Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mexican Masks at the Mayer....




















Mexican culture has a passion for masks and being masked and so it is hardly surprising that another major exhibition of Mexican masks has opened last week at the Franz Mayer Museum.


















¨Mil y un Rostros de Mexico" displays 520 masks from the collection which belonged to Ruth Deutsch LeChuga who originally arrived with her family in Mexico in 1939 fleeing from Nazi persecution in her native Vienna...



















After her arrival in Mexico, she became extremely interested in the culture of indigenous peoples, and it became her life's work to build up collections of masks, textiles and artesan crafts..





















The masks on display constitute a wide variety from different states and different celebrations and fiestas - all remarkable for their fierce intensity...




















Her travels around the country in the fifties, sixties and seventies have resulted in a pretty comprehensive documentation of all these masks in use in the different fiestas and celebrations, often in remote parts of Mexico. This series of black and white photos are such an important contribution to retaining this history....




















The exhibition continues at the Franz Mayer Museum in the Centro Historico until May 2nd. In the meantime check out what is happening in other parts of the world this week by clicking here for My World Tuesday postings.

12 comments:

Rajesh said...

Fantastic Mexican masks. What a variety.

Owen said...

These really are fabulous Catherine, must have been awesome to see them in their original context, being worn in celebrations and whatever other occasions they served in... excellent...

Paula Scott said...

I LOVE it! Love that 'pig' mask, but that exhibition is something else too.

ya said...

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A Cuban In London said...

I'm speechless. The beauty of this post goes beyond the fantastic photos. It's the text, the history behind it. I'd already heard about Mexican masks, but never thought they were so varied. I would be very keen to find out which other to which cultures these masks belong because it can't be only the Aztecs. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Stine in Ontario said...

I wonder why masks are so much a part of Mexican culture. The variety that you've posted is quite amazing.

Fly Girl said...

Very intriguing. I'd love to see this exhibit.

Sylvia K said...

Incredible collection of masks and your photos are terrific, Catherine! And what a variety!! Amazing! Interesting history of the collections, too! Thanks for sharing this with us! Hope you have a great week!

Sylvia

J Bar said...

Very interesting cultural pieces.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Catherine said...

Hi Cuban - what is fascinatng is that all these masks are used in contemporary celebrations and fiestas today and not only by indigenous peoples but by all Mexicans - I have never seen a countyry where the traditions of the past are so alive in the present...

magiceye said...

wow what an impressive collection

Wendy said...

Absolutely stunning. I love the black and white photos.