Skip navigation
Death mask of Francois Joseph Talma

Object Name: Death mask or life mask
Date: ca. 1850
Related People:
Medium: Painted plaster
Dimensions: Overall: 13 x 7 x 6 1/2 in. ( 33 x 17.8 x 16.5 cm )
Credit Line: Purchase
Object Number: 1946.354
Send to a Friend
Marks: Paper label on front: "FRANCOIS JOSEPH TALMA / French Actor."; paper label on back: "Talma death mask 10-82"
Inscribed: Inscribed on back in pencil: "Talma 82"

Gallery Label:

This cast was part of the Phrenological Museum of Fowler & Wells, which opened in New York City in 1842. Brothers Orson Squire Fowler (1809-1887) and Lorenzo Niles Fowler (1811-1896) and their business associate Samuel Roberts Wells (1820-1875) were noted phrenologists who read heads to understand the subject's "temperament." Their Phrenological Cabinet displaying casts, skulls, and charts became a popular fixture in the city.


The Fowler Mask Collection; Furniture and Decorations, Kende Galleries at Gimbel Brothers, New York, September 20-21, 1946; purchased by New-York Historical Society, 1946.