The World Mask Gallery
Primarily focusses on Korean and other Asian masks, but also has galleries of masks from Africa, Latin America, New Zealand, and New Guinea.
An extensive resource for mask enthusiasts.
History of Commedia
History of Carnevale
Web reprint of the Encyclopaedia Britannica article on masks.
Article on masks fron "Lore" magazine.
Behind the Mask
Eric Bornstein's essays on masks.
Masks in Magic
Article by Gordon MacLellan for "White Dragon" magazine
Website of the famous magician of the masks.
Other Mask Makers:
Some maskmaker websites don't link to other maskmakers at all, but personally, I'm not hung up about competition, and I think good work deserves to be seen. This list is not comprehensive by any means, just a listing of other maskmakers whose work I admire for one reason or another.
(The images which accompany these links, of course, remain the copyrighted property of the individual artists linked to.)
Cheryl "Ryl" Mandus makes some of the finest (and a few of the most elaborate) sculpted leather masks I've ever seen. Her website is large and complex, but well worth exploring thoroughly to appreciate the extent of her outstanding artistry.
I first saw Jorge Anon's beautiful leather masks in the book Sacred Mask, Sacred Dance by Clifton & Jones. This marvelous artist's creations never cease to amaze and mystify. Originally from Uraguay, Sr. Anon has an acute sense of the mask's connection to the sacred.
Okay, I admit to some prejudice here, as Erika is a personal friend and a former student who started out with the advantage of having been an extremely accomplished artist before ever approaching maskmaking. Over the last few years, she has brought her art to maskmaking, and maskmaking to art, creating a body of work which moves almost seamlessly from painting to maskmaking, costuming, body painting, sculpture and masks.
Little Shop of Fantasy
Mike Stark was truly one of the greats of modern American maskmaking. Not only did he create amazing feathered masks himself, but he inspired and mentored many other artists, and was a walking encyclopedia of masks and maskmakers. I am sorry to say I only got to visit with Mike once before he shuffled off this mortal coil a few years back, but I'm glad I at least had the chance to meet this amazing man before he passed. Today, Ann & Laura Guccione maintain Mike's store, The Little Shop of Fantasy, in New Orleans.
Judith Rauchfuss creates fantastical masks and wearable art in buckram and fabric.
My former partner Lauren Raine focuses today on Goddess Masks and Ritual Theatre.
La Venexiana Atelier
Traditional and contemporary mache masks by Venetian master maskmaker Gianfranco Lojacono.
Though he can sometimes display a dark side, Larry's masks usually have a whimsical or humorous style to them.
MASKS: Faces of Culture
by Cara McCarthy & John W. Nunley. Extensive scholarly study, as well as an impressive coffee table art book, covering masks in all sorts of countries and cultures. Well worth the rather hefty price tag.
The Way of the Masks
by Claude Levi-Strauss. Extensive scholarly study of Swaihwe tribal masks.
Masks of the World
y Joseph Gregor. From Dover publications, essentially an inexpensive picture book, but worth a look.
Masks and the Art of Expression
by John Mack. Another survey of masks through several continents and cultures.
Sacred Mask, Sacred Dance
by Clifton & Jones. Practical guide to shamanic & ritual use of masks.
There are hundreds of films which have "mask" in the title, and probably thousands where characters wear masks. I'll restrict myself here to films which are, in some sense, actually about masks, or the use of masks. Which makes for a pretty short list...
Bian Lian (King of Masks)
Zhigang Zhang, Zhigang Zhao, Directed by Tian-Ming Wu. In the China of the 1930s, Wang Bianlian is an aging street performer, master of the dying art of Sichuan Mask Change, who has for many years sought an apprentice to whom he can pass on his art and his act. When he buys a young boy from a slave trader pretending to be the boy's father, he will find his new apprentice to be much more, and much less, than he bargained for. Uneven and flawed, but moving performances, well worth seeing.
Jim Carrey, Cameron Diaz, Directed by Charles Russell. Yeah, it's a wacky comedy, but how could I not list this one? It's one of the few movies which deals at all with the transformative power of masks. One of Jim Carrey's best. Also one of the few films based on a graphic novel which was actually an improvement on the original. (Not sure if we'll be able to say the same for the sequel...)
Stephanie Leonidas, Gina McKee, Stephen Fry, Directed by Dave McKean Helena wanders through the Dark Lands, searching for the power object known as the Mirror Mask... Hey, Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean make a movie together, how could I not list this one, even though so far, I've only seen the trailer?
Bill Pullman, Ben Stiller, Directed by Jake Kasdan. Daryl Zero wears metaphorical masks with everyone in the world except his partner, Steve Arlo. Okay, so it's not literally about masks, but an entertaining study of a man whose entire life revolves around a series of roles and impersonations.
My other career - graphic design & illustration; posters, book covers, Flash animation & web design.
My graphic story series about Brick, the Urban Shaman, and his irascable animal allies, the crows.
Fine art website of my long time friend & collaborator, Gregory A. Gallo.