Exhibitions at a Glance

Exhibitions at the Katonah Museum of Art range from realism to abstraction, from ancient artifacts to cutting edge contemporary, from oil painting to any other material artists employ.  Every few months the Museum is transformed. Within the school year this diverse schedule offers educators and students multiple opportunities to explore visual history and connect their Museum experience to classroom learning. In addition, every year an exhibition of student artwork is displayed throughout the Museum.


October 12, 2014 - January 4, 2015


Lethal Beauty: Samurai Weapons and Armorand Kimonos from the Alexander Collection
In the Beitzel and Righter Galleries


The Katonah Museum of Art is thrilled to present an exhibition of extraordinary and rarely seen traditional samurai armor and artifacts spanning the 13th- 20th centuries. This samurai exhibition will be paired with an exhibition of traditional 18th - 20th century Japanese kimonos. Combined together, the time-honored traditions associated with samurai armor and the kimono will illuminate the complimentary roles of men and women/boys and girls through Japanese art, costume, and culture.    

Japanese comics and animation - Anime and Manga - have romanticized the samurai in Japanese pop culture and created iconic characters with admirable traits that resonate with young audiences around the world.  Loyalty, morality, honor, and mastery - these were the basic tenets of life for the Japanese samurai.  The samurai engaged not only in battles, but also followed literary, artistic and spiritual pursuits and were the originators of Haiku. The 63 fascinating artifacts on view, made by master craftsmen from the 13th to the 20th centuries, along with a pair of large 17th century screen-murals that richly illustrate a famous Japanese tale will provide an historic understanding of the role of the samurai in feudal Japan.

A school visit to Lethal Beauty offers students an opportunity to engage in object-based learning that looks at traditional Japanese art and costume as entry points into the traditions and cultural roles of Japanese people. All school visits are inquiry-based to encourage thoughtful observation and conversation.  Additionally, students will discuss contemporary uses of costume and clothing as a medium for self-expression and communication. What clothes do we wear to show loyalty, power, beauty, or mystery?

To complement the cultural discoveries in the galleries, students will engage in a thought-provoking art activity that explores design concepts that integrate form and function.


Suki Meets Three Samurai CatsIn the Learning CenterThe playful illustrations from the two picture books, Suki's Kimono and Three Samurai Cats will serve as a friendly entry point for younger audiences into Japanese samurai armor and kimonos.

For information or to book a tour, please contact Margaret Adasko: education@katonahmuseum.org; 914-232-9555, ext. 2985.