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From Paleolithic times to the present, people have used masks to add power and mystery to religious rituals, warfare, and entertainment. This illustrated book, the companion volume to an exhibition opening at The Saint Louis Art Museum, provides a stunning and comprehensive cultural history of these universal human artifacts. Transporting readers across centuries and continents, the authors compare and contrast the use of masks in initiation rites and Mardi Gras, Greek tragedy and commedia dell’arte, warfare and football. The 200 colorplates, illustrating examples as African ceremonial masks, the Apollo 15 space helmet, and an Egyptian death mask, make this landmark study as visually spectacular as it is thought-provoking.