With our presentation of Lords of the Samurai approaching the halfway point, museum staff are busy preparing for a complex rotation in which nearly sixty objects will be removed from the galleries and replaced with a second selection of artwork. This weekend will be the last chance to see the full first set of objects before this process begins. (The remaining fifty or so objects currently on view—including the six suits of armor and all of the sword blades—will stay on view for the entire exhibition).
Just as with our regular gallery rotations, we rotate objects because they are light-sensitive. The list of sensitive objects includes paintings, textiles, lacquers, and most other objects composed of organic materials. However, a mid-point special exhibition rotation differs slightly from our permanent gallery rotations because the new objects have to fit into the existing thematic content and flow of the exhibition. With so many unique works on view, this can make object selection a little bit tricky.
Because we prefer not to close the galleries during the rotation period, museum staff will be working their magic during the hours when we are normally closed to the public. As a result, the rotation will be spread out over several days. Over the next week or so, you may notice that some galleries have been rotated and others are still waiting their turn. You may even find a case to have a temporarily vacant spot. Don’t worry, it won’t be empty for long!
Please bear with us during this process. Because of the extreme delicacy and importance of many of these treasures, the rotation process needs to be undertaken slowly and deliberately. We are scheduled to have completed the rotation by the time that the museum opens on Tuesday, August 11. On that date, be prepared for a fresh look at Lords of the Samurai.
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