From Library Journal
Companion to an exhibition currently at the Saint Louis Art Museum, this volume is exactly what it claims to be: a survey of the phenomenon of masks. On the surface, this may seem to be a simple undertaking, but it is notAmask-making is a deeply human endeavor fraught with meanings. Starting with prehistory and extending to the present age, this book thoroughly examines the many reasons for making and wearing masks. Rites of passage, warfare, and drama are all addressed, from the earliest known examples in Egypt, Australia, and Mesoamerica to football helmets and Star Wars characters in the present day. Six fascinating essays, including contributions by John Emigh (theater, Brown Univ.) and Lesley Ferris (theater, Ohio State Univ.), are interconnected by stunning illustrations. This is definitely the book for anyone wishing to sample the subject. Highly recommended.ASusan M. Olcott, Columbus, OH
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Publisher
From Paleolithic times to the present, people have used masks to add power and mystery to religious rituals, warfare, and entertainment. This lavishly illustrated book, the companion volume to an exhibition opening at The Saint Louis Art Museum, provides a stunning and comprehensive cultural history of these universal human artifacts. Transporting readers across centuries and continents, the authors compare and contrast the use of masks in initiation rites and Mardi Gras, Greek tragedy and commedia dell'arte, warfare and football. The 200 colorplates, illustrating such fas cinating examples as African ceremonial masks, the Apollo 15 space helmet, and an Egyptian death mask, make this landmark study as visually spectacular as it is thought-provoking. 372 illustrations, 200 in full color 911/2 x 1133/4"John W. Nunley is Morton D. May Curator of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at The Saint Louis Art Museum. Cara Mccarty is Grace L. Brumbaugh and Richard E. Brumbaugh Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at The Saint Louis Art Museum. John Emigh is professor of theater at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. Lesley K. Ferris is professor of theater at Ohio State University.