Photographs depicting some of the masks in the Donald Cordry collection of Mexican masks, as well as an exhibit of the collection entitled "Dance Masks of Mexico," taken on February 22, 1979. Depicted individuals in the collection include several members of the Department of Anthropology, including Robert Laughlin, William Sturtevant, Porter Kier, and James Mello. The photographs were probably made by a Smithsonian photographer.
Donald Bush Cordry (1907-1978) was an artist and photographer who studied the art of Mexican Indians. In 1931, Cordry made his first trip to Guerrero, Mexico, where he became fascinated by contemporary mask making. In 1934, Cordry moved to New York to work as a marionette designer for puppeteer Tony Sarg. While there, he contacted George G. Heye to learn more about Mexican Indian art. This led to a series of collecting expeditions from 1935 to 1938, during which Cordry collected Mexican masks and other artifacts for the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 80-3, NAA ACC 82-50
Location of Other Archival Materials:
The masks which formed the basis of the exhibit pictured can be found in the Department of Anthropology in accession 355867.
Cordry's photographs can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in Photo Lot 82-14 and Photo Lot 87-38.
Donald Cordry and his wife, Dorothy Mann Cordry, also donated clothing and musical instruments from Mexico to the Department of Anthropology in accessions 361232 and 355866.
The National Museum of the American Indian Archives holds the Donald Bush Cordry collection of photographs and negatives, 1933-1940, as well as artifacts collected by Cordry.
The University of Texas at Austin holds the Donald Cordry Collection Relating to Mexican Masks, 1931-1978.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.