See more objects with the tag war, ovoid, mask, protection, tool, cut-out, smooth, innovative, survival, defense.

See more objects with the color darkslategrey or see all the colors for this object.

Object Timeline

  • We acquired this object.


  • Work on this object began.



  • You found it!

Facial Armor, Ballistic Face Mask

This is a Facial Armor. It was manufactured by International Armor Corporation. It is dated 2013. Its medium is kevlar®.

Modern industrial masks like this bullet-resistant headgear are portraits of our tech¬nological society. They speak directly and powerfully of the dangers of the age. As a shield that hides more than the face, this artifact extends the body’s capability to engage with life-threatening situations and has one overriding purpose: to keep the wearer alive. Made of Kevlar®, it is part of the armor worn by law-enforcement officers during raids or when apprehending snipers. Its design is a visual expression of its purpose: with the individual totally effaced, its sinister appearance ups the ante of confrontation and intimidation. Con¬cealing all but the eyes, it gives the wearer an immediate advantage, serving to unnerve and frighten the suspect into compliance.

It is credited Museum purchase.

Our curators have highlighted 4 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 28.3 x 21.7 x 9.2 cm (11 1/8 x 8 9/16 x 3 5/8 in.)

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

For higher resolution or commercial use contact ArtResource.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Facial Armor, Ballistic Face Mask |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=7 August 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>