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Masks: The Art of Expression [Paperback]

John Mack
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Hardcover --  
Paperback £17.73  
Paperback, 8 July 1996 --  
There is a newer edition of this item:
Masks: The Art of Expression Masks: The Art of Expression 4.5 out of 5 stars (2)
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Book Description

8 July 1996
Beautiful, elaborate, fierce, grotesque or elegant, masks are extraordinary objects that demonstrate the creative skills and aesthetics of many different periods and cultures. Masks are a nearly universal phenomenon, but their uses and meanings are strikingly different across cultures. In ritual and religious use, as today in Africa or Oceania, mask-wearers may be thought to be possessed by or even become a spirit or a god. In ancient Egypt, funerary masks were intended to equip the dead with divine powers and attributes, while the masks used in Japanese Noh plays or in ancient Greek drama helped to portray character. In this new edition of a classic book, eight leading experts explore the stories of masks across ancient and modern civilizations in a fascinating survey of their meaning and power.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: British Museum Press; New edition edition (8 July 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071412530X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714125305
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 22 x 27.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 134,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By C. Lee
This book was very easy to read. The first section contains a part about the terminology of masks. The book contains sections describing masks in 8 different areas of the world and it describes the masks themselves, how they are made and what they are made from as well as giving details of the traditions, for example rituals, associated with the masks. There were rarely 2 pages without a photo. Photos are striking and clear against a plain background. My only criticism is that some of the photos are not located correctly / ideally within the text, for example in the text it said figure 56 was said to be located to the right but it was actually back on the previous page. I read every word from cover to cover but for someone just flicking through perhaps and spotting a photo / figure they'd like to read more about in the main text, it is hard to locate the main text associated with the photos / figures, although explanatory text under the photos/ figures themselves was good.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was recommended to me by Jonni Good (in her own 'How to' style mask 'hobby project' book).

Masks: The Art of Expression is a great book with a couple of hundred full colour photos and illustrations of masks, spanning the entire globe, from ancient to modern times. In my opinion, the text is not that well laid out, and not particularly scholarly- it's an endless narrative that winds around the photos, without section headings, so if you want info on a particular type of mask, you'll have to dig in and hunt for it!
That minor quibble apart, there is lots to enjoy in this book, and interesting photos of mask makers workshops too. The book encompasses a wide variety of different styles and cultures,and the photos are good and clear, on quality paper, so it is a handy visual reference with a broad appeal. If you can't find a new one, it's worth getting a second hand copy. Recommended!
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