Augustana’s Eide/Dalrymple Gallery Features ‘The Face Behind the Mask: Disguising the Inner Soul’

Shaman costume

Event Details

Date: March 18 - April 16, 2021

Times: Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m. - 5 p.m; Sat., 1-4 p.m.

Location: Eide/Dalrymple Gallery

Sioux Falls, South Dakota — The Eide/Dalrymple Gallery at Augustana University opens “The Face Behind the Mask: Disguising the Inner Soul,” which will be on view from Thursday, March 18, through Friday, April 16. A gallery reception with curator’s talk will take place virtually on Friday, March 19, beginning at 7:15 p.m. Click here for the reception zoom link.

In a new exhibition opening at the Eide/Dalrymple Gallery, curator Dr. L. Adrien Hannus examines how masks have functioned across time and space in human cultural systems. Masks are the most ancient means of changing identity and assuming a new persona. They have long fascinated Hannus, since his days as a graduate student when he was first introduced to the deep literature on shamanism and the prevalence of masks within traditional cultures.

“A shaman is a spiritual leader who can be both a magician and medicine man,” notes Hannus. “When a shaman dons a mask, it succeeds in obscuring the shaman’s worldly identity, allowing the wearer to transcend our profane space and prepare to contact the spiritual world.”  For Hannus, this helps us both understand a range of traditional and historic cultures, but also becomes a metaphor for today. As poet and playwright Oscar Wilde once wrote, “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth.”


Objects in the exhibit range the world, crossing centuries of time and space. The pieces date from the late 19th century to the late 20th century. Their geographic regions of origin include Africa, New Guinea, Mexico, Korea, Sri Lanka, Europe, Northeastern Canada and the Northwest Coast of Canada. Masks in the exhibit also range from quite traditional pieces, such as a Yaqui shaman mask to several which depict European figures, like the conquistadors. Several pieces have been recently produced for the tourist industry and strongly modify traditional themes. The pieces have been selected from the Carl Grupp Permanent Art Collection at Augustana University and personal collection of Hannus.

Hannus is the David B. Jones endowed chair and professor of anthropology at Augustana University. He was assisted in this exhibition by students in his Augustana Museum Methods course. 

About the Eide/Dalrymple Gallery

As a part of Augustana University, the mission of the Eide/Dalrymple Gallery is to contribute to the educational and cultural vitality of the University, the surrounding community, and the state of South Dakota. The Eide/Dalrymple Gallery inspires the artists of today and tomorrow, and serves as a resource for teaching and promoting life-long learning through its permanent collection and temporary exhibition program with accompanying artist visits, gallery talks, and educational materials.

The Eide/Dalrymple Gallery is named after pioneering Augustana University art professors Palmer Eide and Ogden Dalrymple. Many of their collaborative works are spread throughout the campus.

The Eide/Dalrymple Gallery is located at 30th Street and Grange Avenue, in the Center for Visual Arts at Augustana University. The gallery is open to the public and free of charge. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Saturday from 1-4 p.m. The gallery is closed Sundays and major holidays. Guests must wear face masks, sanitize hands and abide by physical distancing requirements.

About Augustana University
Founded in 1860, Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is a selective, comprehensive university affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. With more than 100 majors, minors and pre-professional programs for undergraduates — along with graduate degree and continuing education programs — Augustana is committed to enriching lives and fostering development by combining a foundation in the liberal arts with professional skill and advanced study. Nationally recognized for academic excellence, graduate outcomes and affordability by U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and the Princeton Review, Augustana serves more than 1,900 students from 41 states and 24 countries. Most are part of our residential community and call our 100-acre campus home. Our graduate and continuing education programs serve students online and during times that are convenient for adult learners.