Expressing Identity Beyond the Mask
Identity is who a person really is – their personality, qualities, physical appearance. Although visually close to us as viewers, the real people behind masks remain hidden, most of their faces covered in cloth, paper, or nylon. This forces our attention to other visual clues as to their identity using such things as clothing, hair and makeup choices, and tattoos. And then there are the eyes: looking back directly or out of the frame, between furrowed brows and crinkled lines, shaded by dark glasses or filled with what might be anxiety, anger, or hope.
Choose one, two, or all the following activities to complete:
- Analyze. Choose one of the photographs from the Autry blog: Striking Distance. Complete the Autry Object Analysis Activity.
- Describe. Write a journal entry about “What can you tell about your identity outside of the mask?” Include what your clothing, hair, eyebrows, glasses, and/or the emotion in your eyes tell about your identity in your journal entry.
- Create. Draw yourself in a mask focusing on your identity outside the mask. Write a label for your mask using the Autry Label Writing handout for grades 6-12.
If you would like to share your work, please submit it to the Autry's Collecting Community History Initiative: The West During COVID-19.
We will be highlighting some of these different objects, images, and experiences on our blog, The Autry Files. In the case of photographs of physical objects, please note that—at some point in the future—we may get in touch with you to see if you would be interested in donating the objects to our collections!
Educational Programs at the Autry are sponsored by:
AIR CONDITIONING DEPOT • AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL • PHYLLIS H. BARBATO • MOLLY AND NEAL H. BROCKMEYER • CAROLE E. BUSS • THE CAPITAL GROUP COMPANIES CHARITABLE FOUNDATION • FRANK H. COUNTNER AND SUSAN L. COUNTNER • DWIGHT STUART YOUTH FUND • EDISON INTERNATIONAL • DAVID F. EISENBERG • THE KENNETH T. AND EILEEN L. NORRIS FOUNDATION • MAX H. GLUCK FOUNDATION • CARL W. ROBERTSON AND SUSAN W. ROBERTSON • ANN C. RONUS AND ROBERT E. RONUS • BRENDA AND GARY RUTTENBERG • THE STEINMETZ FOUNDATION • THELMA PEARL HOWARD FOUNDATION • UNION BANK • U.S. BANK