Dr. Andreas Marks | Lethal Beauty: Design Elements in Samurai Suits of Armor

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    Red-lacquered helmet, 17th century.


Dr. Andreas Marks | Lethal Beauty: Design Elements in Samurai Suits of Armor


Thursday Jun 06 01:00 PM


Doris Duke Theatre

About the Lecture:

Japanese suits of armor stand out amongst the armor of other world cultures because of their flashy, colorful appearance and exquisite design. The armor most often seen in exhibitions or auctions ranges in date from the 16th to the 19th centuries. During this time a large industry of samurai-oriented crafts production catered to a significant part of Japanese society.

Based on the sense for aesthetics and beauty of wealthy samurai, such armor was custom made, employing a range of materials from different types of metal to leather, lacquer, and silk. An iconic part of Japanese armor is the head protection consisting of fierce face masks and dramatic helmets, underlining the owner's superhuman image of power. This lecture will focus on the design of suits of armor and will especially address helmet forms and often found elements like demonic Chinese lions.

Dr. Andreas Marks is the curator of the exhibition Lethal Beauty: Samurai Weapons and Armor, on view June 6 to August 18.

Pictured: Red-lacquered eboshi-shaped helmet with demonic Chinese lion. Edo period, 17th century. Iron, leather, lacquer, silk, and gold. Height 36 cm (14.2 in.). Private Collection. Photograph by ThirdElementStudios.


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