The Donald Cordry Mexican Masks Collection
On exhibit in the Rare Books Reading Room
Donald Cordry (b. 1907) was a self-taught Mesoamerican scholar and ethnographer of indigenous arts and crafts of Mexico. He began collecting artifacts and information documenting indigenous arts and crafts on a trip to Mexico in 1931, and formed professional associations with the Heye Foundation (now the Museum of the American Indian) and the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles, California. Cordry founded a crafts workshop in Oaxaca in 1942 to finance his expeditions to collect and record ethnographic data. He later relocated to Mixcoac in Mexico City and to Cuernavaca, where he died in 1978.
The Donald Cordry Mexican Masks Collection was donated to the Institute of Latin American Studies and the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection in 1982 by Dorothy Mann Cordry. The collection includes 67 masks from Cordry's personal collection along with manuscripts, galley proofs, photographs, and slides relating to the publication of Cordry's 1980 book, Mexican Masks.