Three Dimensional Masks (Assignments #21-23)


Explore how artists around the world express their spiritual beliefs in masks used for rituals and celebrations in Masks of the World View this PowerPoint presentation first. There are masks from across the world so you will see a good overview of their great diversity across time and place.

After your research, you will experiment with paper mache modeling, then create a mask following an artistic tradition and expressing ideas for rituals and celebrations.

Here are links to web resource for more research and inspiration about masks.

  1. Changing Face: Masks from the British Museum Through the ten masks featured in this web exhibit, you'll learn how they were used for amusement, deception or protection - masks transform the wearer by providing a new appearance. The art works include masks worn by the living; masks worn by the dead in order to render them divine; masks that were used for entertainment and others that played a fundamental role in ritual. There is a mask that gave animal-like qualities to human beings and another which gave human qualities to vegetables. The death mask was never meant to be worn at all. Take this fascinating tour.

  2. National African Art Museum This links you directly to the art collection of the museum. You can search for art by country, theme, materials, or style. There is also information on how the artworks were used, the use of imagery, and comtemporary artworks.

  3. Tradition in Yoruba Art This web exhibit from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City concentrates on Yoruba sculpture. You can learn about the artistic processes used to create the art and the rituals where they were used. There are video clips showing actual ceremonies. Have fun exploring.

  4. The African Galleries The Sainbury African Galleries at the British Museum display a selection of objects that aims to highlight the extraordinary diversity - cultural, geographical, ethnic and artistic - of Africa and its immense impact on the rest of the world. This web gallery has 22 masterpieces - ceramics, textiles, masks and sculpture - for you to enjoy. The first art works were created in the last 20 years.


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