SPIRIT MASKS & SPIRITUAL FIGURES
The Mike & Sonja Gilligan Collection

At the Foundry School Museum,
September 30th through December 18th, 2003

The Foundry School Museum is presenting 62 works from the collection of Mike & Sonja Gilligan, longtime Garrison, New York, residents. The Gilligans have been collecting religious art since 1990 and have amassed a great variety of works in various media. These objects come from diverse locations, among them Mexico, Africa, Ecuador, the Philippines, the San Blas Islands, Portugal, New Mexico, and Alaska. Many of the works are freestanding sculpture or wall pieces in the Christian tradition of the fine arts or of folk art. Several works, including masks, represent ideas from other traditions about spiritual forces. The exhibition focuses mainly on works from the nineteenth & twentieth centuries, including some pieces by living artists.

Among the works on view are several brightly colored and expressive masks and other sculptures created for "Day of the Dead" ceremonies in Mexico. A Lakota Sioux painted buffalo skull derives from warriors' beliefs about life and death. Subtlety of technique is particularly evident in an Innuit walrus tusk carving from Alaska.


JOHNNY WESTON
PROSPERITY AT SEA
, Alaska, 20th century
Walrus tusk, 7 ¾" x 5 ¼"



WHEEL OF INNUIT FACES, Alaska, 20th century
Bone, walrus tusk, and whisker hair from a sea animal



DAY OF THE DEAD BUTTERFLY MASK, Mexico, 20th century
Painted wood, 25" x 22"


MATHILDE POULAT
VIRGIN MARY
, 20TH century
Silver, coral, turquoise, bone and ivory


 

DAY OF THE DEAD BULL MASK, Mexico, 20th century
Wood, 32" x 22"



INNUIT MASK, Alaska, 20th century
Whalebone and walrus tusk



MOLA OF STYLIZED BIRDS, San Blas Islands, 20th century
Appliqued cloth with cotton backing, 16" x 20"



SCORPION LADY MASK, Mexico, 20th century
Painted metal, 16" x 10"



THE VIRGIN MARY LIFTED TO HEAVEN BY ANGELS
Mexico, 19th century
Painted wood, metal, and glass, 31"



DAY OF THE DEAD HELMET MASK, Mexico, 20th century
Painted wood, 12" x 9"



HUGO ORTA RAMUS
BULL MASK
, Mexico, 20th century
Painted wood, 12" x 9"