Art over time

Last week, Editor Joe traveled through time during his visit to the Worcester Art Museum. The museum had two new exhibits highlighting two very different cultures from two very different periods in world history. (All photos taken on my phone and thus are blurry and bad quality.)

The first exhibit was Samurai! curated by Eric Nakamura. The pieces showcased the beginnings of samurai culture in Japan and how the country’s artists have integrated those ideals with the ever-increasing Western influences. With art from the early 1400s blended with pieces finished this year, the exhibit presented a fierce argument on how global communications and world culture doesn’t mean the loss of individual culture – merely the reshaping and growing every person must face.

The show provided an in-depth look at how art evolves over time, especially when artists are exposed to different styles.

Below the cut, check out some of the photos and  second exhibit (which included a reference to Batman and pirate swords).

What kind of Japanese exhibit would it be without a dragon? ROAR
The artist combined Western superheroes with traditional Japanese motifs.
The classic kimono is contrasted with a boom box to demonstrate the struggle to accept new ideas with traditional values.
A hand cannon (that’s right a HAND CANNON) from the early 15th century.
Supernatural element were always present in Japanese art but the creatures have changed over time.

The second exhibit was Knights, which looked at the how the medieval armor was developed and adopted by the everyday man. The museum had at least five full body armors including a black knight armor! One of the more interesting factoids was how the use of armor grew from a protective military item to a fashion accessory when the idea of chivalry and manliness become synonymous with knights.

The display covered a number of famous knights include King Arthur and the Round Table, jousting, various weapons and this century’s most loved armor-wearing hero – the Dark Knight!

Two of the full body armors. The one on the right was decorated with gold-leaf designs and the one of the left was worn by a nobleman who never saw battle. Both weighted over 50 pounds.
The museum also had a collection of armor that a faithful stead would wear (who knows why this horse is pink?!?).
Even dogs were protected! When armor became fashionable, some noblemen commissioned light-weight pieces for their dogs because even man’s best friend can be a hero.
Armor needed to be more than just effective – it became a sign of status.
And sometimes armor was used to reaffirm someone’s worth as a man – the medieval version of a red corvette.
This pirate’s sword is rumored to be so sharp and so corrupted that if cut, it would piece more than skin – it would cut your soul.
Some of the earliest blades ever forged.

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