Shakespeare Connected - Not to Be: Death in the Collection
David Garrick's Death Mask
‘Remember thee! Ay, thou poor ghost, whiles memory holds a seat in this distracted globe’ (Hamlet, 1.5.96-98)
How do we remember the dead? A death mask is a wax or plaster impression taken from the face and then used to make a bust or sculpture or portrait of the deceased as a way to memorialise them. David Garrick was probably the most popular actor and producer of Shakespeare’s plays in the eighteenth century. Death masks were not a recent phenomenon by the time Garrick died. Casts of Dante Alighieri, Henry VIII, and Oliver Cromwell still exist.
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