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In the 1920s the Metropolitan began to explore filmmaking as part of its educational program, and in 1924 it released two films about arms and armor. In preparation for this new undertaking, Bashford Dean, the head of the Arms and Armor department, sought the advice of Hollywood professionals D. W. Griffith and John Barrymore. Once the scripts were complete, Dean left most of the actual work to his young assistant curators, Stephen V. Grancsay and Thomas T. Hoopes, who also appear in the films. A Visit to the Armor Galleries was especially popular and includes memorable scenes: a Gothic armor steps out of its vitrine to answer visitors' questions about the collection, a seesaw with a small child on one end and a medieval mail shirt on the other demonstrates the relatively modest weight of armor, and a fully armored knight on horseback gallops through Central Park, with Belvedere Castle (the park's weather station) rising picturesquely in the background. When actor Douglas Fairbanks Sr. viewed the film at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, he pronounced it "bully."
Dressing in Steel: Part One
(00:37:39) 675 views
Dressing in Steel: Part Two
(00:20:04) 269 views
A Visit to the Armor Galleries
(00:30:21) 4354 views
Bashford Dean and the Creation of the Arms and Armor Department, 1904–1929
(00:30:12) 226 views
The Art of Arms and Armor: Challenges of Research, Display, and Education
(00:33:09) 320 views
Curators, Collectors, and Dealers: The Growth of the Arms and Armor Collection, 1929 to the Present
(00:36:37) 207 views
Burgonet with Falling Buffe
Reinforce for a helmet (gupfe)
Burgonet with Buffe
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This artwork is currently on display in Gallery 374
This is an excellent example of a French heavy cavalry helmet of the mid-sixteenth century. Its elaborate decoration includes the monogram of Claude Gouffier (1501–1570), Master of the Horse (Grand Écuyer) for Henry II and Charles IX. This monogram is also on a knee piece from the armor of Gouffier's in the Metropolitan Museum's collection (acc. no. 1994.390).
Inscription: Inscribed around the ocularium and gorget: SPES MEA DAT VIRES NON TIMEBO QUONIAM (because hope gives me strength I do not fear).
Ex. coll.: Le Sueur (Paris, 1840, Lot 1250); Sommesson (Paris, 1848, Lot 216); anonymous (Paris, April 14–15, 1864, Lot 111); Basilewsky (Paris, 1869. The helmet does not seem to be included in sale catalogue); William H. Riggs.
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