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Toys & Play

White Horse Mask


Found in cultures around the world, masks are used for endeavors both silly and serious—from lighthearted dress-up to religious ceremonies. This horse head is an example of the papier mâché masks that were worn in Czechoslovakia as part of Masopust celebrations (an equivalent of Mardi Gras). Once it found its way into the Eameses’ collection, however, the mask took on a new significance and became a favorite playful prop in their home. At some point in the 1950s, Charles donned the mask to pose for photos with Ray (who wore a similar black horse head) in front of a curtain backdrop. Although their faces are hidden, both are recognizable thanks to their signature clothing styles: a suit for Charles and a full-skirted dress with collar for Ray. These horse heads along with the other masks that they made and collected served as tools for imaginative role-playing and storytelling, even when it was obvious who was behind the disguise.

  • Medium:Papier-mâché, paint
  • Dimensions:15 x 8 x 16 in. (38.1 x 20.3 x 40.6 cm)
  • Origin:Czechoslovakia
  • Item:T.2019.2.284.2