It seems among the world of medieval history enthusiasts as well as serious students of the historical fighting arts, the New York Metropolitan Museum’s temporary exhibition The Last Knight: The Art, Armor, and Ambition of Maximillian I, has become something of a pilgrimage for the devout – at least to judge from the number of friends and colleagues seen on social media posing for “selfies” in front of the 15th century Helmschmid armor that greets visitors to the gallery.
As we learned from our last episode, a conversation with Wallace Collection curator Toby Capwell, this exhibition was more than three years in the making, it includes some 180 items on loan from museums and collections all over the world, and it isn’t hyperbole to say that it represents a level of experience and scholarship that most of us aren’t likely to see again in our lifetimes.
So, as a team of “armor geeks” from Chivalry Today was coordinating an excursion from San Diego to New York to see the gallery, we were delighted to discover that Christian Tobler, a trailblazer in the field of fighting-manual translation and fellow practitioner of the art of the German longsword, was going to be there on the same day. We subsequently made plans to meet Christian at the Met and use the opportunity to spend the day admiring (which is to say “obsessing over”) this extraordinary exhibition together. After a long day of peering through glass at armor and swords, we sat down for coffee and started discussing what we’d seen, and decided that this was a conversation that really needed to be shared with others.
Thus, Christian Tobler, author of books like In Service To The Duke and Fighting With the German Longsword joins host Scott Farrell to talk about their shared experience in the Met’s The Last Knight gallery.
To see images of Scott and Christian touring the gallery and viewing the items discussed in the podcast episode, visit the photo album on the Chivalry Today Facebook Page.