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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 8, page 157, February 20-21, 1857

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Identifier: DX03739481

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 8, page 157, February 20-21, 1857

Description: Regarding German sculptor Muller coming to take a cast of William Levison's face.

Transcription:

our Creator knows and we may — someday.

x x x x

A lowering chilly day. I had been in-doors all Thursday and felt feverish and nervous. Walked up to 27th Street and called on [Frank] Bellew. Afternoon in doors, and evening at Mrs [Celina] Jewells.

x x x

I must put down, here, one of the oddest and most revolting things I ever heard. On the day of Ellen Levison's funeral, one of the women present, a "friend" of the family, said to the bereaved mother "Oh! Mrs L [Mary Levison], do let me know when you remove Ellen to Greenwood. It's so long since I've had a good cry that I should like to come!" It was using the dead child's body as a substitute for an onion.

21. Saturday. Muller, a German sculptor, who had some acquaintance with Levison, came to take a cast of his face, which, Mrs L consenting to, was performed, myself being present. The countenance was more sharply defined, the nose more prominent, the forehead seemingly higher than in life. First the operators oiled and buttered the countenance, then passed a string down the face centrally, from forehead to chin, and then poured on a suffiency of plastor of paris to form a thick mask. This when nearly solid was divided in two by pulling the string through it. Held up, the reversed likeness was quite startling. The operation took place in the smaller

Rights: NoC-US

Place:

Dates: 1857-02-20

Type(s): Diary
Page

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Diaries
Women
Funeral rites and ceremonies
Germans
Sculpture

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http://collections.mohistory.org/resource/182559

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