The Jousting Life

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Vintage Video: "A Visit to the Armor Galleries"

This is a wonderful black & white silent film created by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the 1920's that examines various types of armour that were on display in the museum at that time. In the first part of the film, a suit of Gothic plate armour 'comes alive', leaves its display case and demonstrates various aspects of the armour. The second part of the film examines several later period armours, including jousting armour.

"A Visit to the Armor Galleries"(video by the Metropolitan Museum)
"In the 1920s the Metropolitan began to explore film-making 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.... When actor Douglas Fairbanks Sr. viewed the film at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, he pronounced it 'bully.'" -- from the YouTube description

In a more modern video created in 2012, Dirk H. Breiding, Assistant Curator of the Arms and Armor Department of the Met, uses excerpts from the 1920's film to discuss the challenges faced in displaying weapons and armor that were rarely intended to be viewed as a static display in a museum.

The Art of Arms and Armor: Challenges of Research, Display and Education
(video by the Metropolitan Museum)

For those who watched the videos of the Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel, there will be some familiar footage at apx the 14 minute mark that Ben van Koert of Kaos Historical Media graciously allowed the Met to use.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art YouTube channel includes quite a few other videos that might also be of interest to anyone involved in jousting.

Related articles:

Video -- How to Mount a Horse in Armour and Other Chivalric Problems

Creating the Tools to Make Armour

Great Collection of Pictures of European Armour From the 12th to the 17th Century

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