We have always considered and collected these commercial masks and helmets as industries tribal art. Examples can be elegant in their simplicity or bazaar and complex. They are always unique, suprising and filled with personality.
Workers Protective Helmet|German Automotive Factory
This is a one of a kind piece of art. It was never created as art... but is as striking as any import tribal display found in a museum. Think of it as industry's tribal art. In fact the Gregg Museum of Art and Design had a wonderful show called Art Without Artists that explored just this idea. This helmet and shroud were handmade in the 1930s and used as protection when on the floor of an automobile factory. This Pith helmet style head piece and shroud has a well worn patina that really shows the years of work. It's all covered in natural suede. There are places on the helmet to attach a hose for an air supply. 21 in.H x 12 in. Dia. $2,800