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Follow the way of these legendary Japanese warriors

Travel back in time and discover remarkable objects that illuminate the life, culture, and pageantry of these revered and feared Japanese warriors—from one of the best and largest collections in the world. “Samurai! Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection” features the extraordinary artistry of the armor used by samurai—the military elite led by the shoguns, or warlords, of Japan from the 12th through 19th centuries. The exhibition illustrates the evolution of the distinctive appearance and equipment of the samurai warrior through the centuries and examines their history.

The exhibition features more than 140 objects from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller collection, including armored horses carrying combat-ready samurai in full regalia. Highlights include helmets of lacquered metal adorned with emblems often inspired by nature—which signaled the status of the wearer, differentiated samurai from each other, and also frightened the enemy on the battlefield—and full suits of exquisitely crafted armor, weapons, horse armor, and accoutrements used for both battle and ceremonies.

 

Above: Armor of the nimaitachidō type (nimaitachidō tōsei gusoku), attributed Myōchin Yoshimichi (helmet bowl); Myōchin Munenori (armor), Muromachi period, about 1400 (helmet bowl); mid-Edo period, 18th century (armor). Iron, shakudō, lacing, silver, wood, gold, brocade, fur, bronze, brass,  leather, and lacquer. Photograph by Brad Flowers. ©The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum, Dallas.


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The exhibition is organized by The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum, Dallas, in collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.