Mary K. Coffey

Academic Appointments
  • Professor of Art History

  • Affiliated Faculty, Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies Program

Mary Coffey specializes in the history of modern Mexican visual culture, with an emphasis on Mexican muralism and the politics of exhibition. She also publishes in the fields of American art, Latin American cultural studies, and museum studies. She has published essays on a broad range of visual culture, from Mexican folk art to motorcycles to eugenics exhibitions.

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Carpenter, Room 208
HB 6033


Art History


  • B.A. Indiana University
  • M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Selected Publications

  • Orozco’s American Epic: Myth, History, and the Melancholy of Race (Durham: Duke University Press, 2020)
  • How a Revolutionary Art Became Official Culture: Murals, Museums, and the Mexican State (Duke University Press, 2012). Winner of College Art Association’s Charles Rufus Morey Award for a Distinguished Book in Art History in 2012.

  • Modern Art in Africa, Asia, and Latin America: An Introduction to Global Modernisms, ed. Elaine O'Brien, Everlyn Nicodemus, Melissa Chiu, Benjamin Genocchio, Mary K. Coffey, and Roberto Tejada (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013).

  • “José Clemente Orozco’s Dancing Indians: Performing Mexicanness for the Trans-

    American Art Market,” Art Bulletin 102, no. 4 (2020): 90-120.

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Selected Works & Activities

  • Exhibition: Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism 1910-1950, Philadelphia Museum of Art,
    October. 25, 2016 - January. 8, 2017.
    Catalog:  Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910-1950, ed. Matthew Affron, Mark A. Castro, Dafne Cruz Porchini, and Renato Gonzalez Mellos (Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art/ Yale University Press, 2016). Professor Coffey's essay: “State Ritual, Mass Politics, or Mythopoesis?” 3-11.
    Link to exhibition:

  • Exhibition: Prometheus 2017: Four Artists from Mexico Revisit Orozco, Pomona Museum of Art,
    September 5 - December 16, 2017.
    Catalog: Prometheus 2017: Four Artists from Mexico Revisit Orozco, ed. Rebecca McGrew and Terri Geis (Claremont: Pomona Art Museum, forthcoming 2017).
    Professor Coffey's essay: “Putting Orozco’s Prometheus in Motion: Reframing Mural Art’s Meaning for Contemporary Art Practice.”
    Link to exhibition: