Masks we don’t see often

Q:  I’m trying to find out who made a particular mask. It was a cubist mask featured in Eyes Wide Shut, and I recently found a nearly identical mask linked from your site on Pinterest (though the link on your site is now dead). The image of the mask from Eyes Wide Shut is attached below.  David, 1438

A:  This mask can be found on page 107 of Masks of the World by Ibold and Yohn. It was purchased from a costume shop in France or Italy about 20 years ago. It is 10 inches high and made of very strong papier mache so it can be worn many times. It could be a copy of an actual Picasso, or an original design inspired by the master. Needless to say, it is pure Cubism.

The second mask is papier mache also, and was used in Stanley Kubric’s film, Eyes Wide Shut. There were others worn by the cast, most of them modeled after various carnival masks from Venice. Very artistic masks are still being made by hand in Europe today. The mask-makers often sign them on the back. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you who made either of these.

Many masks collected today (This includes those on our website.) are from indigenous cultures all over the world. Modern countries also create interesting masks for Halloween, parties, parades, carnivals and other celebrations. And let us not forget those made for protection, which are often designed for additional purposes. That’s a subject we can explore on another post.













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