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12 arty face masks you can buy from iconic museums and galleries around the world

Face coverings emblazoned with famous artworks are flying off the museum-gift-shop shelves

Huw Oliver
Written by
Huw Oliver

Out with the key rings, umbrellas and bendy pencils. Museum gift shops now have a new must-have accessory that’s flying off the shelves: reusable face masks.

At the Tate in London and the Met in New York, makers have emblazoned some of the galleries’ most famous works on cloth. So have other major institutions from Los Angeles to Madrid via Amsterdam. And given many governments are now recommending, if not requiring, citizens wear them in indoor public spaces, that’s a very sensible (and potentially profitable) move.

Many also see in masks an easy way to raise funds to support their operations, like the struggling Klimt Villa studios in Vienna, which has already sold some 6,000. Others spy an opportunity to raise money for charity, like the Stedelijk Museum’s moth-like design by Carlos Amorales, from which the profits are being used to make masks for Mexican street workers.

Looking to cover up in style? Here are some of the coolest art-inspired masks from iconic museums and galleries around the world.

John Singer Sargent’s ‘Carnation, Lily, Lily Rose’ at Tate Modern, London

Tate Modern’s John Singer Sargent maskPhotograph: Tate Modern

Arnold Eagle’s ‘Pennsylvania Station’ (top) and Adolf Dehn’s ‘Spring in Central Park’ at Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The Met’s face masks Photograph: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Rembrandt van Rijn’s ‘Self-Portrait Wearing a Cap, Wide-Eyed and Open-Mouthed’ at Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Rembrandt face maskPhotograph: Rijksmuseum

A handmade Gustav Klimt-inspired mask designed by his great-granddaughter at Klimt Villa, Vienna

Klimt face mask Photograph: Klimt Villa

Hieronymus Bosch’s ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ at Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

Prado’s Bosch maskPhotograph: Prado

Elza Sutherland’s ‘Textile Design of Clustered Leaves, Diamonds, and Prisms’ at Los Angeles County Museum of Art

LA County Museum of Art’s Elza Sutherland masksPhotograph: LA County Museum of Art

Carlos Amorales’s ‘Black Cloud’ at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

Stedelijk museum’s maskPhotograph: Iris Duvekot

A ‘psychedelic’ oval face mask at the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

Guggenheim face maskPhotograph: Guggenheim

Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ at National Gallery, London

National Gallery’s van Gogh maskPhotograph: National Gallery

Did you see plastic gloves and masks are already clogging up the world’s beaches?

Here are our top tips on how to wash and care for reusable cloth masks.

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