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MASKS: The Art of Disguise sparks historical curiosity at AMUM

This weekend, The Art Museum of the University of Memphis (AMUM) will present Masks: The Art of Disguise, an exhibition that presents a selection of face masks curated by Honors Forum students in consultation with their Dr. Leslie Luebbers and the AMUM staff.

“I wanted the students to work with something that was in our collection and think about what masking was really about for a variety of cultures,” said Luebbers. “I also wanted to give them a chance to get behind the scenes of a museum and figure out just what we do.”

This exhibition features masks from Japan, Papua New Guinea, Africa, Mexico. During the Fall 2019 semester, 15 students were tasked with selecting the masks, researching its origins, designing their case layouts, writing the exhibit labels, and organizing their objects and labels into the display case.

The purpose of each of the masks on display varies almost as wildly as each individual design, from the Noh masks typically associated with Japanese performance art to the primal, spiritual masks of West Africa.

Like the masks on display, the student curators behind this exhibition come from a wide variety of different backgrounds.

“We have two students from the ROTC Air Force program, another with a music background, a few engineers, and another student who is working on a novel right now,” said Adriana Dunn, graduate assistant of museum studies with AMUM.

The Opening Reception for MASKS: The Art of Disguise will be held Saturday, November 23 at 3 p.m. The exhibition will run through January 11, 2020.


The following students helped bring this exhibit into fruition:

Marc Agravante
Austin Cantrell
Ryan Clausen
Hannah Ewing
Kaiya Green
Emily Hale
Moby Hockman
Sarah James
Caroline Jones
Ana Marie Mann
Abigail Martin
Shelby Moody
May Noewen
Viraj Patel
Jacob Peirce

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