Last Defense: The Genius of Japanese Meiji Metalwork

  • 13 Sep 2017
  • 02 Sep 2018
  • Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609

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

Last Defense: The Genius of Japanese Meiji Metalwork

September 13, 2017 – September 2, 2018

Worcester Art Museum
55 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609


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 focuses 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.

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

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