Goodbye Samurai

It’s time to send-off another wonderful exhibition. For all of us, the fourteen week run of Lords of the Samurai has felt remarkably short. Compared to the years of work that go into organizing an exhibition of this scale, and the centuries of history represented by the works within, these few weeks are but an instant.

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Objects wait for a final condition check before packing

Over the past week we’ve been busy packing up the show. This is always a process of carefully controlled chaos. On average, breaking down an exhibition takes less than half as long as putting it up. With another show to immediately follow, it’s a tight schedule and one with little room for delays.

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Textile conservator Denise Migdail unmounts a banner from its support

The deinstallation process involves museum staff, representatives from lending institutions, and additional art handlers and packers. In just a few days the Samurai team deinstalled, condition checked, and packed more than 160 objects for their return to Japan. It’s was quite an effort.

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Registrar Cathy Mano wraps lacquers for their trip home

With artwork safely out of the way, preparation crews are busy retrofitting the galleries for Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam and Burma. At the same time, other exhibition staff are busy planning the installation of our 2010 exhibition, Shanghai. We move quickly from one exhibition to the next, but I think that even through this haze of new activity, we will remember Samurai with a special fondness.

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Travel crates lined up outside of the gallery, with curators Yoko Woodson and Melissa Rinne standing by

While all exhibitions are special, this one in particular has been among the hightest attended shows in the museum’s history. So A huge thank you to to the tens of thousands of visitors who have helped make Lords of the Samurai a resounding success, and to the staff and partners who worked to make this exhibition possible.

Goodbye Samurai, and safe travels home.

One Response to “Goodbye Samurai”

  1. Nancy  on September 29th, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    The traveler’s parting song sounds in the dawn.
    Today, a cold wind comes through the city,
    And the seagull’s cry saddens my heart.
    Surrounded by the incoming fog,
    Here in the city, the day finishes cold.
    Returning safely from the island from where you came,
    Leaving behind only memories of beauty.
    (and not a little contentious discussion).
    VERY freely adapted Li Ch’i (The Jade Mountain)


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