I have one of those real-life homeschooler confessions to make.
Until last Tuesday we have NEVER been to the Portland Art Museum.
I know. I can’t believe it myself. I don’t know WHY I’ve never pursued taking the kids to the Portland Art Museum (PAM). I guess I just thought it would be…boring. Um no. Not in the very least. And now I am trying to figure out how to go back because the kids have at least 2 floors they want to see!
The SAMURAI! Armor From The Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection is currently exhibiting at PAM. This amazing collection takes visitors back to a time when the Samurai warrior roamed the earth…or at least Japan. Calvin’s latest passion is Japanese culture. This exhibit arrived in Portland at the perfect time!
Children, ages 17 and under, receive free admission to PAM. School groups can have 1 adult chaperone per 3 children. Our co-op registered two weeks earlier, so basically, I was able to get myself and my three children into the museum for $5! I love being a homeschooler!
SAMURAI at Portland Art Museum
The exhibit was located just inside the museum entrance. We were greeted by these 3 warriors riding on horseback with scenery of Japanese architect in the background. This is an AMAZING display. The horses are life-like and life-size. The presence of the phantom Samurai sets the mood for the entire exhibit. Let the tour begin!
Each section has a wealth of information within the displays and along the walls of the exhibit. Calvin quickly asked to tag behind our group so he could read everything. When the girls complained I quickly hushed them. If this doesn’t count toward his World History credit, nothing will!
Seeing the armor that he only imagined up to this point…priceless!
This is when I discovered how much of the early Japanese history he had already explored. He noted how accurate some game he played was in comparison to this map. It will be interesting to have him compare this map to a current map of provinces within Japan.
The suit of armor. Calvin was able to pronounce several of the words for me. Those Japanese lessons here and there are paying off!
I enjoyed tagging along with the co-op coordinator for the trip. As I watched how she interacted with her boys I was reminded of those earlier years when I had to read everything for the kids. Now they just read it for themselves…or pass it up!
Missy was both intrigued and insulted by this saddle from the Samurai era. As she proclaimed, “It wasn’t very nice to the horse…they don’t have a blanket underneath.” I never could convince her that it was just a DISPLAY of the SADDLE. No need for a blanket. Sigh.
The girls loved the masks for the horses. Although Missy declared these “cruel” to the animals also. She’s such an advocate for the fair treatment of horses. I think the entire point of the exhibit was lost on her…
Bear has decided she loves art. Wants to be an artist. She was thrilled to see this piece instead of the “boring armor”.
This was my favorite piece from the collection. And like I usually do, I didn’t write down the information so I could share it with the readers. But, it was cool. Very cool. Wouldn’t this scare you if it was coming at you?
Because every helmet needs a pair of antlers…
This was one of those moments where the girls realized that they are blessed to be born in the 2000s. When they discovered that the girls were usually married between 12 and 14 you could hear the wheels turning in their heads. “You mean…I’d be getting married. Now?” The thought was beyond comprehension. But I think it was the idea that they would never see their parents after marriage that sealed the deal. I’ll admit. I’m glad that the idea of being separated from me still brings them dread. I’m even more glad that I don’t have to be giving my daughter in marriage anytime soon!
Another cool warrior. I love the fan. This was one of two fans that were displayed. They had significance during a battle…and of course I didn’t write that information down either!
Each display was unique. I’m sure they were scary…intimidating…but I found them amusing.
The one thing that Bear loved. Painted shells. Guess what she wants to do this week?
We loved the scrolls. They are such a beautiful work of art. I think we will follow up the trip this week with our own art scrolls!
I wanted to have “THE” picture. You know the one that is perfect for a cover page…Christmas card…blog post. Yea, that picture. And as you can see…the kids are beyond posing for mom’s camera. I just get the eye rolls…and silliness…and well, you can see it just didn’t work out. I gave up after 4 shots.
About the Exhibit
Travel back in time and discover remarkable objects that illuminate the life, culture, and pageantry of the samurai, the revered and feared warriors of Japan—from one of the finest and most comprehensive collections in the world. Samurai! Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection presents a treasure trove of battle gear made for high-ranking warriors and daimyo (provincial governors) of the 14th through 19th centuries. The exhibition illustrates the evolution of the distinctive appearance and function of samurai equipment through the centuries and examines their history.
The exhibit opened on October 5, 2013 and runs until January 12, 2014. The cost is $20 for adults, children 17 and under are FREE! This includes general admission to the museum.
When planning a visit, plan for at least 4-6 hours including the exhibit. The Museum consists of two buildings with 3-4 levels each providing 112,000 square feet of art! Founded in 1892, it is the 7th largest museum in the United States! Art from ancient to modern times are available including a distinctive collection of Native American art, English silver and graphic art.
The museum is located at 1219 SW Park Avenue in Portland, Oregon. Visit http://www.portlandartmuseum.org/home for more information.