• Misc

    Masks as art

    This wonderful clay mask was done by my friend, Scott Paden, when he was an art student. (Today, many years later, he is Director of Preservation for OLBN, an architectural firm with offices in DC, New York and Beijing.)  725 Masks are a combination of sculpture and painting. Art teachers know that and will often assign masks as a class project that integrates social studies, literature, history and religion, and introduces the students to new materials such as papier mache, plaster, clay, metal, wood, etc. It can be a delight to see the results of these student efforts.

  • Unknown

    Heavy Metal Mystery

    Q:  I recently purchased this copper mask online and was wondering what your thoughts regarding country of origin might be. It’s very well made and could easily be worn by an adult, though it’s fairly heavy. It’s similar in construction to the tin Bolivian masks I own, but not quite the same stylistically. Possibly Mexican or Peruvian? I’m hoping one of your dedicated followers may have some insight. Thanks, Dan, 724 A:  That’s a hum dinger of a mask!

  • Europe

    Interesting Sardinian mask

    Q: This unusual mask was a total mystery when I bought it, but now I would like to share it with you and your visitors. I got it for some 70 usd at a thrift shop. It had a tag with a telephone number and said ‘Bottega Artigiana per lo studio delle arti popolari’, and there is a logo branded in the inside. It was made by Gian Pietro Angelo in the town of Macomer on the island of Sardinia, Italy. I guess it is of Mediterranean pine tree, and has a bright red water color with dark varnish, which gives the mask an incredibly gloomy red color.

  • Bali & Java

    Javanese masks

    Q: I have two similar, but different  red Topeng masks that look to be authentic, used, ethnographic items. Are they the same character? It seems as if they might be, but if so, why the differences? Is it due to their disparities in age or from the original locations? Thanks, Nate, 722 A: The Mystery Mask blog is restricted to one mask per person, but I will make an exception with these two.