Emperors, Artists & Inventors: Transformative Gifts of Fine Arms and Armor
Dec 21, 2020 - Feb 21, 2022
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For thousands of years and in cultures around the world, people have valued finely crafted armor and weapons for reasons that transcend utility, treasuring them for qualities such as innovative design, stunning decoration, use of precious materials, and impressive workmanship. Spanning fifteen hundred years, from sixth century Byzantium to early twentieth-century America, this exhibition features extraordinary works made in the service of monarchs, the nobility, and other eminent patrons—all created by skilled artists or fabricated to showcase the latest technical innovations of the era.

These exquisite pieces of armor, ornate swords, and luxurious firearms were donated to The Met in celebration of the Museum’s 150th anniversary. With this exhibition of their gifts, we celebrate the unfailing generosity and support of the following individuals and foundations: Anne Brockinton Lee and The Robert M. Lee Foundation; Irene Roosevelt Aitken, the Russell B. Aitken and Irene R. Aitken Collection; Laird Landmann and Kathleen Kinney; Ronald S. Lauder; Steven Kossak and The Kronos Collections; Dr. Kenneth Lam and Dr. Vivian Chui; and Edward LaPuma.
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