Letter from William MacDonald to Marian Hayes, February 9, 1951
February 9, 1951
Miss Marian Hayes, Chairman
Department of Art and Archaeology
Mount Holyoke College
South Hadley, Mass.
My dear Miss Hayes,
Thank you for your letter of February 7th to Mr. Seth T. Gano. It is most gratifying to find evidence of serious interest in Byzantine studies.
Our films , motion pictures in colour, of the mosaics of Haghia Sophia and of the Chora, are not available on a rental basis. I would be very pleased to come out to Mount Holyoke and show them to you however. There would be no cost to the College except for my railroad fare out and back and, of course, an operator for your projector.
The films are 16mm, without sound, and would take about an hour and a half. The week of February 26th is, unfortunately, impossible. Would you care to suggest an alternate date during the week of February 19th (any day but the 23rd) or during the early days of March?
I know that you will understand why we do not send the films anywhere without an “escort”. Although they are of varying quality, they are the only films of their kind, and we must be most careful with them.
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.