The jewel in the crown of museums in this city is the Museo de Rafael Coronel– or The Mask Museum which is in the ex-monastery of San Francisco built in the 16th century. It is the worlds largest collection of masks.
Rafael was born in 1931 and was the brother of Pedro Coronel and was married to Ruth, the daughter of Diego Rivera and Lupe Marín. Apart from being an excellent painter and sculptor he collected thousands of masks from the pre-colonial to modern times.
Above– The facade of the ruined monastery of San Francisco. The grounds are a delightful garden space as well. (See the end of this posting).
He seemed to be the subject of most of his own art work.
This sculpture below graces the entry courtyard. For more of his work scroll to end of this posting.
Below- Some of the many masks and to begin perhaps the earliest and simplest of masks made from a pelvis..
Below-etcetera etcetera…..mask overload after awhile.
Above-Technicians and conservators working on these masks.
Below- these are photos of these masks in situ during the many festivals held in Mexico.
See my postings on festivals for masks as worn today. Here
Below-Masks were not the only thing in this museum….This beautiful modern looking pre Columbian bowl.
Below-This carved hardwood statue of Ganesh from India in the seventeenth century.
In the nineteenth century there were traveling puppeteers who put on various shows. These puppets were from one of those.
Below more sculptures by Rafael Coronel scattered in the grounds.
next…. The Museo de Abstracto.