Priest, medicine man, actor, each has used the mask to dissimulate his identity or to take on the identity of another. Masks evoke the gods or serve to protect us. Some of the most beautiful and ancient masks from five continents, all from the Barbier-Mueller collection, are on display at the Musée Jacquemart-André. In darkened rooms, light boxes display carved African tribal masks, but also a baseball catcher's mask and a British fireman's smoke mask and helmet from 1878. It's a dramatic mix that is testament to the subtle powers of the mask.
L'Homme et ses Masques. Musée Jacquemart-André. Through August 28. Open daily, 10am-6pm. 158 boulevard Haussmann, 75008. Metro Miromesnil.