Exhibition | Japanese Arms and Armor

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on June 29, 2018

Now on view at The Met Fifth Avenue:

Japanese Arms and Armor from the Collection of Etsuko and John Morris
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 25 January 2018 — 6 January 2019

Armor (Gusoku), Helmet signed by Bamen Tomotsugu (Japanese, Eichizan province, Toyohara, active 18th century); iron, lacquer, copper-gold alloy (shakudō), silver, silk, horse hair, ivory (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2001.642).

Presenting a wide array of samurai armor, blades, and accoutrements dating from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century, this exhibition celebrates the promised gift of thirty-seven objects from the collection of Etsuko and John Morris, as well as other important gifts made by Mr. and Mrs. Morris to The Met’s Department of Arms and Armor over the past seventeen years.

The collection was originally assembled in the early twentieth century by Dr. Frederick Malling Pedersen (1869–1947) of New York. It later passed by descent to Mr. and Mrs. Morris, who have seen to its care and restoration. Key works include a rare complete armor (gusoku) by Bamen Tomotsugu (active eighteenth century); a blade attributed to Fusamune of Sōshū (active late fifteenth–early sixteenth century) with mounting; and a helmet (kawari-kabuto) in the shape of a wave (seventeenth century, restored 2015). The gift of choice objects from the collection represents a significant addition to the Museum’s holdings of Japanese arms and armor, which are the most comprehensive of their kind outside of Japan.

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