Lethal Beauty: Samurai Weapons and Armor

In the Beitzel and Righter Galleries
October 12, 2014 – January 4, 2015

The striking duality of deadly weaponry forged with artistic beauty is on full display in Lethal Beauty: Samurai Weapons and Armor. With 63 works by master craftsmen from the 13th to 20th centuries, the exhibition features five full sets of armor, masks, helmets, and warrior hats. Remarkable weapons include long and short swords, daggers, and examples of early Japanese rifles. The exhibition also showcases a pair of 17th-century folding screens by a Kano school artist depicting battle scenes from the famous Tale of the Heike, one of the greatest warrior epics in Japanese literature that marks the dawn of samurai honor, valor, and fortitude.

Lethal Beauty was curated by Dr. Andreas Marks, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Collection of the Clark Center, and tour organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.


Funding for this exhibition provided by ArtsWestchester, with support from Westchester County Government, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, as well as the Museum’s Exhibition Patrons. Additional sponsorship provided by Betty Himmel, Kim and John Latham, and The Japan Foundation New York.

Antique Kimono from the Alexander Collection

In the Beitzel Gallery
October 12, 2014 – January 4, 2015

In addition to highlights of the Samurai epoch, an exhibition-within-the-exhibition focuses on exquisite kimono from the Alexander Murray Collection. Equal in splendor to the decidedly masculine samurai garments, kimono and the world of women’s fashion are elegantly portrayed in pieces ranging from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries. The ultimate in couture, each garment was exclusively designed, hand-dyed, painted, stitched, and embroidered to create a one-of-a-kind object.

Click here to visit the Alexander Kimono Collection website.

Image Credit
Furisode, Edo period, approximately 1820 – 1840. Silk damask with embroidery, appliqué, and couching. Courtesy of the Alexander Collection


Ushio Shinohara

In the Atrium
October 12, 2014 – January 4, 2015 

Legendary Japanese artist Ushio Shinohara added drama and action to the opening of Lethal Beauty: Samurai Weapons and Armor with a special performance in the garden on October 11 at 5 pm. At once a rumination on the creative process – in all its mental and physical dimensions – and a playful send-up of “action painting” a la Jackson Pollock, Shinohara’s performance operates on multiple levels, playing off themes of humor, endurance, and history. This "boxing-painting" is only the fourth Shinohara has ever created in the United States. Shinohara, whose work has traversed many styles and mediums, is a towering figure who has participated in some of the most significant moments of postwar art, passing through phases of Pop, performance, and Neo-Dada.

Ushio Shinohara in the garden. Photo by Margaret Fox.

View a video of the “boxing-painting” performance.


Suki Meets Three Samurai Cats

Stéphane Jorish, from Suki’s Kimono, by Chieri Uegaki [Kids Can Press, Toronto, 2003]. Watercolor on paper. © Stéphane Jorish, 2003.

Mordicai Gerstein, from Three Samurai Cats: A Story from Japan, retold by Eric A. Kimmel [Holiday House, New York, 2003]. Pen and ink with oil paint on heavy vellum paper. © Mordicai Gerstein, 2003.

October 12, 2014 –
January 4, 2015
In the Learning Center
Jump into a world where a lovely, little kimono can charm a roomful of children and silly, samurai cats can battle a big, fat rat. The original illustrations for two charming picture books highlight familiar Japanese traditions in the Learning Center this fall. Stéphane Jorish’s gentle watercolors for Suki’s Kimono have garnered crictical acclaim. And the anime-inspired drawings by Mordicai Gerstein energize the story told in Three Samurai Cats.

John Ruppert

On the South Lawn
May 2014 – May 2015

John Ruppert transforms prison-grade metal chain link into vessel-like forms that define volume yet remain ethereal and porous. At the KMA, the intense yellow industrial fencing is an unexpected element in the landscape, as is the mesmeric effect of the material’s shifting patterns. Ruppert’s 14-foot tall sculpture simultaneously contrasts and compliments its verdant surroundings. The artist created the piece specifically for the KMA campus.

Image Credit
John Ruppert
Yellow Orb/Homage to Van Gogh, 2014
Stainless steel and powder-coated chain link
122 inches high x 108 inches in diameter
Courtesy of the artist