Arts & Culture

The Way of the Warrior

Inside The Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum: The Samurai

Rosa Oh
Posted on Aug 6, 2018

Nestled in Uptown, authentic Japanese samurai armor artifacts have found a permanent home in the Harwood District since 2012. The Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum: The Samurai Collection is the result of amassing impressive pieces for more than 25 years.

Background and International Exposure
Swiss-born and raised, Gabriel Barbier-Mueller, a graduate of SMU, is CEO and founder of Harwood International, a global real estate development firm headquartered in Dallas. With an eye for superior work, he comes from a long family lineage of impressive art collectors and has amassed more than 1,000 samurai pieces.

The Samurai Collection, located within Dallas' Harwood District, houses an amazing installation of armors and weapons, with 140 of the objects circulating internationally, even all the way to London!

Fierce and Loyal Collection
The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum: The Samurai Collection is the largest private collection of its kind in the world outside of Japan. The beautifully displayed artifacts are located on the second floor of the historic building of the Saint Ann Restaurant & Bar, and admission is always free.

You can experience a glimpse of history as you enter the museum, with mannequins on horseback dressed in full armor that exudes fierceness with a life-like presence. A part of a powerful Japanese warrior class that upheld honor and loyalty, a samurai's rigorous training began at childhood with swordsmanship, horseback riding and archery, and the collection pays tribute to their craft.

Their current pieces showcase entwined silk and iron armors, as well as a lacquer encrusted carriage that exhibits superior craftsmanship and elegant beauty. This fall, the museum will rotate their collection and take an in-depth focus on the history and meaning of emblems and symbols embedded in the armor and other artifacts.

Events at the Museum
Enjoy free family fun on the first Saturday of every month from 1-3 p.m. Families and children ages four and older can take an interactive, kid-friendly tour of the collection, followed by an art-making activity for kids and parents to do together.

Leisurely sip and explore the private collection at the After-Hours Cocktail Tour on the last Tuesday of every month from 6 to 7 p.m.