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. There are also video copies of Mason's original films shot in 1925-1928 in British Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico.
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.
Gregory Mason also shot films between 1925 and 1928 in British Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico. The original nitrate negatives of the films were sent to the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation by Mason in the 1930s but were transfered to 1 inch videoreels in 1993.
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).
The Samuel K. Lothrop photograph collection primarily contains negatives, photographic prints, and lantern slides made by Lothrop while employed by the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation from 1924-1930. Lothrop was an archaeologist and photographer who extensively traveled and worked throughout Central America and South America and led expeditions on behalf of the MAI to Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Peru. There are also photographs from prior to Lothrop's time at MAI that were made in other locations in Central America, Puerto Rico, New Mexico, Arizona, and Wisconsin between 1915 and 1918.
Scope and Contents:
The Samuel K. Lothrop collection primarily contains negatives, photographic prints, and lantern slides made by Lothrop while employed by the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation from 1924-1930. There are also photographs from prior to Lothrop's time at MAI that were made in other locations in Central America, Puerto Rico, New Mexico, Arizona, and Wisconsin between 1915 and 1918.
Series 1: Non-MAI Expeditions to Wisconsin and the Southwest, United States, 1915, includes photographic negatives from S.K. Lothrop's first field experience in archaeology the summer of 1915 under the direction of A.V. Kidder through the R.S. Peabody Foundation of Andover. This includes photographs in the Southwest at the San Cristobal Pueblo ruins, A:shiwi (Zuni) Pueblo, Acoma Pueblo, K'apovi (Santa Clara Pueblo) in New Mexico and at various locations at Hopi Pueblo, Arizona. There are also photographs of Bird Effigy Mound and Panther Effigy in Lake Mendota, Wisconsin, also made in 1915.
Series 2: Non-MAI Expeditions to Central America and Puerto Rico, circa 1915-1918, includes photographic negatives and lantern slides from Lothrop's time as Director of the Harvard Peabody Museum's Central American,1916-1917. Some of the photographs in this series are listed as 1918, though during that time Lothrop was working for the U.S. Army Military Intelligence. It's also possible that the photographs from Puerto Rico, which are cataloged as 1918 were taken during a 1915 trip to the island. The photographs in this series include views from Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Puerto Rico.
Series 3: MAI Central American Expedition to El Salvador, 1924, includes photographs from the "S.K. Lothrop Central American Expedition" between January and May 1924. The majority of the photographs were made in El Salvador, though a small amount were taken in Guatemala. The photographs in EL Salvador include photographs of volcanos, archaeological sites, antiquities, landscape views, villages, and native peoples, such as the Lenca, engaged in pottery and rope making, food preparation, house building, and ceremonial activities.
Series 4: MAI Tierra del Fuego Expedition, 1924-1925, includes photographs from the "MAI Tierra del Fuego Expedition" between October 1924 and March, 1925. Lothrop, accompanied by J. Linzee Weld, spent three months on the Islands of Tierra del Fuego (Chile, Argentina) visiting Selk'nam (Ona) and Yámana (Yagán/Yahgan) settlements. The three Selk'nam (Ona) settlements included one at the Southeast corner of Lake Fagnano, one at the Northeast of Lake Fagnano and the third east of the Laguna de Pescados. Yámana (Yagán/Yahgan) settlements were encountered at Tierra Mayor, Cambaceres Bay, Gable island and Puerto Mejillones on Navarin Island. The photographs include depictions of the daily live and ceremonial activities of the Native peoples, as well as landscape views. Also included in this series are photographic negatives made in Peru sometime in 1925 during Lothrop's trip in South America. These include images in Incahuasi and La Centinela, among other locations.
Series 5: MAI La Plata Expedition (Paraná River Delta Argentina Expedition), 1925, includes photographic negatives from the "Mrs. Thea Heye, La Plata Expedition" also known as the "Thea Heye - Lothrop Paraná River Delta Argentina Expedition" between March and June 1925. The expedition was conducted jointly between the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation and the Museo de la Plata in Argentina (Argentine Republic). Excavations were made in the Río Paraná Delta in the Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Many of the photographs show views of the river as well as views of the excavation site including mounds and trenches. There are a number of restricted photographs in this series due to cultural sensitivity.
Series 6: MAI Guatemala Expedition, 1928, includes photographic negatives from the "Mrs. Thea Heye Guatemala Expedition" between February and May 1928. Many of the photographs include depictions of Mayan ruins in different Guatemalan provinces. There are also photographs of Tz'utuhil Maya (Tzutuhil/Zutigil), K'iche' (Quiché) Maya, and Kaqchikel Maya (Cakchiquel) people engaged in weaving, rope making, canoeing, and ceremonial activities. There are a number of restricted photographs in this series due to cultural sensitivity.
This collection has been arranged in six Series chronologically by expedition.
Series 1: Non-MAI Expeditions to Wisconsin and the Southwest, United States, 1915
Series 2: Non-MAI Expeditions to Central America and Puerto Rico, circa 1915-1918
Series 3: MAI Central American Expedition to El Salvador, 1924
Series 4: MAI Tierra del Fuego Expedition, 1924-1925
Series 5: MAI La Plata Expedition (Paraná River Delta Argentina Expedition), 1925
Samuel Kirkland Lothrop was born in Milton, Massachusetts on July 6, 1892, to William Sturgis Hooper Lothrop and Alice Putnam Lothrop. Lothrop spent his childhood in Massachusetts and Puerto Rico and entered Harvard college in 1911. He graduated in 1915 with a concentration in archaeology and anthropology having studied under Alfred Marston Tozzer. Lothrop had his first field experience in archaeology the summer of 1915 under the direction of A.V. Kidder through the R.S. Peabody Foundation of Andover, spending time in the Southwest as well as studying mounds in Wisconsin. Lothrop also traveled extensively in Central American and in Puerto Rico as an associate of the Peabody Museum of Harvard, visiting sites and making small excavations. During World War I, Lothrop's career was interrupted when he served as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Military Intelligence between 1917-1918. Following the war, Lothrop returned to graduate work at Harvard and his thesis, submitted in 1921, was focused on the ceramics of Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
Lothrop was then employed by the Carnegie Institution's Historical Division to make field investigations in Yucatan and Guatemala in 1923. His 1924 publication on the Yucatan ruin of Tulum was the first major monograph published on the subject. Starting in 1923, with the Hendricks-Hodge Hawikku (Hawikuh) expedition, Lothrop joined the research staff of the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation (MAI) in New York City. Though George Gustav Heye originally hired Lothrop to research Native Guatemalan and El Salvadoran textiles and pottery, Lothrop also led several expeditions in South America in such places as Tierra del Fuego. During this period, Lothrop became a good friend of Argentine archaeologists at the time such as Fernando Marquez Miranda and published several monographs on his research. Following the dissolution of the MAI's research staff in 1930, Lothrop returned to Harvard's Peabody Museum as a research associate and curator of Andean archaeology until his retirement. Lothrop continued in an active emeritus status until his death in 1965.
Source: Willey, Gordon R. "Samuel Kirkland Lothrop," Biographical Memoirs: Volume 48, pp 253-272. National Academies Press, 1976.
Samuel K. Lothrop papers (996-20), Peabody Museum Archives. https://hollisarchives.lib.harvard.edu/repositories/6/resources/4764
Lothrop, S.K. Chile field notes and diary about the Indian of Chile, 1929-1930, #9055. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
Photographs that were made by S.K. Lothrop during the Hendricks-Hodge Hawikku (Hawikuh) expedition are included in the Hendricks-Hodge Hawikku Expedition photograph collection, NMAI.AC.001.042.
Catalogs and expense records for Lothrop's expeditions can be found in the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation records, NMAI.AC.001, in Series 5: Expeditions.
The photographs produced during Museum of the American Indian expeditions were sent to the MAI by Samuel K. Lothrop, alongside field collections, between 1924 and 1930. The photographs that were made by Lothrop prior to his employment at MAI were donated by Lothrop in 1930.
Access to NMAI Archives Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: email@example.com).
There are photographs in this collection that are restricted due to cultural sensitivity.
Indians of Central America -- Guatemala -- Photographs Search this
Indians of Central America -- El Salvador -- Photographs Search this
Fuegians -- Social life and customs -- Photographs Search this
Excavations (Archaeology) -- Argentina -- Photographs Search this
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Samuel K. Lothrop photograph collection, NMAI.AC.001.010. National Museum of the American Indian Archives Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Includes images of the indigenous people of Ecuador, primarily the Tsatchela (Tsachila, Colorado) of Pichincha province and the Shuar-Achuar of Oriente province. Also includes 51 images of the indigenous people of Honduras, primarily the Xicaque and Maya.
Scope and Contents:
The von Hagen collection primarily contains photographs and negatives made by von Hagen during his 1935 and 1936 travels in Ecuador on behalf of the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation. The 1935 materials depict adult and child members of the Shuar-Achuar culture group engaged in weaving, drumming, and cooking. In addition there are representations of indigenous dwellings and of individuals dressed for ceremonies and using blow guns. The 1936 materials overwhelmingly depict Tsáchila (Colorado) peoples preparing food, weaving, potting, playing instruments, and participating in ceremonies, but also include depictions of the Runa (Otavaleño/Otavalo) people spinning cotton and sitting for potraits. The collection also contains photographic materials dated to 1937 that depict Mayan artifacts and Jicaque men of Honduras building rafts, fishing, and standing for their poritraits. Von Hagen's Tsáchila and Jicaque photographs illustrated his contributions to the Museum's series Indian Notes and Monographs, The Tsáchila Indians of western Ecuador (no. 51) and The Jicaque (Torrupan) Indians of Honduras (no. 53).
Negatives: organized in individual sleeves; arranged by negative number
Prints: organized in folders; arranged by print number
Negatives Arranged by negative number (N36360, N36648, N36654-N36656, N36661, N36733-N36740, N36749-N36752, N36755, N36758-N36769, N36772-N36779, N36781-N36797, N36803-N36853, N37366, N37386, N41444)
Prints Arranged by photograph number (P11502-P11510, P12316-P12473, P12522-P12525, P12596-P12657, P12855-P12859, P12941-P12949, P13329-P13362, P15428, P15491, P15585, P16246)
Victor Wolfgang von Hagen was an American explorer, archaeological historian, anthropologist, naturalist, zoologist, and travel writer. In the 1930s, he led several Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation collecting expeditions to Central and South America and continued to travel throughout the region into the 1970s.
Gift of Dr. von Hagen
Access is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment.
The collection consists of five (5) drawings of frescoes at Chichen Itza made by Adela C. Breton. Three frescoes are represented; two of the drawings are duplicates. The collection also contains a reprint of a conference paper by Breton.
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.
Adela Catherine Breton (1849–1923) was an English archaeological artist. She made watercolor copies of the wall paintings of Mexican temples. Many of her drawings are the only remaining record of the temples' appearance in the early twentieth century. Breton first visited Chichen Itza in 1900, and spent the next several years drawing and painting at several Mayan sites.
NAA MS 7462
Copies of frescoes at Chichen Itza
The Department of Anthropology object collections holds artifacts donated by Adela C. Breton.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Works of art
MS 7462 Adele C. Breton drawings of frescoes at Chichen Itza, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution