Spectacular Samurai

Crow Collection of Asian Art undergoes facelift to show off impressive new acquisition

Crow Collection undergoes facelift to show off impressive acquisition

Crow Collection of Asian Art Samurai armor
This suit of Samurai armor is the centerpiece of "Fierce Loyalty: A Samurai Complete," a new permanent exhibition opening October 25 at Crow Collection of Asian Art. Photo courtesy of Crow Collection of Asian Art
Rendering of new entrance to the Crow Collection of Asian Art
The new entrance to the Crow Collection will face Flora Street. Photo courtesy of Crow Collection of Asian Art
Crow Collection of Asian Art Samurai armor
Rendering of new entrance to the Crow Collection of Asian Art

The Crow Collection of Asian Art in downtown Dallas is about to reopen its ground-floor galleries, which had some work done to properly showcase a spectacular new acquisition that serves as the centerpiece of a new permanent exhibition.

“Fierce Loyalty: A Samurai Complete” opens Saturday, October 25, in the new Samurai Gallery, located approximately where the old lobby used to be, which was designed specifically for this installation. Another exhibition, “Mary Baskett Collection of Japanese Fashion,” opens the same day.

“Fierce Loyalty” was coordinated around the acquisition of an Edo period (1603-1868) suit of Samurai armor. The armor dates back to the 1700s when it was made for Abe Masayoshi, a powerful landowner of Bingo province in the Hiroshima Prefecture.

The armor, in pristine condition, features a traditional hoshi kabuto, or Japanese helmet. The highly detailed piece has impressed experts around the world, including Gregory Irvine, the senior curator in the Asian department of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

“Such an example of armor has never to my knowledge been offered before,” Irvine said in a statement.

An exploration of a much different time, “Mary Baskett Collection of Japanese Fashion” looks at the fashion revolution of the 1980s, with items by top Japanese designers Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo. The three designers used asymmetry, unconventional construction, raw edges, oversized proportions and monochromatic palettes to redefine the Western concept of “chic.” It will be on display through February 22, 2015.

Other construction improvements at the Crow include a new entrance facing Flora Street, directly behind Liu Yonggang’s 18-foot-tall red steel Buddha; new lobby space; expansion of the Garden Gallery; enhanced stairs to the upper galleries; and reoriented bathrooms.

Friends of the Crow Collection get to see the new layout and exhibitions first, at an exclusive members’ preview reception on Thursday, October 23, two days before general public opening.