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Mask

Artist Culture
Teotihuacan
Period
Early Classic period, 250–600
Date
c.250–600
Material
Stone
Made in
México state, México, North and Central America
Classification
Costume & clothing
Current Location
On View, Gallery 114
Dimensions
7 3/4 x 7 3/4 x 3 1/2 in. (19.7 x 19.7 x 8.9 cm)
weight: 6 lb. 2.8 oz. (2.8 kg)
Credit Line
Museum Purchase
Rights
Contact Us
Object Number
5:1948
NOTES
With its smoothly angled forehead and precisely rendered features, this face defines the appearance of a city dweller in Teotihuacan. Although we call these objects masks, they were not designed to be worn by individuals. Little is known about their original function. They may have been attached to ancestral funerary bundles. The drillholes visible in the eyes and mouth once provided the support for shell and bone inlays carved to resemble eyes and teeth. When complete, the face must have seemed strangely alive—like flesh made permanent in stone. Although they are not portraits in the strictest sense, no two are exactly alike. They may have helped transform individual identities into a broader civic ideal.
- 1948
Charles L. Morley, New York, NY, USA

1948 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Charles L. Morley [1]


Notes:
[1] Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, January 8, 1948; invoice dated January 18, 1948 [SLAM document files].
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