Susan Barrett Merrill's Hand-woven Masks

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Masks have been used through history in ritual, dance, and religious observance. Masks are used by the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) in healing ceremonies, and by other Native peoples to attain a communion with the deities that figure in their lives.

The wild and essential spirit of these handwoven masks is harmonious with this ancient tradition, making them perfect for exploring personal mythology.

The spirit of the plants used to dye the wool, the shapes and decorations of the headdresses, and the powerful life of the faces create an energy that makes these masks far more than sculptures. In many collections, they are both prized works of art and treasured companions.

Visit Mask Galleries

farnsworth.jpgSusan's masks have been shown in galleries and museums on two continents. At left is the "mask wall" at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine. Known for its definitive Wyeth collection, its American Impressionists, and historical canvases, the Farnsworth hosted "Characters in Hand," an exhibition of the work of 16 Maine puppeteers.

The masks were added at the request of the museum, and given a wall to themselves in the main room for the duration of the four-month Characters in Hand exhibition.