Vaccination Policy

All visitors ages 12 and older must show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Visitors ages 5–11 must show proof of one dose. Read more >

Thomas Hart Benton (1782-1858)

Object Number: 
ca. 1940
Off-white painted plaster
Overall: 11 x 8 5/8 x 4 1/2 in. ( 27.9 x 21.9 x 11.4 cm )
inscribed: on back in pencil: "T. H. Benton" paper label: on back: "Benton mask 20-87"
Life mask
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.
Credit Line: 
Purchase, General Fund
The Fowler Mask Collection
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group