Sunday, April 16, 2023

Archaeological Masks

 The mask section grew large and has this new subsection: the Archaeological Masks. This distinguishes them from modern and late European masks.  Here's a few of my favorites:

The concept of modern theater was largely developed in the Golden Age of Greece. I think the mask below dates from that era.  From reading Teaching History with 100 Objects, I think this might be a statue made 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 mask is not a toy and he's clearly not fooling around.

And he's not alone in the world. Here's the back showing that there's a mob of these fellows.

This gorgeous mask is from the Beijing Opera.

 And here is the back of the Beijing Opera Joker.

And here are the ensemble photos of joker masks. As usual, I've done my best to assemble coherent groups on a page given the constraints of the page size and materials that I have to work with.

There are also the two headed mask jokers which are listed in the two headed section (which I usually call Topsy Turvy jokers are full duplex).
Another subsection (this one!) is the Archaeological masks
Here is the main current article on masked and theatric jokers.

This article replaces the 2018 article about jokers and theatrical joker cards. (it did include a  video).

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Thanks for your input and for reading and thinking about jokers.