Pancho Villa's Death Mask by J. Rakocy

Currency:USD Category:Antiques Start Price:1,000.00 USD Estimated At:2,000.00 - 3,000.00 USD
Pancho Villa's Death Mask by J. Rakocy
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El Paso listed artist William J. Rakocy, circa late 1970's early 1980's reverse plaster casting Pancho Villa death mask, from one of the three originals cast in Parral, Mexico shortly after his death in 1923. The original that this casting was cast from, had been given to the Radford School for Girls in El Paso, Texas by Otto Norwold in the early 20th Century. Otto Norwold's daughter, Ruth, was attending the school at the time. The mask was discovered in the Radford School archives in 1978 by Steven Beck, an art teacher at the school. El Paso artist, William J. Rakocy, made this casting of the original while it was on loan to the El Paso Museum of Art in the 1980's. William Rakocy was curator of the El Paso Museum of Art (from 1971-1988) during the time the mask was on loan there. The mask is inscribed on the back "Villa Mask No. 4 Killed July 20 1923 B. Rakocy Mar.10". Rakocy crafted five copies of the original Pancho Villa death mask, shortly after the original mask was discovered at the Radford School, the Mexican government and press demanded it's return. The mask was returned with much fanfare in March of 1984. After it's return to Mexico, the Radford School death mask was last reported on display at the Museo Historico de la Revolucion in Chihuahua, Mexico. The discovery of the Pancho Villa Mask at the Radford School and its return is documented in a September 2, 1984 New York Times article "Pancho Villa's Death Mask Crosses the Border Again". Provenance: Authenticated as being crafted by William J. Rakocy from the original by his wife Gloria C. Rakocy in a letter dated August 22. 2017.