Letter from Mildred Bliss to Thomas Whittemore, April 17, 1941
April 17th, 1941
As the days pass on I long increasingly to hear from you. It
was a real disappointment that you did not get back to Santa Bar-
bara before going East and I don't have to tell you bow truly
sorry we were that you fell by the wayside and bad such a long
siege of discomfort.
Of course now you can't be thinking of returning to Istanbul,
and as the horror comes ever nearer to Hagia Sofia on one side
and to our own country on the other, one needs whatever faith
one can foster to face not only the morrow but one's own thought
in the night.
Did you see Winnie de Polignac's brothers and what are they able
to do for her? I feel I shall not delay much longer to settle
on some definite course of action in regard to this with both
Nadia and also with Mme. Balsan. So, busy as I know you to be,
may I trouble you to throw some light on this strange, perplexing
Elsie Hooper, as you know, fell in her room and of course hurt
herself. She is far too heave to have a fall negligible, but
she is getting along admirably and has been humorous and sporting
about her misfortune.
If you don't go abroad- and really, I don't know why I should
even say "if", it should rather be "as" - wouldn't you be travelling
a bit in the United States this summer and showing the film? There
are several people here who would like to see it, and I can think
of nothing that would keep our spirits where they ought to be
as well as looking at those reverently portrayed devout faces.
Our own personal affairs lead us to bow the head to a season of
drifting. Until more benefit is reaped from the treatment there is
no thought of Robert's going East, am for him the absence from
the Overseers' Meeting at Dumbarton Oaks tomorrow is the culminating
point of misery.
When you go to Washington, don't fail to ascertain if Sir Arthur
Salter has arrived, and, if so, mind you see him. There is no
one who knows more than he.
I hope you liked Swarzinsky's Dumbarton Oaks article in the Art
Bulletin. There is one by Miss Segall which appeared in the
American Journal of Archaeology. The inaugural lectures are now in
press, so soon Dumbarton Oaks will be launched before the public
in all its aspects, - and we feel increasingly like elders who
have seen their child take flight.
With many thoughts shared with you from us both -
Yours as ever
More Exhibit Items
Connick, a leading American stained glass artist of the first half of the 20th century, expresses his amazement upon seeing a film of the mosaics of Hagia Sophia.
Gregory expresses his opinion upon seeing the films shot in 1936 for the first time the following year.
Arne extends an invitation for Whittemore to give two lectures illustrated with films in Sweden.
Roosval expresses how delighted he is that Whittemore will be visiting Stockholm and Upsala to give lectures illustrated with the film.
Bliss expresses her apprehension regarding Whittemore's return to Istanbul, suggesting that he should instead travel around the United States to show "the film" since many people were interested in seeing it.
Whittemore expresses his interest in publishing the uncovered mosaics in Hagia Sophia as soon as possible to prevent German intervention. He discusses publicizing the work of the Byzantine Institute on the West Coast by giving a lecture illustrated with the color films.
Whittemore informs Thacher, Director of Dumbarton Oaks, that he has agreed to show a color film of the work carried out at Hagia Sophia, in response to a request from the Administrative Committee of Dumbarton Oaks.
Whittemore agrees to show color films of the work done at Hagia Sophia at Dumbarton Oaks.
Whittemore proposes a lecture at the University of Rochester, which will be illustrated with color films of the conservation work carried out in Hagia Sophia.
Clark from the Eastman Kodak Company invites Whittemore to give a public lecture illustrated with the color film at the Art Gallery in Rochester, NY.
Thacher, Director of Dumbarton Oaks, asks Whittemore to give a public lecture with films at Dumbarton Oaks.
This short summary published in the proceedings of the 6th Congrès International des Études Byzantines shows that Whittemore presented the work of the Byzantine Institute to the Byzantine scholarly community by means of the color films produced during the cleaning and restoration work at Hagia Sophia.
The Executive Officer of the Society informs Whittemore that a screening of the films at the Annual Meeting in 1950 would not be possible, but proposes to put him on the program for the following year.
Whittemore agrees to show the color film at the American Philosophical Society Annual Meeting in 1951. This screening never took place as Whittemore passed away on June 8, 1950.
Coolidge from the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University accepts MacDonald's offer for a screening of the Byzantine Institute films.
Marian Hayes, art history professor at Mount Holyoke College and a former student of Whittemore's at New York University, inquires about renting the color film on Hagia Sophia to show it to her students.
The Byzantine Institute issues an invitation to a screening of the films in honor of Thomas Whittemore at the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University.