Knights in Armor brings weapons, helmets, amazing artistry to Fernbank

Venture back in time to the medieval and Renaissance periods — a time where knights reigned, battles were fought with swords, and artisans across Europe created stunning helmets and armor.

That’s the setting for the newest exhibit at Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Knights in Armor.

“(The exhibit) is coming to us from a museum in Florence, Italy, called the Museo Stibbert,” Fernbank’s Vice President of Programming and Collections, Bobbi Hohmann, told WSBTV.com’s Nelson Hicks. “They are renowned for their collection of armor and weaponry. So, we are excited to be the first to host the exhibit here in the Southeast.”

The items on display aren’t some kind of fancy re-creation. It’s the real deal, including some of the actual items knights as far back as the 1500s actually wore.

Knights in Armor tells the tale of the European knight from the medieval and Renaissance periods through the Medieval Revival of the 19th century. The exhibit includes items from jousts, a crossbow, shields and weapons of all shapes and sizes.

“I think there’s something about the good and evil, and chivalry and code of honor,” Hohmann said. “Some people are just drawn to that. That’s what the knights represented.”

But visitors will see more than just armor and weapons on a visit. Incredible artistry, detail and design are on display, too.

“Some of the helmets have just amazing etchings, which is using an acid to create a design on the surface or embossing which is where you create a raised surface in the metal,” Hohmann said. “These designs have mythical creatures in them life a griffin or a serpent. They also have Roman legends.”

That level of artistry carries into the exhibit’s final collection.

“There’s also this kind of fascination in the 1800s with reconstructing and re-creating very famous pieces of armor from the past,” Hohmann said. “The founder of the Stibbert Museum loved this and had commissioned some pieces. So we have some unbelievably beautiful shields and a weapon that he had made.”

Knights in Armor is on display now through May at Fernbank. The museum offers plenty of programming around the exhibit, so visit Fernbank’s website for more fun on a visit.

This story is sponsored by Fernbank Museum of Natural History.