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Seminole Chief Osceola (1804-1838)

Object Number: 
1946.362
Date: 
ca. 1838
Medium: 
Painted and overpainted plaster
Dimensions: 
Overall: 10 3/4 x 6 1/4 x 8 1/4 in. ( 27.3 x 15.9 x 21 cm )
Marks: 
incised: on back of neck: "334" inscribed: on back neck in crayon: "OSCEOLA" paper label: on inside: "Osceola head 18 - 83"
Description: 
Death mask
Gallery Label: 
Osceola, a leader of the Seminole Indians in Flordia, led the vastly outnumbered Seminole resistance during the Second Seminole War when the United States tried to remove the Seminoles from their lands. After his death in prison in 1838, army doctor Frederick Weedon removed Osceola's head, embalmed it, and made a death mask. The head was later owned in New York City by Dr. Valentine Mott, who put it on display at the Medical College of New York. It disappeared following a fire in 1865.
Credit Line: 
Purchase, General Fund
Provenance: 
The Fowler Mask Collection
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group