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Frist Art Museum Presents KNIGHTS IN ARMOR

The Frist Art Museum presents Knights in Armor, an exhibition of remarkable Renaissance arms and armor from the world-renowned collection of the Museo Stibbert.

Frist Art Museum Presents KNIGHTS IN ARMOR

The Frist Art Museum presents Knights in Armor, an exhibition of remarkable Renaissance arms and armor from the world-renowned collection of the Museo Stibbert in Florence, Italy. Organized by Contemporanea Progetti in collaboration with the Museo Stibbert, the exhibition will be on view in the Frist's Upper-Level Galleries from July 1 through October 9, 2022.

With more than one hundred engaging objects-including full suits of armor, mounted equestrian figures, helmets, swords, and paintings-Knights in Armor tells the fascinating tale of the European knight. While describing the historical and functional contexts of Renaissance arms and armor, the exhibition simultaneously highlights the undeniable beauty and artistic appeal of these works.

Knights were mounted soldiers who fought in battles, jousts, and tournaments, and required special cladding to cover their bodies from head to toe. "In the Middle Ages, knights wore mail, armor made of a mesh of interlocking rings. This exhibition, however, focuses on a later chapter in their history when, just before 1500, they transitioned almost completely to wearing plate armor, which provided superior protection," says Frist Art Museum senior curator Trinita Kennedy. "Wearable sculpture and fashionable dress as well as defensive protection, plate armor was produced in sophisticated shapes and enhanced with etched and embossed ornament and inscriptions. Horses were elegantly outfitted with their own armor, known as a bard." Weapons are a major focal point of the exhibition, with a strong emphasis on the wide variety of sword styles favored by knights, as well as other types of arms such as crossbows, maces, and polearms.

For guests coming to see this exhibition with families and school groups, the Frist has developed a special companion tour that leads them along the path to knighthood through the perspective of a young fictional knight named Marco. In the Frist's interactive Martin ArtQuest Gallery, guests of all ages can look forward to new art-making activities, including designing shields, creating armor for model horses, drawing a knight, animating mythical creatures, building block castles, and much more.



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