Louis Armstrong Museum Marks 10th Anniversary By Unveiling Odd Artifact

To mark the 10th anniversary of the Louis Armstrong museum in the iconic brick house where he lived for 28 years, officiators are unveiling one of the Armstrong’s most odd artifacts; a plaster mask that had been stored in a cupboard for decades.

Armstrong, who has been known for documenting his life in unusual ways, had the life mask with a painted bronze-patina finish made in the 1950s, revealing creases on his forehead, bags under his eyes and scars on his lips from a lifetime of trumpet playing.

While the museum is unclear of who constructed the mask, a photo of Armstrong holding the artifact alongside an unidentified couple may provide clues.

Along with the “life mask,” reports state that the “10th anniversary exhibition focuses on Armstrong’s six-week tour of South America in 1957. Armstrong was still reeling over the “Little Rock Nine” school integration crisis in Arkansas weeks earlier, and a photograph shows him in his Buenos Aires hotel room defiantly hanging up on the U.S. ambassador, who had asked him to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at that evening’s concert.”

To date, more than 100,000 people have visited what is now being called “the Graceland of New York City” since its opening.