A Chance to Visit Another Face of Mexico Mask Museum
By Barbara Erickson
Another Face of Mexico Mask Museum and Gallery, with over 600 ceremonial masks, will open to the public October 30 and 31 from 1:30 to 5pm. Jacobo Mendoza and Blanca Gómez, Oaxacan folk artists, will exhibit and sell their works and give talks about traditional Oaxacan altars. The altar talks, with translation, will take place at 2:30 and 4pm.
Another Face of Mexico Mask Museum and
Gallery Opens to the Public
Featuring 600 post-Colonial masks
Two unique Oaxacan altars constructed for this event
Fri, Oct 30, and Sat, Oct 31, 1:30-5pm
Cuesta de San José 32
Usually open by appointment only, Casa de la Cuesta’s Another Face of Mexico Museum, recently featured in The New York Times (“36 Hours in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico”), will be open on both afternoons. The museum showcases more than 600 handmade, post-Conquest ceremonial masks from remote villages across the country. Collector Bill Levasseur, who travels several times a year to ceremonies that go back hundreds of years, only purchases masks that have been used in dances or rituals and is making them living pieces of history as well as works of art. The museum has photographs and video showing their use in performance.
Masks employed in contemporary folk life in Mexico are made and used by humble folk in villages, particularly rural indigenous villages throughout Mexico, where they are part of the ceremonial, spiritual, and supernatural life of the community. Ingeniously elaborated with both traditional and surprisingly modern materials, they are regarded with admiration and delight by collectors around the world. One does not need to be a collector to enjoy the excellent curation and fantastical array of 600 of the finest masks that Levasseur has painstakingly collected and displayed.
Levasseur maintains a small showroom where he sells masks for which he no longer has exhibition space. It is free, although a donation to the children’s charity Casa de Los Ángeles is appreciated.
Another Face of Mexico is also proud to host two Oaxacan friends for the exhibit. Jacobo Mendoza is a renowned Oaxacan rug weaver from Teotitlán del Valle, internationally known for his work with natural dyes and fine wools and recipient of many awards. Blanca Gómez hails from a long line of Oaxacan wood carvers and will exhibit and show her fanciful folk art. Gómez and Mendoza are constructing Oaxacan altars, which they will explain at 1:30 and 4pm (translated). All the events are free to attend.