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Moon Masque

1971 Loïs Mailou Jones Born: Boston, Massachusetts 1905 Died: Washington, District of Columbia 1998 oil and collage on canvas 41 x 30 1/8 in. (104.1 x 76.4 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Bequest of the artist 2006.24.5 Not currently on view

Exhibition Label

At the center of Moon Masque is a papier-mâché replica of a heart-shaped white Kwele mask from Zaire surrounded by masklike profiles and designs drawn from Ethiopian textiles. Though stylized, the faces resemble actual individuals whose profiles are juxtaposed with tears falling from the eyes of the mask. It is tempting to speculate that the mask, representing heritage and tradition, weeps for the situation of contemporary African peoples.

African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, 2012



Dress - costume - mask

Ethnic - African

Landscape - celestial - moon

painting - mixed media

paint - oil

fabric - canvas