The following is a guest post by Aliza Leventhal, Head, Technical Services, Prints & Photographs Division.
Have you ever walked by a building and seen the resemblance of a face? Once you start, it’s hard to stop!
While faces are often easiest to see in a building’s exterior elements, they can also be found in architectural details such as this stairway’s grimacing banister.
Sometimes the time of year helps bring out faces from unexpected places, such as this photograph of a building’s framing that I first noticed in mid-October with Halloween in mind.
Or this almost owlish doorway, with slanted bullseye windows and a doorknocker for a nose.
“The eyes are the windows to the soul” takes on a new meaning when you start to see windows as eyes!
All of the images featured in this blog post are from the Historic American Buildings Survey, which includes many more instances of faces in unexpected places, as do many of the Prints & Photographs Division’s other collections. Explore the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog to find more! (We’d love to see your finds shared in the comments.)
- Read a Research Guide about the Prints & Photographs Division’s wide variety of Architecture, Design and Engineering Collections.
- Explore the variety of structures and spaces documented around the United States through the Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey programs.
- Revisit previous Picture This posts about HABS/HAER/HALS.
Thank you for these cool examples of facial pareidolia! The phenomenon is fun and fascinating!
Looks like someone ate an eagle…