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  • Last Defense: The Genius of Japanese Meiji Metalwork

    Nagasone Tojiro Mitsumasa, Helmet in the form of a Sea Conch Shell

    September 13, 2017 - September 2, 2018

    In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration (1868-1912), the political revolution when power was restored to the emperor from the samurai class, this exhibition will focus on the genius and versatility of metalworkers during this transitional moment. With the decline of the samurai class and its privileges, armor-makers such as the renowned four centuries-old Myochin family of metalworkers applied their exemplary skills and artistry to develop new types of metal products, from toys to decorative art. This show will feature magnificent works from the Museum's Higgins collection, as well as a special selection of loans.

    Kozan, Articulated Jizai Figurine of a Lobster

    Top image: Nagasone Tojiro Mitsumasa, Helmet in the form of a Sea Conch Shell, 1618, iron with traces of lacquer, textiles, The John Woodman Higgins Armory Collection, 2014.89.1

    Bottom image: Kozan, Articulated “Jizai” Figurine of a Lobster, about 1900, iron, The John Woodman Higgins Armory Collection, 2014.609