The reigns of the English monarchs Elizabeth I (1558-1603), James I (1603-25), and Charles I (1625-49) saw a flowering of medieval chivalric ways. Tournaments were revived, and a fascination with heraldry became widespread. Men--and sometimes women--wished to use a coat of arms (symbols and colors enclosed within the shape of a shield). Even the non-noble, merchants or even playwrights (like Shakespeare), could acquire their own armorial bearings. Professional heralds regulated heraldic practice, trying to ensure that no one bore arms that they were not entitled to. This exhibit celebrates the colorful world of the heralds and their rivals, all competing to profit from the heraldic craze. It is a window into a world of ambitions for success and status to be visibly displayed.
Please note: Sundays, open NOON - 5pm