The blog & Ask the Mask Man are the popular Mystery Mask blog where people get help with identifying a strange mask they acquired… for free. It is also an opportunity for mask collectors to exchange ideas and help beginners.
The Founder of Masks of the World
The Original Mask Man is Bob Ibold. Bob has now Retired from Masks of the World.
In 2002, Bob held a show at the Lancaster Museum of Art, “Masks from Around the World”. The show was such a success that Bob decided to start MasksoftheWorld.com. Since then the website has grown considerably and now consists of the following.
Bob started collecting masks in the 1980’s. As a person who loved painting and sculpture, his attraction to masks was purely aesthetic at first. He saw them as wonderful examples of art. After his collection grew, he became more interested in how they were used, what they represented, their history, and other stories that surround them.
Troy Yohn – Curator
I find that I am drawn to the interesting and unique – whether that be people or artifacts. This allure has driven me to explore Inca ruins, dig for emeralds, and journey to the Everest base camp. When the opportunity arose to visit Bob, The Mask Man”, there was no way I could turn it down.
I have always had an enthusiasm for ethnographic items from around the world, but my passion intensified when I first walked into Bob’s house – which felt more like a museum dedicated to masks, books, and other artifacts from across various continents. Not long after our first meeting we joined forces to work on masksoftheworld.com and subsequently began collaborating on a book titled “Masks of the World”.
While researching content for the book I not only got to meet experts like Robert Ibold and Bryan Stevens, but I also got to see the collections of artifacts that they have dedicated a lot of their time accumulating. Seeing their collections made me think that it would be great if there was a place where people could go to easily learn, share, and enjoy ethnography within a community of both experts and non-experts.