@Dumbarton Oaks

Collection MS.BZ.019 - Paul Underwood Research Papers and Project Materials on the Reconstruction of the church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople , ca. 1936-1950s

Identity area

Reference code

US DcWaDIC MS.BZ.019

Title

Paul Underwood Research Papers and Project Materials on the Reconstruction of the church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople , ca. 1936-1950s

Date(s)

  • ca. 1936-1950s (Creation)

Level of description

Collection

Extent and medium

6 boxes of documents
1 folder of oversize drawings
2 boxes of microfilms and negatives

Context area

Name of creator

Underwood, Paul A. (February 22,1902-September 22,1968)

Biographical history

Paul Underwood was born on February 22, 1902, in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, and died on September 22, 1968, in Knoxville, TN. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture with high honors from Princeton University in 1925. From 1929-1931, he practiced architecture in New York, but had to postpone his career in the field due to the Great Depression. During this time, Underwood traveled to Greece, where he stayed for approximately three years, and became interested in classical and medieval monuments. In 1935, Underwood pursued a graduate degree in the Department of Art and Archaeology at his alma mater and graduated in or before 1938. Afterwards, he took a teaching position at Cornell University, where he taught courses in the history of art. After completing his first publications in 1939-1940, Underwood successfully applied for a fellowship at Dumbarton Oaks.

As a junior fellow from 1943 to 1946, Underwood studied the Lateran Baptistery, the relationship of early Christian baptisteries to the tholoi, and the iconography of the “Fountain of Life,” as depicted in early Gospel manuscripts. This research resulted in an article, “The Fountain of Life in Manuscripts of the Gospels,” which was published in Dumbarton Oaks Papers (vol. 5, 1950). In February 11, 1946, the Trustees for Harvard University “voted to appoint Paul Atkins Underwood as Instructor of Byzantine Art and Archaeology at [Dumbarton Oaks for one year],” but they immediately promoted him to Assistant Professor of Byzantine Art and Archaeology in the same year until 1951. He was subsequently appointed Associate Professor of Byzantine Architecture and Archaeology in 1951-1955 (and Field Director of the Byzantine Institute, Inc., starting in 1951) and Professor of Byzantine Architecture and Archaeology in July 1960.

During his junior fellowship, Underwood, an architectural historian, joined Albert M. Friend, an art historian, and Glanville Downey, a philologist, to work on the reconstruction of the lost monument of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople. During the 1948 Dumbarton Oaks symposium, “The Church of the Holy Apostles at Constantinople,” Underwood presented two papers entitled “The Architecture of Justinian’s Church of the Holy Apostles, Parts I and II.”

After 1951, Underwood devoted the majority of his time to the Byzantine Institute, Inc., having been appointed Field Director after the death of Thomas Whittemore, the Institute’s founder and director, in 1950. He held this position until 1964. During the transition period, Underwood continued the restoration and conservation work in Istanbul, and published several reports in Dumbarton Oaks Papers on the Byzantine Institute’s work at Hagia Sophia and Kariye Camii. Other endeavors under his directorship included: the uncovering of the 7th century pavement in the Church of the Pantocrator (also known as St. Savior Pantocrator or Molla Zeyrek Camii) that was carried out from 1954 to 1962; the restoration of mosaics in the Fethiye Camii (Church of Theotokos Pammakaristos) from 1949 to 1963; the conservation of a fresco discovered at the church of St. Euphemia in 1958; and the repair work in the Fenari Isa Camii (Lips Monastery) from 1960 to 1964. Also during this period, the Byzantine Institute’s conservators worked on the mosaic of the Transfiguration at the monastery of St. Catherine on Mt. Sinai in Egypt in 1959. All of these fieldwork projects led to extensive publications.

Name of creator

Friend, Albert Mathias (1894-March 23, 1956)

Biographical history

Albert M. Friend, Jr., was born in 1894 and died on March 23, 1956, in New Jersey. He attended Princeton University as an undergraduate in 1911 and as a graduate student in 1915. During the First World War, Friend served with the American Expeditionary Force in France in 1918. After his war service, he went back to Princeton University to continue his graduate studies. In 1921, Friend was appointed instructor, and in 1946 a professor in the Department of Art and Archaeology, succeeding Charles Rufus Morey as Marquand Professor of Art and Archaeology. At Dumbarton Oaks, he was appointed Senior Scholar in Residence (also known as the Henri Focillon Scholar) and was in charge of the research program ("Fontes" and "Archives of Byzantine Art," also known as "Archives" or "Research Archives") starting in the academic year of 1944-1945. In the same academic year, he initiated a project to reconstruct or visualize the lost church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople. In this endeavor, he was joined by Paul Underwood and Glanville Downey. During the 1948 Dumbarton Oaks symposium, “The Church of the Holy Apostles at Constantinople,” he presented a paper entitled “The Mosaics of Basil I in the Holy Apostles, Parts I and II.” Friend’s other appointments in Dumbarton Oaks include: Chairman of the Board of Scholars (1946-1947) and Henri Focillon Visiting Scholar in Charge of Research (1947-1948). He was also the first Director of Studies from 1948 to 1954.

Archival history

This collection was likely transferred from Paul Underwood’s office to the Dumbarton Oaks Archives in the late 1960s or after his death in 1968.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

On May 25, 1999, the Underwood files were moved to the Byzantine Photograph and Fieldwork Archives, now known as the Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA). After the transfer in 1999, former ICFA staff may have included these materials in the collection called The Byzantine Institute and Dumbarton Oaks Fieldwork Records and Papers, ca. late 1920s-2000s, since Underwood served as Field Director of the Byzantine Institute from 1950 to 1961. Overall, because there is no documentation, it is difficult to determine the collection’s full acquisition history.

On January 5, 2015, ICFA Manager Shalimar White accepted the donations from Sarah Underwood (daughter of Paul and Irène Underwood). Donated materials include: four (4) manila envelopes of correspondence from personal papers of Paul and Irène Underwood, 1946-1986.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This collection is divided into five (5) series, and contents are roughly arranged in chronological order. First, it highlights Paul Underwood’s early research interests as a graduate student at Princeton University in the mid-1930s and as a Junior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks in the early 1940s. Second, it documents the collaborative project between Underwood, Albert M. Friend, Jr., and Glanville Downey on the reconstruction or as they termed it “restoration” of the church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople, initiated at Dumbarton Oaks in the mid-1940s. Collection materials include lecture and research notes, translations, note cards, drafts for outlines and essays, bibliographies, lists of objects, architectural drawings, as well as photographic prints and negatives of the reconstruction drawings and manuscript illuminations.

The collection focuses on Underwood’s early research interests in the Lateran Baptistery, the relationship of early Christian baptisteries to the tholoi, and the iconography of the “Fountain of Life,” as depicted in early Gospel manuscripts. This research resulted in an article entitled “The Fountain of Life in Manuscripts of the Gospels” (hereafter, “The Fountain of Life”), published in Dumbarton Oaks Papers. The second component of the collection documents the cooperative project on the reconstruction of the lost church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople, a project that was initiated by Friend in 1945 and actively carried out between 1946 and 1954 with Underwood and Downey. This ambitious project led to the 1948 symposium in Dumbarton Oaks entitled “Symposium on the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople.”

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

System of arrangement

This collection is divided into five (5) series, and contents are roughly arranged in chronological order.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Access to the collection is unrestricted. It is available for research purposes. Appointment is required for access because researcher space is limited: http://www.doaks.org/icfa-appointment-request-form. For research queries, contact the staff of Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (icfa@doaks.org).

Conditions governing reproduction

Duplication of materials in the collection may be governed by copyright and other restrictions.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

PDF version: http://www.doaks.org/library-archives/icfa/underwood.pdf
Harvard OASIS (Online Archival Search Information System): http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:DOAK.LIB:dca00010

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

At Dumbarton Oaks:

At other institutions:

Publication note


  • Underwood, Paul. "Notes on Bernini's Towers for St. Peter's in Rome." Art Bulletin 21, 3 (September 1939): 283-287.
  • _____. “Drawings of Saint Peter's on a Pilgrim's Staff in the Museo Sacro.” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 3, 1-2 (October 1939-January 1940): 147-153.
  • _____. “Some Principles of Measure in the Architecture of the Period of Justinian.” Cahiers archéologiques: Fin de l’Antiquité et Moyen Âge 3 (1948): 64-74.
  • _____. “The Fountain of Life in Manuscripts of the Gospels.” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 5 (1950): 41-138.

Notes area

Note

"Restoration," according to a letter from Paul J. Sachs, Chairman of Dumbarton Oaks Administrative Committee, to James B. Conant, President of the Trustees for Harvard University, on November 2, 1946. Sachs, Paul J., 1878-1965. Papers, 1903-2005. Box 26, Folder 507, The Harvard Art Museums Archives, Cambridge, MA.

Note

Tholos (plural tholoi) is a beehive-shaped stone tomb.

Note

“Symposium on the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople,” April 22-24, 1948; Symposiarch: Sirarpie Der Nersessian.

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Description control area

Description identifier

US

Institution identifier

DcWaDIC

Rules and/or conventions used

Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)

Status

Final

Level of detail

Full

Dates of creation revision deletion

This AtoM record was:

  • created by Rona Razon on November 29, 2012
  • completed by Dirk Bos (ICFA Intern, Summer 2013) in July 2013
  • revised by Rona Razon on May 2015

Language(s)

  • English

Script(s)

Sources


  • Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection. Report. 1945-1946.
  • Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection. “Albert Mathias Friend, Jr. (1894-1956),” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 12 (1958): ii, 1-2.
  • Kitzinger, Ernst. “Paul Atkins Underwood (1902–1968).” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 23 (1969): 1-6.
  • Sorensen, Lee. “Friend, Albert M[athias], Jr.” Dictionary of Art Historians. http://www.dictionaryofarthistorians.org/frienda.htm.
  • Sorensen, Lee. “Underwood, Paul A[tkins].” Dictionary of Art Historians. http://www.dictionaryofarthistorians.org/underwoodp.htm.
  • Weitzmann, Kurt. Sailing with Byzantium from Europe to America: The Memoirs of an Art Historian. München: Editio Maris, 1994.

Archivist's note

This collection was identified within The Byzantine Institute and Dumbarton Oaks Fieldwork Records and Papers, ca. late 1920s-2000s, by Laurian Douthett, former ICFA Archivist Assistant, in the summer of 2011. ICFA staff determined that Underwood’s research on the “Fountain of Life” and the reconstruction project on the Holy Apostles in Constantinople did not relate to any of the fieldwork projects that were executed by the Byzantine Institute and/or Dumbarton Oaks. Hence, ICFA staff created a separate collection for the material.

Research, assessment, arrangement, and finding aid were completed by ICFA Archivist Rona Razon in September 2011. The finding aid was edited by former ICFA Byzantine Assistant Curator Günder Varinlioğlu in September 2011 and by ICFA Manager Shalimar White in October 2012. The finding aid was reviewed and updated again in April 2015 by Razon and ICFA Byzantine Research Associate Fani Gargova, in conjunction with the 2015 Byzantine Studies Symposium at Dumbarton Oaks, The Holy Apostles (symposium dates: April 24-26, 2015; Symposiarchs: Margaret Mullett and Robert Ousterhout, http://www.doaks.org/research/byzantine/scholarly-activities/the-holy-apostles), and online exhibit entitled The Holy Apostles: Visualizing a Lost Monument (exhibition curated by Beatrice Daskas and Fani Gargova, April 23-July 20, 2015, with accompanying online exhibit, www.doaks.org/holy-apostles).

Rights area

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Research

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Allow

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Rights note(s)

Preferred Citation: Paul Underwood Research Papers and Project Materials on the Reconstruction of the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople, ca. 1936-1950s, MS.BZ.019, Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives, Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University, Washington, D.C.

Basis

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Act

Publish

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Allow

Start date

End date

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Rights note(s)

Photographs are for research purposes only.

Preferred Citation: Paul Underwood Research Papers and Project Materials on the Reconstruction of the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople, ca. 1936-1950s, MS.BZ.019, Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives, Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University, Washington, D.C.

Basis

Copyright

Copyright status

Under copyright

Copyright status date

Copyright jurisdiction

Copyright note

Digital object metadata

Media type

Text

Mime-type

application/pdf

Filesize

327.4 KiB

Uploaded

August 5, 2015 4:28 PM

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Digital object (Thumbnail) rights area

Accession area