Moon Masque

Media - 2006.24.5 - SAAM-2006.24.5_1 - 67164
Copied Loïs Mailou Jones, Moon Masque, 1971, oil and collage on canvas, 4130 18 in. (104.176.4 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of the artist, 2006.24.5

Artwork Details

Moon Masque
Not on view
4130 18 in. (104.176.4 cm)
Credit Line
Bequest of the artist
Mediums Description
oil and collage on canvas
  • Landscape — celestial — moon
  • Dress — costume — mask
  • Abstract
Object Number

Artwork Description

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


Media - 1995.22.1 - SAAM-1995.22.1_1 - 65784
African American Art in the 20th Century
January 18, 2019January 18, 2019
The Smithsonian American Art Museum is home to one of the most significant collections of African American art in the world. Highlights from this collection are traveling to several cities across the United States in the exhibition African American Art in the 20th Century.