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Exhibit of Ceremonial and Tribal Masks at NWF State College

Mattie Kelly Arts Center


A wooden mask from the Philippines is part of the display of masks at the college’s Niceville campus.
A wooden mask from the Philippines is part of the display of masks at the college’s Niceville campus.

5/29/2013 - An exhibition of ceremonial and tribal masks from the Harmuth Mask Collection will be on display through August in the Goetsch Gallery of the Costa Leadership Institute at Northwest Florida State College’s Niceville campus. The exhibition is free of charge and features selections from Asia, Europe, the Pacific Islands and the Americas. The Goetsch Gallery is located on the third floor of the college’s Student Services Center at 100 E. College Blvd., inside the Costa Leadership Institute. The gallery is open 9:00 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The masks on display are part of a larger collection of 82 masks and four wood carvings collected by Henning and Anne Harmuth of Destin during the course of nearly 40 years. The Harmuths donated the collection to the college in 1998 and the intriguing cultural works are part of the college’s permanent art collection, which is housed at the college’s Mattie Kelly Arts Center in Niceville.

The masks come from all over the world and were likely primarily used for storytelling, theatrical productions or ceremonial activities. The countries represented in the full collection include Japan, Mexico, China, Germany, South Africa, Haiti, Bali, Nepal, Peru, Switzerland and the Philippines. The masks range in materials and sizes, with the smallest only four inches tall – smaller than a human hand – and the largest 50 inches tall, or more than four feet.

When the Harmuth Mask Collection is not on display, it is available for demonstrations at local schools and organizations. For more information, contact the KC Williams, Mattie Kelly Arts Center Galleries director, at (850) 729-6044 or email