We started unpacking and condition checking objects from the exhibition Power & Glory: Court Arts of China’s Ming Dynasty at the Forbidden City in Beijing. Everyone working here at the Palace Museum was required to wear a face mask — an effort to prevent Swine flu. Here is a photo of the unpacking team (that’s me in the first row on the right, with Asian Art Museum conservator Mark Fenn beside me):
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Have you seen our Samurai about town? If so, you’ve probably marveled at his costume and how complicated it is to put on.
The real suits of armor featured in Lords of the Samurai are even more complex. Samurai armor consists of many pieces arranged to provide maximum body coverage without (ideally) sacrificing mobility. If you haven’t already checked it out you can learn about armor parts by visiting Know Your Armour on our Lords of the Samurai web page.
Lords of the Samurai features six suits of armor. Each one takes as much as a full day to assemble, largely due to the fragile nature of the centuries old materials.
The first step in installing a suit of armor is to unpack the individual pieces. Armor is transported disassembled, with each section carefully packed into a custom box with appropriate support and protective padding.