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NYC – Metropolitan Museum of Art – Armor (Gusoku)
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Image by wallyg
Armor (Gusoku), 16th and 18th centuries; Edo period
Japanese
Lacquered iron, mail, silk, copper-gilt; H. 67 1/2 in. (171.5 cm)

This armor comes from the armory of Daté Yoshimura (1703-1746), daimyo of Sendai. The helmet bowl, signed Saotome Iye, dates from the sixteenth century; the remainder of the armor was constructed in the eighteenth century. The breastplate is inscribed inside with the armorer’s name, Myochin Munesuke (1688-1735). The embossed ornament on the solid iron plates is characteristic of the Myochin school.

Gift of Bashford Dean, 1914 (14.100.172)

**
The collection of armor, edged weapons, and firearms in The Metropolitan Museum of Art ranks with those of the other great armories of the world, in Vienna, Madrid, Dresden, and Paris. It consists of approximately 15,000 objects that range in date from about 400 B.C. to the nineteenth century. Though Western Europe and Japan are the regions most strongly represented–the collection of more than five thousand pieces of Japanese armor and weapons is the finest outside Japan–the geographical range of the collection is extraordinary, with examples from the Near East, the Middle East, India, Central Asia, China, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and North America. The Arms and Armor Galleries were renovated and reinstalled in 1991 to display to better effect the outstanding collection of armor and weapons of sculptural and ornamental beauty from around the world.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s permanent collection contains more than two million works of art from around the world. It opened its doors on February 20, 1872, housed in a building located at 681 Fifth Avenue in New York City. Under their guidance of John Taylor Johnston and George Palmer Putnam, the Met’s holdings, initially consisting of a Roman stone sarcophagus and 174 mostly European paintings, quickly outgrew the available space. In 1873, occasioned by the Met’s purchase of the Cesnola Collection of Cypriot antiquities, the museum decamped from Fifth Avenue and took up residence at the Douglas Mansion on West 14th Street. However, these new accommodations were temporary; after negotiations with the city of New York, the Met acquired land on the east side of Central Park, where it built its permanent home, a red-brick Gothic Revival stone "mausoleum" designed by American architects Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mold. As of 2006, the Met measures almost a quarter mile long and occupies more than two million square feet, more than 20 times the size of the original 1880 building.

In 2007, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was ranked #17 on the AIA 150 America’s Favorite Architecture list.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1967. The interior was designated in 1977.

National Historic Register #86003556

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