Fasnacht [Carnival] Mask of Albert Anton Willi (1872–1954)

Domat/Ems, 1920s

Seemingly ancient grotesque faces: the Holzlarven [wooden carnival masks] made by the local mask carver Albert Anton Willi, nicknamed Natè, could once be seen at the Carnival parades in Domat/Ems. Instead of drawing from a tradition, he let nature and his imagination inspire him. As a forestry worker and roadman Albert Willi found suitable wood. In his lifetime he received little recognition for his works in his home village. However, museum directors and antiques dealers soon became interested in the rustic-looking masks. Some specimens were sold as far away as Africa and America.