Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pattern + Armor

The use of pattern to add visual movement and symbolic meaning to objects is readily seen in body armor.  Meant to protect the body in battle, from natural elements or the supernatural, world cultures have long created armor for the body.

Check out the role of pattern and color in the collection of armor below, photographed at the Met.

  • What does the piece of armor protect the wearer from?  
  • Where is patterned applied?  
  • How does the pattern change the formal elements of the armor?  
  • How does the pattern change the meaning of the armor?  
  • What pattern structures do you notice; point groups, line groups, plane groups?


Horse Armor/ German

Armor Detail/ German

Armor/ English

Armor/ English

Shield/German

Hand Armor/ German

Armor/ Japan

Sword and Sheath/ Yoruba

Parka/ Eskimo

Body Costume/ Pacific Northwest

Crown and Ear Flares/ Peru

Nose Ornament/ Columbia

Mask/ Kenyah

Mask/ Bwa

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