Focus your collecting on something special

Q: Your website is a great resource for anyone interested in masking. It actually is the main reason why I began being interested in carving traditional Central Swiss masks. It is also the reason why I began collecting specifically Swiss masks. It taught me a lot of things, most of all also that it is not necessarily useful to collect masks from all over the world. Specializing will yield a much more in-depth and high-quality collection and will make you an expert over time in that area, which is much more fun in the end than having the house filled with any masks you stumble over. Chris, 1724

A: Thanks for writing this. I feel strongly that beginners should focus on a culture that interests them. Don’t try to do what I have done. Years ago I tried buying all kinds of masks from anywhere in the world. Then I started only collecting masks from Mexico, but even that was too big of a challenge. I had 145 Mexican masks, from 17 states, and about 50% were were either decorative or authentic. I may have a nice collection, but I am not an expert.

Now let me brag a little. Troy Yohn an I did manage to publish Masks of the World six years ago. It is the largest mask reference book ever written. Bob Ibold

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