David Keil

Edited Oral History Interview with David Keil undertaken by Elizabeth Gettinger and Anne Steptoe at the Dumbarton Oaks Guest House (Fellows Building) on July 30, 2009. At Dumbarton Oaks, David Keil has served as a docent between 1989 and 2013.

EG: Today is July 30, 2009. My name is Elizabeth Gettinger.

AS: I'm Anne Steptoe.

EG: And today we have the pleasure of interviewing David Keil here in the Guest House of Dumbarton Oaks. Thank you for joining us today.

DK: Okay.

EG: I guess to start things off, could you tell us a little bit about how you first heard about Dumbarton Oaks and came to work here and kind of what your first impressions were of the place?

DK: Well, I retired, I was a dentist, and I retired about twenty-one years ago and I decided to look for a volunteer job. I started out training as a master gardener, then I started answering phones in Maryland, Montgomery County – garden questions, I worked at Brookside Gardens, and I worked at the Smithsonian in the orchid collection, and then I saw this advertisement for Dumbarton Oaks, and my wife said I had to give up something, so I gave up the Brookside Gardens as master gardener, and I started at Dumbarton Oaks. I was always interested in pre-Columbian art and I'd done a lot of traveling, but I had some fishing buddies, we used to fish down in South America and Central America, and I've always been a gardener, but I didn't know beans about Byzantines, so that was a good learning experience, and I came here. We had months of training under Cynthia Pinkston, she was very good. We had a good education, lectures and all. I started working in the garden and I became very friendly with Don Smith when he was the gardener, and when he retired, I interviewed him. I had – I don't know whether you've read Don Smith's interview. I think one of the other docents who’s no longer here and I interviewed him in the Orangery for an hour, and that was a wonderful experience. If you read it, I transcribed it, but some of the things I couldn't understand, so then Philip Page came, he was a gardener, in the gardening section, and I did a lot of work with him. While he was here he asked me, they had lost the Pan statue, and he asked me if I could investigate that, which I did. I got together with Gay Mackintosh, who was in Nancy's position at the time, and so I called Don Smith to ask if he knew where the sculpture was. Do you want all this?

EG: Yeah.

AS: Oh yes.

EG: Absolutely.

DK: And he told me that he wasn't sure but he knew the man had a bronze statue at the Santa Barbara museum, so I called Santa Barbara and talked to the curator, and he told me the man, I think his name was, I'm not sure, Sedgewidge [sic Sedgwick] or – I'm not even sure of his name now, and I asked if she knew about the family. Well, she told me that one of the daughters was married to a professor from Harvard, so I called her and asked if she knew anything about the statue, so she said there were five made, but she didn't have any, but she had two sisters and a brother. They had – she thought they had statues. Our statue was stolen twice, it was taken away and then returned, and then stolen a second time. We offered a reward, we were going to give them free passes to the garden. Anyway, I called the woman, she told me the one daughter was involved with a messy divorce and wasn't going to be available. The son was somewhere in the mountains of Idaho, but I talked to the woman in California and she told me that they had been made in a bronze casting workshop in Brooklyn, New York, but she wasn't interested in dealing with the statue, loaning or anything, so I called bronze casting works and asked if they happened to have the pattern. They said they did not keep the mold, so I called her back and I pleaded with her if she would, if we could borrow this statue and she agreed. We had it shipped to Brooklyn and we paid for the insurance and shipping and so forth, and then made a copy for it, we also made a plaster copy which you may have seen in the Orangery. She was very nice about it. We did – that was one of my major accomplishments. Also became – I had a good friend who was a docent here, just recently passed away, named Milton Shurr, and we were working down in the Pre-Columbian area with Carol Callaway. Carol Callaway was the assistant to Elizabeth Boone, and we became very friendly and when she would get requests for – people would send in pictures of some of their pre-Columbian antiquities, she would ask us to see if we could identify them. We would go through the books, it was really a great learning experience, and we did what we could, and she would either approve or disapprove, and we did that for quite a while, and we brought a lot of the collection up to date. We had – we made two books, one of the – of all the pieces in the Pre-Columbian museum, and one book, and then another book about culture. Then they decided to do the Andean catalog, and so we did most all the editing over the period of a year. Unfortunately, we're not mentioned in the acknowledgments, but we did work with Carol and we did a lot of the work on that, and other than that, besides docenting and, you know, working here, I've enjoyed these, what, I guess twenty years I've been here, still hanging in.

AS: Just so we have it on the record, you were docent class of 19 – let's see, it would have been – 1989? Is that – ?

DK: You do the math. Yeah, that was the second class. Jerry Goldberg, well, if you're interviewing him, he was in that class, and there were a couple others who are no longer here.

EG: I wonder if you might talk a little more about Cynthia Pinkston as a figure, because she's no longer with us so we can't talk to her about –

DK: Well, she was a wonderful teacher – very pleasant to work with. I liked Cynthia. I hear from her still every once in a while, as she does some of the other docents. She was working for her doctorate in – I think perpetually she was working on her doctorate. One of the things we did for Carol Calloway, she found a whole box of letters, Bliss letters, and letters from Mr. Johnson, and we actually, we decided to make copies of every one of them and then they gave us some spray, we were going to try to preserve them. We had them out in the garden one day, we had them on a table, and then along came – who was the director? The Greek woman who passed away –

EG: Angeliki.

DK: Yeah, she took one look at us and they took the job away and sent it all down to some professional person, so we lost that job. Anyway, it was interesting. I read all the letters from Philip Johnson, and so forth. I – personally, I never liked the man. One of the reasons I didn't, because he did a lot of work and he had his students do a lot of the architecture and he never gave them credit, he took all the credit, besides his anti-Semitic and pro-German leanings – but he did a beautiful museum, I will say that. Other than that, what other questions do you have?

EG: Could you tell us a little about the training program? You mentioned that when you first came you went through training and, I think, Cynthia Pinkston was in charge of that then.

DK: Well, it was very similar to what we have now. We would have Fellows come in and speak to us on the various Byzantine or Garden or Pre-Columbian, and of course we had to write papers, I particularly wrote a lot of papers that are in the files on various subjects and we don't do that now, unfortunately, which I think we should, it keeps you up and, you know, a lot of the docents did write papers at that time. In fact, I suggested to Chris that it's better for our own education as well as others.

EG: Do the docents specialize in certain areas, like you said you were interested in Pre-Columbian and Garden studies before you came?

DK: Well, we're supposed to know it all, and – but we all had our favorites. I'm particularly Pre-Columbian and Garden. We do maybe slack off a little too much on the Byzantine, but wherever I can I get somebody else to do it. I shouldn't say that, since particularly I'm the lead man on Thursday. I abuse my privilege or my position.

EG: You mentioned a few of the odd jobs that you do around Dumbarton Oaks. What exactly is the job description of your responsibilities as a docent, is it just sort of to lead docent tours or are there other things?

DK: Just docent tours. Incidentally, I also volunteer in the garden. Now, I volunteer in the greenhouse, I'm a little more knowledgeable about orchids than most people, I think, because I've been there for twenty years, so I've been helping Melissa in the garden. I come in Saturday mornings, not every Saturday morning, and I take care of the orchids and give her advice on orchids and so forth, but our position is strictly docenting, you know, taking groups around, but we do other things. Well, you talked about Inge Gaberman on the way over here, she worked all the time down in Byzantine doing slides, checking slides, and doing other things for them. Most all of us do something else, not as much lately. For a fact, now we, I don't work down in Pre-Columbian like I used to, we used to be in the Rare Book Room in the old building, we were always down there. Now you have to sign your life away to get into the Rare Book Room, so it's not as collegial as it was, in fact, it – I always resent this badge thing, the hierarchy, way at the bottom in the yellow, so I think they should get rid of the colors. So, I mean, it was – things were a lot more open at the time. Of course, I understand it, because security was not, was very lax at the time. I mean, we could – you couldn't take the stuff out, but you could take books out or do anything you wanted in Pre-Columbian. We looked through all the rare books. Now, we did a lot of the research through the rare books without having to sign them out or, you know, do all that, but it's better that we do have this. Like I said, they stole the Pan, they stole the squirrel off the top of one of the, one of those little – down in the corner next to the Lover's Lane Pool, there was a little squirrel up on top. There's a couple other things that disappeared, and of course you know about the statue that's down in the Rose Garden, they broke that twice just recently.

EG: I heard that.

DK: I think they put a camera down there now.

EG: Oh really? It was a tourist that broke that or something?

DK: We don't know – somebody who didn't like that type of art.

AS: So, your garden volunteer position is the same position you held when you were working with Don Smith? Or it's just various – ?

DK: It was a casual position. You know, I just – because I liked it, and he and I got along well, I did a lot of work with him. He had a tour one time, after he'd left, he left for quite a while, and he, one night when he got up there, he used to do landscape design, a tour came from his home town, a minister had brought a number of people, and I said, “Oh, Don Smith, let me tell you a funny story.” My mother, who is about ninety years old, heard that Don Smith was into landscape design, so she called him and came over and handed him two flats of marigolds to plant. He didn't say a word, he just planted the marigolds – that's the kind of guy he was, very sweet. So, it was nice working with a man like that. He was here for forty – I don't know how many years.

AS: He must have had a lot of stories, because I think he worked closely with Beatrix Farrand and Mrs. Bliss.

DK: Oh, yes. Did you read that interview that I did with him? I also interviewed – before Chris, the cabinet maker.

AS: Oh, Astor Moore?

DK: Yes, Astor Moore. He was a nice guy.

AS: We haven't seen that.

DK: I don't know what happened to that. I gave the tape to my other – whatever her name I was, I've forgotten her name. I gave the tape to her and I never heard what we did, but I interviewed him, too, before he left.

EG: He's deceased now, I think?

DK: Is he what?

EG: Deceased?

DK: I think he is, I'm not sure, I lost track. He did some beautiful cabinet work, as does Chris now, Chris Harrison. He's not doing as much now as he did originally when he first – and I'm actually a woodworker myself, so I spent a lot of time there looking over shoulders or whatever.

AS: I wonder, if you were really in the earlier days of the docent program and did you have a sense from those years of a mission for this program, because it was a new initiative, or a relatively new initiative?

DK: Yes. We were very well accepted. The first class, they were really – the director was really keen about it, and when we were here they were very accepting of our being docents and encouraged us and supported us. We didn't quite get the support from our last director, I hate to say that, but if it was up to him we probably wouldn't be doing any docenting. But we have a new director now who is very supportive and I'm glad to see him here, because he's a nice man.

EG: It seems like there have – sort of, like, changing attitudes towards Dumbarton Oaks' outreach to the public. Has that coincided with support for the docent program?

DK: Well, for a while, everyone who was signed up to have a tour was accepted, and then under the last director it had to be someone who had a particular interest, either had to be a specialty group and so forth, so it actually eliminated – we didn't do a lot of tours, our tour schedule was way down from what it was before. We were busy all the time before, which we like, we like giving tours, and I think the public is interested in hearing, I think they should be, I don't care if they're housewives from Iowa or, you know, just because they're not a specialist in that field. They always get something out of it, because our docents are a wonderful group, they are all nice people, they all have professional careers, most of them, and they should be respected, and for a little bit of time they weren't.

EG: Have you had any particular memorable groups that you've led on docent tours?

DK: I have to think. I've had some wonderful – the last guy I had that was interesting, the head of the National Endowment for the Arts, he was – G-O, G-I-O-A [sic Dana Gioia]? He just retired, he was a wonderful man. He came with three young ladies in his staff, and usually the guys are pretty big shots, they don't pay attention, he would grab them by the arm and say, “Come look at this! Come look at this!” It was a very nice experience, and I told him, I saw the way he handled his staff – that was the right kind of guy, I told him to his face. Anyway, he sent me a book on – a number of books – he sent me some recordings, which I turned over to the Chris – to the docent person. I also had the wife of the ambassador of Luxembourg, who was very interesting, and she sent me a – we shouldn't, you know, we don't usually get gifts and so forth – but she sent me cufflinks with very, very ornate pearls on it and so forth, and I happened to run into the hall and met Nancy Hinton. “Nancy, how would you like these cufflinks?” So, I got rid of those. Who else did I get? Oh, I took Mrs. – oh, the woman who – Casey, Mrs. Casey. You know Casey Trees? She's responsible for all the trees on the sidewalk. In fact, she was buying Woodies – we call it the Woodies Building – she wanted the opera, the D.C. Opera House to use it, but they couldn't afford it, they turned it down. Anyway, took her through and with her was a gentleman who owned the Willard Hotel, and a landscape architect, she was interested in architecture and how we handled the architecture in the garden, and I took them through and so forth, and we got a nice book about the history of the Willard Hotel, so that was one. Over the years we've had some very interesting people. I can't think – there are many others, but twenty years – you know, I've seen a lot. What's interesting, too, is I have friends who have lived in Washington, grew up and born here, which I was not, and they didn't know anything, never heard of Dumbarton Oaks, so when I started working here all of a sudden I'm giving a tour to all these native Washingtonians who are not familiar with it.

EG: So, is there, like, sort of a typical person who tends to go on the docent tours or is it really a wide variety? I mean, are most people like specialists in a field or have special interests, or – ?

DK: Well, it's always better if we get someone who's specialistic. We get garden groups, we know – Chris likes to educate them a little before they come so they, so it's not cold turkey, so they can understand it. Particularly with school groups, she sends them literature and so forth, which is good, but other times we get people and you can tell right away whether they're interested or not, if they start walking around, walking away, so we – they get a very short tour. If you get someone who's interested, we do that 2:10 tour in the garden, which is a volunteer group. We – it's supposed to be a half hour, and most of the time it is a half hour, but if you get somebody that's really interested and really has a good history, they know about the – some of them knew about Miss Beatrix Farrand, some of them knew about Mrs. Bliss, it – then you really do a spend a lot more time, you really gauge your tour on how your audience is reacting, just like anything else. For the most part, they're all – everybody's real nice. You see some people coming in to the museum, to see Dumbarton Oaks, and they're out in five minutes. Other times they look at each case.

AS: So, would you say that, over the years, you've had more, I guess, garden groups, or other older guests, or more school groups? Is there like a typical age?

DK: I would say more older groups over the years. We don't, we're not seeing as many school groups now. Certain school groups always came. School Without Walls, that was always here, and I hope we will see more young – just a couple weeks ago I gave a tour to all the teachers from Montgomery County who were interested in Latin American Studies, so I gave them all a very close, I mean a good, extensive view of the Pre-Columbian area, so hopefully that they will bring their classes – that was the purpose of why we did that. Some groups come back every year, school groups.

AS: I don't know if you would have any information about this, but maybe second hand you might know. Are there a lot of requests for docents to interact, for the docent program to interact with individuals in other ways than giving tours, with seminars or other sort of special events?

DK: Well, I have given tours outside Dumbarton Oaks. I made a slide show of Dumbarton Oaks on my own, particularly the gardens, and I have given tours to garden groups and I gave a group over in Catholic University at one time, it was a group that wanted to understand what Dumbarton Oaks was about and so forth – outreach program, you know. It isn't part of our program, but sometimes someone would request – and if we want to do it, and if it sounds like it ought to be fun – so I do it, others of us do it. That's only happened about half a dozen times I would say, though, over the years.

EG: So, you mentioned earlier that a lot of the people that you take on tours are from the D.C. area and yet hadn't really heard of Dumbarton Oaks –

DK: I think you misunderstood me. I was just taking friends, but I find people, we meet people on tours from all over the world, and they've heard about it and we have people in Washington who've never heard of Dumbarton Oaks. We get – we got – somebody came in the garden just the other day from Belgium, they came specifically to see Dumbarton Oaks, and, I mean, some of them had heard about the garden. There was a group last Sunday, I came in to give friends a tour, they asked me, kept asking me, so I said okay, but one of the gentleman in a group from New York City came here to see the garden and they were upset that it was raining and when there's lightning they close the garden – they flew down from New York to see the garden, so I tried to help them by taking them to the museum, I said, “Well, come join us, I'll show you around the museum so it won't be a total loss.” It's – you know, that's the weather. You can't do anything about it. Yeah, we do – I've had people come from all over the world here. We had one of our docents, Anastasia, who's a Greek woman, and she's given Greek tours. I'm trying to think – we used to have – one of the docents was Spanish, did a lot of those groups. We're not very multilingual any more. Let's see –

AS: Tours have always been given four days a week, is that right? It's been a fairly constant schedule.

DK: Yeah, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Saturday, not Friday, pardon me, not Friday. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday. You're right, I counted wrong.

AS: And that's been the case throughout the program?

DK: Yeah, that's been the case. We were talking about whether we want to do tours on – I mean, come in the garden on Fridays and Sundays, which we've been doing. And I guess some of us have gotten a little lazy, and whether we will continue that or not, would be a shame, because Sunday, particularly, the place is jammed – today we'll be lucky if there's half a dozen people there, but on the weekends, you know, it's more fun then, you have people to talk to. That – those are not assigned tours, you understand, I mean, it's just a pick up tour for half an hour, but we usually stretch it.

EG: So, are there different tours each day of the week then? How does that work?

DK: Just people pay to come in the garden and we stay. They have a little sign, “There will be a tour at 2:10,” and anyone who cares about it – and some people just walk past, some people say, “Gee, I'd like a tour.” Whether it's one person or ten people we take them around – if they get bored, they leave, then we feel rejected.

EG: It seems like you have a unique position as a docent, as maybe one of the only ways that Dumbarton Oaks really does outreach to the public. Have you noticed any other sorts of education programs or anything like that at Dumbarton Oaks, or do you think this is really a sort of a unique thing?

DK: I think that's very unusual. I don't know, I really don't know whether the other docents have done outside activities. I've never really asked, and I've never publicized that I've done them myself, it's just – Cynthia one time would ask me, you know, “I have a call, would you mind doing this” and so forth, and I've done it a couple times for Chris. Somebody called, “would you mind, if I'm unavailable,” I say “well maybe try one of the other docents,” that's – it's a little unusual to do the outreach. I know they've talked about doing but I don't think it's been active.

AS: And the docent program was really something of a break from tradition for Dumbarton Oaks.

DK: Oh, yes, definitely. It was Cynthia who started the program. You know, there was not, she had a director there who was very interested in the program, I can't remember his name, but maybe you might know.

AS: Gary Vikan, maybe?

DK: No, he wasn't the director.

AS: Oh, I'm sorry, Robert Thomson.

DK: Yes, and he was interested in the garden, and I think his wife was interested in the gardens. That always helps, if you have some support, you know. Gary Vikan was visiting at that time, and he was supportive of Cynthia, too, she was brand new, and those all – we'd always taken a lot of trips to various other museums or other art. We still do, we pick another spot to go to and make – in most cases we reciprocate, when we go to another garden or another museum, then they come here, it's fine. I had another incident. I was in the Byzantine in the afternoon one day and this gentleman came over and asked if I would tell him about some of the pieces, so I was telling him, explaining the origin of Christianity of all things, and he says, he started reading this ancient bible, the old Greek. I said, “My lord, where are you from?” You know, and he said, “Oh, I'm the director of the Benaki Museum in Athens.” And I said, “Oh my lord!” So, anyway, we went around, he said, “If you're ever in Greece I want you to come visit me.” Well, the following year my wife and I we went on a tour and we ended up in Athens and I said, “Let's go to the Benaki Museum.” I went there and it was Greek Eastern, and I went in and the only thing open was the book store, so I said, “Gee, I talked to the director.” “Oh, I'm so sorry, he's up in his estate up in the mountains, come on in I'll open the museum for you, and take you around.” And they took us around for an hour, he took us around and the museum was just closed, so it was very nice.

EG: It's a great way to make connections with people like that.

DK: I had also the docents from Chicago Art Institute, and I was – we went out to a wedding about a month later and the wedding was way out of town and I wanted to go down to the Chicago Art Institute anyway, so I went to the concierge, and I said, “You know, I'd like to go down there, how can I get down there?” He said, “Well, a limousine goes down at such and such a time.” So, I said, “Well, I'd like to go down at that time.” He said, “Well, it's, they leave at x number hours, certain hours.” So, I went out and it was this big stretch limousine a mile long, and I'm looking around, there's nobody else there. I said, “You're going down?” He says, “You want to go? Well it's $40.” I said, “Well, okay.” He said, “And if you mind giving me a tip, $5.” I said, “Okay we'll do that.” So, we go down, they pull up in front of the Chicago Art Institute, and this tremendous – I get out, and all, everybody, all traffic stops, people stop, who this guy was, I was so embarrassed. Anyway, I went into the museum and there was one of the docents that I had seen, so a couple of them took me all around. I had a wonderful tour of the Chicago Institute, private tour, so, you know, you get payback. It's very nice.

AS: I wonder in your time at these programs, it seems like the docent program has an opportunity to really improve the image of Dumbarton Oaks in a larger scholarly community.

DK: Oh, definitely so, I'm sure.

AS: And thinking about that, I wonder if there are other interactions you see between the studies programs and the docent program, and what the docent program offers to them.

DK: Between the study program?

AS: Yeah, like the Byzantine Center and the Pre-Columbian Center.

DK: I don't think there's much, I don't think we have much – particularly now, we have very little interaction, they even sit at a different table now. Truthfully, we always – I don't like that personally, we used to all sit at the same table and so forth, now they have an assigned table there and they gave us a table in the corner for the docents, and it's too insular, you know. I think we have as much to offer. Some of these people have a very narrow education. I mean, they study fifteenth-century such and such, whereas, some of our people in the docent program are very broad in knowledge, and you know, in that we have – that's a person thing, you understand, so we don't have the relationship we had before. Not only that, the new library does not lend itself to any collegiality because each one is in a little room by themselves – used to be we'd be down in the Rare Book Room and they would come down and work and we'd talk and say, “Can we help you? I'll look up some books for you,” or, “What are you working on?” We don't have that now so there's not very much relationship between the docents and, except maybe individual cases, you know, but broadly, I don't even know most of the – I always knew every one of the Fellows, you know. I knew where they were from and so forth. Now, these guys just walk by, they don't even know who I am, so that's – they have there thing and we have ours. But we're retired; we want to do that.

EG: Is there much relationship between the docent program or the docents and other people at Dumbarton Oaks? Like you mentioned the gardeners or maybe the people involved with the collections or things like that?

DK: That's everyone's choice, yes. I have a wonderful relationship with the guards, I love them all, kid around. I know all the people in the garden and so forth, and I'm very friendly with Juan Antonio, you know, and in fact, I have a very good friend – she – her husband was a very prominent journalist, during World War II he was broadcasting from London and so forth and so on, then he was assigned to someplace down in Central America and he started collecting a little Byzantine – I mean pre-Columbian art, just a few things, but he had a good friend who was big on collecting pre-Columbian art. Anyway he passed away and I worked with her at the orchid collection over at the Smithsonian, and I used to help her – she was high eighties at that time, then she decided she wanted to move. She was all by herself in this place near the zoo, you know in one of those homes; she said, “Dave, I want you to come downstairs, there's six boxes here and I really don't know what's in there. Joseph's friend left these boxes here for us to take care of maybe thirty years ago, and we don't know what happened to him and so forth.” She says, “I think they're pre-Columbian material.” So, I opened the boxes and sure enough there were all kinds of pre-Columbian stuff, so I came in here and I talked to Jeff Quilter. He said, “Bring them in, let's see what we can do.” So, they took most of them, it's in our collection and they printed them up and they gave her a book, and unfortunately, anyway, it's in our collection, and then she passed away not too long ago, maybe less than a year ago. I got a call from her sister about two weeks ago and she says, “I found your name in a letter that you had written to her about Dumbarton Oaks had accepted her stuff,” she said. “There's some stuff here, I don't know anything about it.” I said, “I'm pretty sure I know what you have, she had a few pieces she kept personally,” and she said, “Well what should I do with them?” So, I said, “Oh, let me check.” So, I asked Juan Antonio, I said, “You know, there are more pieces from that collection if you want them,” and he said, “Absolutely not.” He says, “They were so upset that they took the first part because they didn't have provenance.” Well, what they knew, each piece was wrapped in a newspaper and the newspapers were dated long before the cutoff date, they were dated early 1960, you know 1960 or so, before '63, but I said, “Well, they're the same area,” and he said, “No, they wouldn't take them.” So, I called her back, I said, “You can call Sotheby's or somebody else and maybe they'll take them still.” I don't know what happened. I personally have a pretty good collection, with pre-Columbian, but I didn't want to get involved with all that.

AS: I guess we sort of talked about this a little bit, you touched on it, but I'm wondering if you could talk a little about the major changes you've seen in Dumbarton Oaks and in the docent program over the years you've been involved here.

DK: The docent program is – has improved under Chris. I mean, she's very, very good, she's very well organized and so forth. I think it's an excellent program. We brought on some new docents who are very dedicated, young people, which we need, most of them are younger than I, everybody's younger than I – so what was the other part of the question?

EG: Changes that you've seen in Dumbarton Oaks as an institution.

DK: Well, I think I've described to you the – I don't – which I don't think it has changed for the better as far as the docents are concerned, and of course we have new buildings and more security. I think I've described that pretty well.

AS: I wonder, on the other end of that same question, what you see as future changes that you'd like to see in the docent program or future roles for the docents to play?

DK: No, I think our program is pretty well what it should be. I don't know whether – my personal feelings about integrating with the Fellows or anything, that's just a personal thing. The mission of Dumbarton Oaks is not to take care of the docents, you know. The mission is to do what they do. I – you know, I wonder about that. I used to have long conversations with Jeff Quilter, he was very nice, you know Jeff, or you've heard of him, a wonderful man. I told him that I'd had many professors over the years and I can count on one hand, five people, who I really admire and love to hear from over the years, and you're number one right here, and he was – a great guy, but we had a couple Fellows a couple years back, really good guys, nice Pre-Columbian Fellows, and then the next thing – when they left here, I went over to Safeway and he was working at Safeway. I said, “Jeff, this is terrible, you're taking these people, you're bringing them here, how, what is the mission? How are you helping anybody?” He said, “Maybe we're getting too many or, I don't know what it is.” I felt so badly to see this young guy, who was very knowledgeable, working at Safeway. I guess there aren't that many positions open. The old people are hanging on too long or something, but anyway, I'm starting to digress.

AS: I think you've answered the questions that we've come with. Is there anything that we've left out?

DK: No, I think you're great, two wonderful people.

EG: Aw, thank you.

DK: I think you have a good mission, I don't know, what are you going to do with what you get?

EG: Transcribe all the interviews and get them in the archives so that if somebody wants to someday do some research on the Oral History of Dumbarton Oaks they can –

DK: I see, well, maybe I've made too many personal comments.

AS: No, it's important to us to get an impression of what it was like to be at Dumbarton Oaks at certain years.

DK: I'm sure you'll hear from other people too.

EG: Well, thank you for talking to us.

DK: It was nice meeting you.

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