Museum Holiday Schedule

The New-York Historical Society Museum will be open Wednesday, December 24, 10am-3pm and will reopen Friday, December 26, 10am-8pm. For details, please visit our calendar.

Elihu Burritt (1810-1897)

Elihu Burritt (1810-1897)
Elihu Burritt (1810-1897)
Mid-19th century
Painted plaster
Overall: 10 x 6 1/4 x 9 1/4 in. ( 25.4 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm )
Death mask.
Credit Line 
Purchase, General Fund
Object Number 
inscribed: on back of neck in crayon: "Burritt" label: on inside: "Burritt head 12 -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
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group