Exhibition Details


Location: Steele Gallery
Dates: March 1, 2017
to July 16, 2017

Samurai: Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection takes visitors on a journey back in time to discover the life, culture, and pageantry of the revered and feared Japanese samurai warriors through remarkable objects from one of the best and largest collections in the world. The exhibition, organized by The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum in Dallas, Texas, features more than 140 objects of warrior regalia, with full suits of armor, helmets and masks, weapons, horse tack, and other battle gear. It traces the evolution of the distinctive appearance and equipment of the samurai through the centuries and examines the warriors’ history through works of consummate craftsmanship and exquisite design.

During the centuries covered by the exhibition, warfare evolved from combat between small bands of equestrian archers to the clash of vast armies of infantry and cavalry equipped with swords, spears, and even matchlock guns. Arms and armor were needed in unprecedented quantities, and craftsmen responded with an astonishingly varied array of armor that was both functional and visually spectacular, a celebration of the warrior’s prowess.

Even after 1615, when the Tokugawa military dictatorship brought an end to battle, samurai families continued to commission splendid arms and armor for ceremonial purposes. Because the social rank, income, and prestige of a samurai family were strictly determined by the battlefield valor of their ancestors, armor became even more sumptuous as the embodiment of an elite warrior family’s heritage.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalog, Art of Armor: Samurai Armor from The Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection, with essays by leading Japanese samurai armor experts.

Circles Exhibition Preview: February 28, 5:30- 7:30 pm.
Member Preview: March 1, 10 am - 3 pm. 

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On view to the public from March 1, 2017 through July 16, 2017.

Share your exhibition experience: @phxart #samuraiphxart

Public Program

Presented by Dr. Janet Baker, Curator of Asian Art at Phoenix Art Museum on May 20, 2017.

In conjunction with the current exhibition of this stellar collection of Japanese combat hardware, this presentation will focus on its function, design, and symbolism as well as the roles of samurai in medieval Japan's social structure and political system.

Included with Museum general admission.

Exhibition Sponsors

Samurai: Armor from The Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection is organized by The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum: The Samurai Collection. Its Phoenix premiere is made possible through the generous support of our presenting sponsors, the J.W. Kieckhefer Foundation and the Margaret T. Morris Foundation, with additional support provided by the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Sharron and Delbert R. Lewis, Roberta Aidem, APS, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Asian Arts Council.

Admission

Admission is free for Phoenix Art Museum Members, Military Members and youth aged 5 and under. Not a Member yet? Click here.

This special engagement exhibition is offered at $5 for all ages, plus general admission (required). For a full breakdown of general admission prices, click here. This special engagement exhibition is offered to the general public for $5 during free-access hours from 3-9 pm each Wednesday, from 6-10 pm on the First Fridays of each month and the second weekend of each month from 10am-5 pm on Saturday and 12-5 pm on Sunday. 



Group Sales

Interested in coming as a group? For group sales information, click here.

Press Information

Press images and image captions: click here
Press release: click here
Media Contact: Margaree Bigler, Marketing and Communications Manager, margaree.bigler@phxart.org

Image Credits

 
Exhibition Page: Unknown, nuinobedō tōsei gusoku (armor and military equipment), late Momoyama period, c. 1600. Iron, lacquer, gold, bronze, silver, leather, wood, horsehair, hemp, brocade, steel. © The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum, Dallas. Photo: Brad Flowers.
 
Left: Myōchin Munenori, nimaitachidō tōsei gusoku (armor) (detail), mid Edo period, 18th century. Shakudō, lacing, silver, wood, gold, brocade, fur, bronze, brass, leather. © The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum, Dallas. Photo: Brad Flowers. 
 
Myōchin Yoshimichi, helmet bowl, Muromachi period, c. 1400. Shakudō, lacing, silver, wood, gold, brocade, fur, bronze, brass, leather. © The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum, Dallas. Photo: Brad Flowers
 
Right: Unknown, eboshi kabuto (eboshi-shaped helmet) and menpō (half mask), late Muromachi to Momoyama period, late 16th century. Iron, gold lacquer, bronze, horn, horsehair. © The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum, Dallas. Photo: Brad Flowers.