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Art From Us MUSEUM GUIDE : The Metropolitan Museum of Art : Gallery 380

The MET : Gallery 380 : Arms and Armor : Special Exhibitions

Art From Us, Museum Guide #597

Art From Us presents a must-see Museum Guide daily, where we showcase specific artworks in specific museums – from across the globe. Today, for Art From Us, Museum Guide #597 the spotlight is on the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the MET) NY’s Gallery 380. Showcasing a collection of Arms and Armor: Special Exhibitions.

The three works in focus are :

  1. Shirt of Mail and Plate, from 15th – 16th century.
  2. Helmet with Aventail, from late 15th – 16th century.
  3. Saber with Scabbard, from 18th -1 9th century.

The significance of the 3 works chosen for Art From Us, Museum Guide #597

Welcome to the Art From Us, Museum Guide #597. The Metropolitan Museum of Art : Gallery 380 holds rotating exhibitions of arms and armors from the METs collection. Depicted above are 3 of a few objects housed in the gallery at this time. Let us uncover what they are, to whom they belonged, and why they are important.

About the Gusoku

Gusoku is a type of foldable armor that was worn in Japan’s feudal era by members of the warrior class. This special armor consists of various different parts; these are enumerated as follows, by Boris Petrov Bedrosov in his article ‘The Evolution of Japanese Armour’ :

“Although the full suit of armour (gusoku) consists of 23 or more elements, starting with the tie (fundoshi) and finishing with the pike mainstay (yari-ate), the basic elements (rokugu) are only six in number. These are the cuirass (do), the helmet (kabuto), the face mask (men yoroi or menpo), the armoured sleeves (kote), the greaves (suneate) and the cuisses (haidate). The seventh very important element, which was not part of the rokugu, but was a part of the cuirass, were the shoulder guards (sode).”

This particular gallery at the MET is re-hung periodically. This is what makes Gallery 380 so exciting. Through diverse exhibitions, the curators at the MET give us as an audience a chance look at weaponry in a different perspective each time.


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