The Byzantine Institute Films
The Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA) at Dumbarton Oaks holds thirteen (13) of the Byzantine Institute's motion picture films: one of the Red Sea Monasteries, eleven (11) of the Hagia Sophia, and another one of the Kariye Camii. This exhibit aims to reveal the context of these films by combining them with archival records from the Byzantine Institute and Dumbarton Oaks Fieldwork Records and Papers. While the films themselves provide indispensable testimony of the mosaics and the techniques employed to uncover them, the meticulous written documentation produced by Byzantine Institute staff - especially the restorers Ernest Hawkins and the brothers Richard and William Gregory - make the history of their creation come alive. These fieldwork notebooks and letters make it possible to reconstruct a detailed timeline of the making and showing of the films of Hagia Sophia and Kariye Camii.
✚ This online exhibit is divided into three sections:
- "STYLE AND CONTENT" presents records that document the subjects of the films, often with an indication of stylistic choices.
- "TECHNIQUE" reveals the film and lighting equipment used, in addition to the speed and exposure employed during filming.
- "PURPOSE AND RECEPTION" traces the documented screenings of the movies and the responses of contemporary audiences.
✚ To explore the history behind the films and view documents in relation to each other, visit the "TIMELINE".
✚ To view the films click on the EXHIBIT ITEMS below.