Many Faces: Masks from Many Times and Many Places

April 8, 2009-November 30, 2009

Location: Beningson Gallery, Ruth Youth Wing

Curator: Efrat Nathan

Wearing a mask means assuming a different identity, thus masks are an important element in both cultic traditions and the world of the artist. Most of the masks displayed here were used for ceremonial purposes in cultures across the globe, and were believed to have magical properties. Some played a key role in coming-of-age rites; others were used in burial rituals. Still others were worn in ceremonies marking the changing of seasons, notably the birth of spring (the festive origins of present-day carnival traditions), while the springtime Jewish holiday of Purim is celebrated with masks and disguises. This interdisciplinary exhibition presents exquisite examples from a wide range of Israel Museum collections, from prehistoric archaeology to contemporary art, enriched by pictures and films showing traditional masks in active use. The exhibit is curated by Efrat Natan