@Dumbarton Oaks

File 197 - Correspondence between Barclays Bank Limited and the Byzantine Institute (e.g., Thelma Hammack)

Identity area

Reference code

DcWaDIC MS.BZ.004-01-01-04-197

Title

Correspondence between Barclays Bank Limited and the Byzantine Institute (e.g., Thelma Hammack)

Date(s)

  • July 1958 - January 1963 (Creation)

Level of description

File

Extent and medium

1 folder

Context area

Name of creator

Byzantine Institute, Inc. (1930-1962)

Administrative history

The Byzantine Institute (commonly known as the Byzantine Institute of America) was founded by Thomas Whittemore in 1930. On May 23, 1934, the Byzantine Institute officially became the Byzantine Institute, Inc. when it was issued a charter from the State of Massachusetts. Its mission was to conserve, restore, study, and document the Byzantine monuments, sites, architecture, and arts in the former Byzantine Empire. The first official project undertaken by the Institute was the examination and documentation of wall paintings at the Red Sea Monasteries in Egypt, which occurred between 1929 and 1931. By capturing select Byzantine iconography from the walls of St. Anthony and St. Paul, Vladimir Netchetailov produced oversize watercolor paintings of saints (Saints George, Mercurius, and Theodore Strateletes) and religious scenes (The Resurrection and Deësis).

In June 1931, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first President of the Republic of Turkey, permitted Whittemore and the Byzantine Institute to uncover and restore the original mosaics in Hagia Sophia, which had been covered in Islamic motifs when the church was converted into a mosque in 1453 by the Ottoman Turks. With approval from the Turkish government, the Institute began the conservation and restoration campaign in December 1931. While fieldwork primarily focused on sites within Istanbul, such as Hagia Sophia and Kariye Camii, conservation efforts were also expanded to Cyprus and present-day Macedonia.

In June 1950, Thomas Whittemore, founder of the Byzantine Institute, died while en route to the State Department office of John Foster Dulles. Subsequently, Paul Atkins Underwood was appointed as the Fieldwork Director of the Byzantine Institute, a position he held until his death on September 22, 1968. While this marked a transition period for the Institute, Underwood assumed the oversight of repair and restoration in Hagia Sophia and Kariye Camii. These endeavors resulted in the uncovering of the 7th century pavement in the Church of the Pantocrator (Molla Zeyrek Camii), the restoration of mosaics in Fethiye Camii (Church of Theotokos Pammakaristos), and finally the repair work in Fenari Isa (Lips Monastery). The projects also led to several publications, such as The mosaics of Hagia Sophia at Istanbul, the portrait of the Emperor Alexander: a report on the work done by the Byzantine Institute in 1959 and 1960 by Paul A. Underwood and Ernest J. W. Hawkins. Because of insufficient funding, the Byzantine Institute officially terminated its administrative and fieldwork operations in 1962 and transferred its assets to Dumbarton Oaks. In January of 1963, Dumbarton Oaks and the trustees of Harvard University assumed all fieldwork activities formerly initiated by the Institute. Dumbarton Oaks directed and sponsored new fieldwork projects in Turkey (Church of St. Polyeuktos), Cyprus (Church of the Panagia Amasgou at Monagri), Syria (Dibsi Faraj), and present-day Macedonia (Bargala).

Name of creator

Barclays Bank (1690-)

Administrative history

"Barclays is a British multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is a universal bank with operations in retail, wholesale and investment banking, as well as wealth management, mortgage lending and credit cards. It has operations in over 50 countries and territories and has around 48 million customers. As of 31 December 2011 Barclays had total assets of US$2.42 trillion, the seventh-largest of any bank worldwide." -Wikipedia

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Includes a grant application submitted by Paul Underwood to the American Philosophical Society

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Rights area

Related right

The Byzantine Institute and Dumbarton Oaks Fieldwork Records and Papers, ca. late 1920s-2000s

Act

Research

Restriction

Allow

Start date

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Rights holder

Rights note(s)

Preferred citation: The Byzantine Institute and Dumbarton Oaks Fieldwork Records and Papers, ca. late 1920s-2000s, MS.BZ.004, Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives, Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University, Washington, D.C.

Basis

Policy

Related right

The Byzantine Institute and Dumbarton Oaks Fieldwork Records and Papers, ca. late 1920s-2000s

Act

Publish

Restriction

Allow

Start date

End date

Rights holder

Rights note(s)

Copyright for Byzantine Institute materials belong to Dumbarton Oaks. However, permission to publish materials created by other correspondents must be obtained from the copyright holder.

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Under copyright

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Physical storage

  • Box: MS.BZ.004, Subgroup 01, Box 013