Mexican Masks, Museum Exhibition in San Francisco

mask from the Mexican Museum in San Francisco
mask from the Mexican Museum in San Francisco
mask from the Mexican Museum in San Francisco

Over the next several months in San Francisco, the Mexican Museum will hold an exhibition titled Mexican Masks as part of their Museo sin Muros (Museum without Walls) project.

Currated by Juan Coronel Rivera, grandson of Diego Rivera, the exhibition will take place in the office of the Consulate General of Mexico in San Francisco, and will showcase over fifty masks from the museum's permanent collection.

On the American continent during the Pre-Columbian era, masks acted as a sort of spiritualistic relic. Among the Mesoamerican cultures, masks played a metaphysical function. They represented the Gods and divine creation, and demonstrated wealth, social, and ceremonial status, especially when used as funerary objects. The Pre-Cortesian world nourished the mask as object-subject of the hideout, parody, game, and hidden mockery. Today, unfortunately, the original significance of the mask and its meaning has been forgotten in some cases. For some, the masks reconstruct the mere representation of a ritual that returns to their origins. The meaning of the masks might be lost but the reason for their creation continues to endure.

- Mexican Museum

Forged from a variety of materials including wood and leather, the masks come from a variety of Mexican territories showcasing the vast diversity of cultures and artistic styles of expression within the country. The viewer will get a taste for the complexity of Mexican culture, history, and traditions.

Earlier this year the show was exhibited in conjunction with UC Berkeley's Latino Studies department but was located in a space difficult for the public to access. The upcoming exhibition in San Francisco will make it easier for the public to access and view this wonderful collection.

Mexican Masks is one of the many projects the Mexican Museum is currently working on to promote Mexican art in San Francisco as they await for their new space to open near the San Francisco MoMA, in the Yerba Buena Center of the city. The exhibition is part of their Museo sin Muros project, an attempt to reach a larger demographic and allow more accessibility to Mexican art in San Francisco.

These projects are vital in today's political climate.

Mexican Masks (21 August - 11 October)

Office of the Consulate General of Mexico in San Francisco
532 Folsom St, 3rd floor, San Francisco, CA 94105
Opening: Wednesday, 21 August, 6 to 8 pm