Samurai Armor from the Collection of Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller features one of the most important collections of samurai armor outside of Japan. Through a dazzling array of more than one hundred fifty helmets, swords, and other objects spanning almost nine centuries, including nearly twenty complete sets of armor, the exhibition will illuminate the exceptionally high level of design and craft dedicated to these elaborate instruments of ceremony and combat. These objects reveal the culture, lifestyle, and artistic legacy associated with the samurai warrior in Japanese society. The High is the first museum in the Southeastern United States to present this exhibition, which has traveled to cities around the world.
(LEFT) Armor of the Domaru Type
This suit is richly decorated with black and gold lacquer and would have required the expertise of many skilled artisans to construct (the helmet alone has 125 iron plates). Caught mid-pounce, a ferociuos lion adorns the front of the helmet.
About the Collectors
It is the combination of art and armor, the boundless creativity of the objects’ forms, and the aesthetics used by these fierce and cultivated warriors that drew us in.
—Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller
Gabriel Barbier-Mueller has been fascinated by samurai armor since adolescence and acquired his first piece in the early 1990s. He and his wife, Ann, have continued to expand their collection, admiring the sculptural quality of the objects and the compelling imagination required to create them. This fascination led them to create The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum: The Samurai Collection, in Dallas, Texas.
The Barbier-Muellers have assembled an exceptional collection consisting of more than one thousand objects, including a number of unique masterpieces. This exhibition, which represents only a fraction of their remarkable holdings, grows from the collectors’ wish to share these works and the samurai culture from which they emerged.