Book

Art of Armor: Samurai Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection Softcover by by Morihiro Ozawa, J. Gabrie Barbier-Muller (Editor), Sachiko Hari, Tom Richardson, John Stevenson and Stephen Turnbull

$45.00

Age:2011

This extraordinary publication presents, for the first time, the samurai armor collection of the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum in Dallas. The Barbier-Mueller has selectively amassed these pieces of armor over the past twenty-five years, ultimately forming one of the largest and most important collections of its kind in the world. It is composed of nearly three hundred objects, several of which are considered masterpieces, including suits of armor, helmets, masks, horse armor, and weaponry. The objects date from the 12th to the 19th century, with a particularly strong focus on Edo-period armor.

Offering an exciting look into the world of the samurai warrior, the book begins with an introduction by Morihiro Ogawa. Essays by prominent scholars in the field highlight topics such as the phenomenon of the warrior in Japan, the development of the samurai helmet, castle architecture, women in samurai culture, and Japanese horse armor. The book's final section consists of an extensive catalogue of objects, concentrating on 120 significant works in the collection with 300 color illustrations. Lavishly illustrated in full color, each object is accompanied by an entry written by a scholar of Japanese armor. 

Condition: Like new, spine unbroken with no imperfections.

Softcover: ISBN-978-0-615-847443-3

NOTE: Swiss-born developer Gabriel Barbier-Mueller looks at his pieces like parents look at their children: each is special in its own way. It’s hard to say whether Barbier-Mueller’s eye for quality, which eventually led him to collect samurai armor, came from nature or nurture. Barbier-Mueller had a particular interest in Japanese samurai armor after learning about the life, culture, and pageantry of the warriors who wore it. A suit of armor in the middle of his office appears big enough to fit him. The power of samurai armor is in its details—every component had a purpose. Armor became a symbol of prestige during times of peace, as samurai displayed their status and wealth in everything from helmets to horses. When Barbier-Mueller tries to explain the strengths of his pieces, he hesitates. They each have so many unique characteristics. He looks at his pieces like parents look at their children: each is special in its own way.

Barbier-Mueller’s daughter Niña, who oversees the collection that has been viewed by more than a million visitors around the world. Barbier-Mueller also enjoys curating and displaying art because it allows him to educate others. After more than 25 years of collecting more than 1,300 pieces, Barbier-Mueller and his wife, Ann, opened The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum. The museum features craftsmanship dating as far back as the 7th century. One of Barbier-Mueller’s mentors, Neiman Marcus founder Stanley Marcus, used to tell him, “Quality stands long after price is forgotten.” It’s something Barbier-Mueller took to heart. He recalls once paying thousands of dollars for a helmet. “I paid 10 times the price,” he says. “But today I’m rewarded because it’s become much more valuable. If you do your homework and you invest in quality, financially you will come out ahead.”