Archive for 'Registration'

Return of the nine-planets

Now that we’re done installing the exhibition Lords of the Samurai — opening this Friday (although if you’re a member of the museum you can sneak a peek on Thursday) — it’s time for us exhibition folks to take a bit of a breather and have some light fun.

In this spirit of fun and games, and as a follow-up to our popular Nine-Planet blog post, we now bring you a few more examples of the Hosokowa family crest as  found among the many objects now in the galleries.

Although frequently referred to as the “nine-planet” crest, according to Assistant Curator of Japanese Art Melissa Rinne this design actually derives from a concept in Indian cosmology known as the nine grahas  (see the Wikipedia entry here).

How many of these nine-planet crests will you be able to find on your next visit?

Nine-planets 2

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Unpacking in the Forbidden City

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):

Palace Museum team
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How to dress a Samurai

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.

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Ming returns home

After a 12 month long US tour with stops in San Francisco, Indianapolis, and St. Louis, Power and Glory: Court Arts of China’s Ming Dynasty, has finally returned home to China. This is the end of a project that I have worked on for more than three years.

Senior Registrar Sharon Steckline supervises the return of Ming objects to China

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The nine-planet hunt

As we unpack and condition check the numerous objects featured in Lords of the Samurai, one of our many small pleasures is spotting the ubiquitious nine-planet Hosokowa family crest. Can you spot a crest among the rolled paintings pictured below?

Can you find the nine-planet crest?

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