This collection contains 86 black-and-white negatives taken by Gregory Mason from 1916-1931. The images depict scenes of Belize, Guatemala, Colombia and Mexico, including Mexico City, Cozumel, Chichén Itzá and other sites in Quintana Roo.
Scope and Contents:
The Gregory Mason collection contains negatives made from 1916 to 1931 by Mason. The 1916 negatives depict the streets in and suburbs of Mérida, Mexico, and of people bundling fibers on a nearby plantation. The negatives dating from 1922 were made in Chichén Itzá. In 1928, Mason made negatives in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico. The Belize negatives depict Mayan antiquities, various street scenes, and native peoples gathering leaves and chicle, spinning fiber, and canoeing; the Quintana Roo, Mexico, negatives depict Isla Cozumel and other Mayan sites; and the Guatemala negatives Quiriguá. The 1931 negatives made in Colombia primarily depict individuals from the Kogi, Ika, and Wayuu culture groups. Mason made some of these negatives on behalf of the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation.
Arranged by negative number (N20447-N20532)
Born in 1889, Gregory Mason was an American journalist with a keen interest in anthropology. Early in his career, he traveled widely as a reporter for the newspaper New York Evening Sun and the news magazine The Outlook. In 1926, he and Herbert Spinden led the Mason-Spinden expedition to explore Mayan ruins in Mexico. Funded in part by Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, Mason led four additional expeditions to Central and South America. He wrote several books, including "Silver Cities of Yucatan" (1927), "Columbus Came Late" (1931), and "Remember the Maine" (1939). From 1941 to 1954, he was chairman of the Department of Journalism at New York University. Mason died in Greenwich, Connecticut, in 1968.
Historically, the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation managed all photographic and related manuscript collections separately. This collection description represents current management practices of organizing and contextualizing related archival materials.
Access is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment.
Copyright: National Museum of the American Indian.
Gregory Mason negatives, National Museum of the American Indian Archives, Smithsonian Institution (negative, slide or catalog number).