Behind the Masks

Autumn 2019
Black wooden mask

Chapel House has recently added 10 African masks to its art collection. This mask, from Liberia, was used by the Dan people for entertainment. It is sometimes called a runner mask because the Gunyega masquerader — representing a spirit — competes in footraces against the youth. Chapel House Director Steven Kepnes and Carol Ann Lorenz, associate professor of Native American studies emerita, collaborated on the effort to bring these masks to the space, expanding the representation of world religions within the collection. Several of the masks were procured by Lorenz in her travels and were displayed in her office for teaching purposes up until her recent retirement.