Museum Hours
Thu: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
Tue–Wed: Closed
200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Mask Musings

Bernice Bing identified as a Buddhist, a female artist, a lesbian, a Chinese American, an Abstract Expressionist painter—she held many complexities. What might Bing’s Self-Portrait with a Mask say about her feelings about her identity? What is she trying to reveal or conceal here?


Download the activity packet in the sidebar for template and instructions.


Using the provided template, sketch a different mask in each panel that represents an aspect of yourself. What mask or face do you put on at school? How about church or temple? What mask do you wear at home? What mask do you wear around your friends? What mask do you reveal to your best friend? What about when you’re traveling in an unfamiliar place? You can choose other scenarios in which you might reveal a different side of yourself. Label each mask in the caption space under each panel.

When drawing the masks, no need to focus on making it look particularly detailed! Think of emojis or comic characters with simple lines — whatever best expresses your feelings in that environment or situation.