Want a closer look? Here's a few shots followed by a summary of the currently 18 masked jokers.
This mischievous joker is clearly having fun but up to no good. I imagine we could be good friends.
The concept of modern theater was largely developed in the Golden Age of Greece. I think this mask dates from then. From reading Teaching History with 100 Objects, I think this might be a statue of a Greek theatric mask (the originals were not made of clay and didn't last. And I quote:
With its exaggerated, grotesque features, this terracotta model shows the mask worn by the old man character in many comedies of the 300s BC and later. He has a wide grin, furrowed brow and bald head and wears a wreath with ivy leaves and clusters of berries. The masks worn in tragedies were different, with idealised features set in calm, serious, or sometimes pained expressions.
This gorgeous mask is from the Beijing Opera.
This lovely lady is a tricky one. I'm talking about how I'm supposed to think about her. Should I think of her as a juggler? There is a juggler joker section but it is large and a little impersonal. She's also scantily dressed and could be sent to the girlie joker section of the collection. But she is in the mask section not only because this is an elite section and I'm partial to her but also because she is both wearing a mask and juggling masks which earns her this spot in the mask and theatrical section. She's certainly theatrical with her spotlight creating a shadow which reveals her inner animal, her daemon, her totem.
Two closeups of interesting backs of masked jokers.