery, both detracting enemies and differentiating warriors on the battlefield.
Marquand Books produced the 360-page exhibition catalogue Art of Armor: Samurai Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection. Featuring an introduction by Morihiro Ogawa, scholarly essays, and a plate section highlighting 120 pieces in the collection, the book was designed by Jeff Wincapaw and the English language edition will be distributed by Yale University Press. Published in association with the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum, the title is available December 5, 2011.
Samouraï: armure du guerrier
Musée du Quai Branly
€8.50 full price or €6 reduced price
For full exhibition details, click here.