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We visited the Denver Art Museum’s Samurai Exhibit today, on opening day, and it was a treat! The Art Museum is iconic in Denver, and showcases some of the most amazing works of art you will see. Do not miss this special, limited engagement exhibit while it is in town. Now through June 5, DAM is featuring the Samurai Exhibit.
The Exhibit: The exhibition Samurai: Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection tells the iconic story of Japanese samurai through 140 objects from one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of samurai armor and accoutrements in the world.
Surrounded by murals and war regalia, visitors will be immersed in the life, culture, and pageantry of samurai in the 1100s through the 1800s. Exquisitely decorated suits of armor, helmets, weapons, horse trappings, and additional battle gear will be on display, demonstrating masterful craftsmanship.Samurai will highlight the artistic inspiration for these elaborate suits of armor.
The exhibition is curated in collaboration with the Denver Art Museum and The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum: The Samurai Collection, Dallas. An exhibition catalog, Art of Armor: Samurai Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection, will be available in The Shops and online.
Once you exit through the gift shop, the kids receive a sticker to make a seal. Cross over 14th using the bridge (level 2) where you will arrive at the North Wing and the Samurai-themed kids activity area called the “Just for Fun Family Center.” Parents can relax here and the kids can dress up as Samurai, make hats with their family crest/seal, and practice building sculptures with soft, large, hand-sculpted wooden rocks made by Sam Mobley. In this area, kids can play games, draw, and cut loose. The mural backdrop by artist Jena Siedler transforms you to Japan while you relax and play. We had a blast today at the Denver Art Museum!
Logistics & Information: The exhibit is family-friendly, but I recommend kids ages 5 and up will enjoy this, and not so much the younger kids. The museum provides you an audio guide at the entrance, and there is a separate number series for families versus adults to hear. For the family guide, a “tengu” speaks to you about the pieces and trains you and the kids how to be a Samurai. In folklore, the Tengu is a half bird, half man, and you meet him at the end of your audio tour. The experience was fun for my kids, and they stayed engaged throughout the exhibit. It is quite an extensive collection, and we were very impressed with how well it was displayed, explained, and laid out. The exhibit is handicap accessible, and easy to push wheelchairs and strollers throughout the museum.
Denver Art Museum does a great job with crowd control by doing timed entry for the special exhibit. This ensures everyone enjoys the exhibit without being trampled, or overcrowded. I wish other museums in the area would learn from this and follow suit. It is so pleasant to walk around, read placards and enjoy the exhibit, rather than being shoved and so crowded-in that you cannot see a thing. I absolutely love the Denver Art Museum for this reason, and this exhibit and the entire museum is enjoyable as a result.
You may buy your tickets on site, or online (by time), and it is not included with the general admission, so plan accordingly. Members get a special rate, and there are senior, military and other discounts available. Youth under age 18 are FREE at the Denver Art Museum but there is a $5 fee for them for this exhibit. Photography is permitted in this area, but no FLASH photography is permitted. The audio guides are well worth it!
The Museum is located near Civic Center Park, and there is ample garage open, but on Sundays, street parking is free. Check the events calendar. You can also park at the post office/federal building for $5, and walk a few blocks. There are plenty of private paid lots as well.
Required Disclosure: My family and I attended the Denver Art Museum’s Samurai Exhibit for free in exchange for an honest review and posting information about this special exhibit. The opinions expressed here are my own.
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