Behind the Scenes, Education, J. Paul Getty Museum

Everything You Wanted to Know about Medieval Arms and Armor

Meet master blacksmith Tony Swatton and learn how arms and armor were made in the Middle Ages at these free, drop-in events

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Tony Swatton has been forging armor, swords, helmets, and shields for 30 years. If you’ve seen an action movie or music video with a cool-looking dagger or suit of gleaming metal—whether Batman or Katy Perry—chances are it came from his Burbank armory.

And now, at free demos inspired by the exhibition Chivalry in the Middle Ages, Tony is turning the Getty Center courtyard into a mini blacksmith’s shop complete with armor, chain mail, and battle helmets. And yes, you get to try them on! There’s no blast forge—you can watch his Man of Arms videos for that—but Tony will show how a blacksmith tames steel the old-fashioned way to make tools of the trade for the working knight (or Hollywood stuntman).

As with all our Artist at Work programs, this is a drop-in, please-touch program with plenty of time for questions. So if you ever wanted to know what it really takes to be a knight in shining armor, drop by and meet Tony.

Here’s the full schedule:

Artist at Work: Arms and Armor
Sundays, 1–3 pm
August 3, 10, 24, and 31
October 19 and 26
November 2

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See more photos from Tony’s demos on Flickr.

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      Clocking in at a giant 400 square feet, this tapestry, Triumph of Bacchus, teems with tiny details and hidden narratives.

      Here are just three:

      • At bottom center, Bacchus poses on the world’s largest wine fountain.
      • To the left, a sad, Eeyore-like donkey waits for satyrs and men to unload grapes from his back.
      • To the right, a rowdy monkey rides a camel that carries wooden barrels—presumably to be filled with wine.

      The tapestry is one of the highlights of the exhibition Woven Gold: Tapestries of Louis XIV. (L.A. folks: final weekend!)

      More on The Iris: A Tour of the Triumph of Bacchus

      Triumph of Bacchus (overall view and details), about 1560, design by Giovanni da Udine under the supervision of Raphael; woven at the workshop of Frans Geubels, Brussels. Wool, silk, and gilt metal-wrapped thread. Courtesy of Le Mobilier National. Image © Le Mobilier National. Photo by Lawrence Perquis

      04/29/16

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