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Henry Maguire (ICFA Interview)

Oral History Interview with Henry Maguire, undertaken by Rona Razon and Fani Gargova at the Dumbarton Oaks Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives on December 15, 2014. At Dumbarton Oaks, Henry Maguire was a Junior Fellow (1971–1972), a Senior Fellow (1986–1990 and 1991–1996 ex officio), and Visiting Senior Research Associate (1989–1990) of Byzantine Studies; he was Director of Byzantine Studies (1991–1996).

This interview was undertaken as part of the ICFA Oral History Initiative.

Henry Maguire was previously interviewed along with his wife, Eunice Maguire, by the Dumbarton Oaks Archives (DOA) on September 3, 2008.


RR: Good Morning.

HM: Good Morning.

RR: The date is Monday, December 15th, 2014. My name is Rona Razon and I have the pleasure of interviewing Henry Maguire, a former Junior Fellow between 1971 to 1972, as well as the former Director of Studies in the Byzantine Studies Program, from 1991 to 1996. Fani Gargova, ICFA Byzantine Research Associate is also here with us, and she will be filming the interview. This oral history interview is being recorded for the Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives and the Dumbarton Oaks Archives of the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection located in Washington, DC. Before we begin, do I have your permission to record this interview?

HM: You do.

RR: Okay. For the record, please state your full name.

HM: Henry Maguire.

RR: Okay. So your first oral history interview in September 2008 you described your impressions and experiences here at Dumbarton Oaks as a Junior Fellow in the early 1970s, but let's rewind a little bit and let's start with when and where were you born?

HM: I was born in Bath, England, 1943.

RR: And please state your parents' names and describe their occupations.

HM: My mother, Elizabeth Robertson, and she didn't really have an occupation except to be the spouse of a diplomat, which in those days was, was a full time occupation. And my father, Hugh Parnell Maguire, and he was a financial advisor, but my stepfather, with whom I spent most of my childhood, was a diplomat, and his name was Geoffrey McDermott. In the British Foreign Service.

RR: Okay. Do you have any siblings?

HM: Yes, yes, I have two half brothers, one of whom lives in Australia and the other in London.

RR: What do they do?

HM: One of them is a journalist, the one who lives in Australia, he actually works with television, television journalism, and the other runs a shop that sells high end, hi-fi equipment.

RR: When and where did you go for your undergrad and graduate studies?

HM: For undergraduate studies I went to Kings College Cambridge, and graduate studies to Harvard.

RR: Okay. And what did you focus on, and who were your advisors?

HM: As an undergraduate I spent one year doing archaeology and anthropology, and then I switched to art history, and my main advisor was Reginald Dodwell, who is a specialist in Romanesque and Early Gothic art, especially manuscripts. And for my graduate work at Harvard I worked with Ernst Kitzinger.

RR: And why did you transition from archaeology, anthropology to art history?

HM: Probably because at that time archaeology was a very empirical subject, and also at Cambridge they weren't interested in anyone once they had writing. So it was strictly prehistoric. And it consisted of memorizing long lists of names of sites, carbon 14 dates which were changed anyway, and shapes of flint hand axes and it just didn’t engage my interest very much. So I switched to art history.

RR: And how did you -- where did that interest --

HM: The interest in Byzantium came mainly from having been -- living in Cyprus. My father was posted to Cyprus when I was in my teens and we spent a lot of time traveling in the Near East. We went to Turkey, Israel, Jordan, and so I acquired an interest in Byzantine monuments that way.

RR: Is this your stepfather? Or --

HM: Yes, yes, my stepfather, yes.

RR: When did you meet Eunice Maguire, your wife?

HM: Eunice I met on a summer school in England, when I actually hadn't yet gone to university, just before I went to university. And so we kept in touch during our university years and we got married as soon as I graduated.

RR: Do you have the same interest -- I know that she is also a Byzantine scholar.

HM: Yes, very much so. Because the summer school was on the subject of medieval architecture in England. And so we both already had an interest then, and then I suppose our -- when we were able to study at Harvard -- she also studied at Harvard with me, with Professor Kitzinger, so then we both had an interest in Byzantium.

RR: So you mentioned that you were inspired, or influenced to pursue Byzantium when you were living in Cyprus, so what about those monuments that you saw that triggered in your brain or in your heart, "I want to focus in Byzantium"?

HM: It’s a little bit difficult to s -- pinpoint specific monuments, because once -- I think the interest came about gradually, so I would say that of all the monuments I saw when I was in my teens probably the mosaics of Ravenna made the strongest impression. But I also remember from Cyprus, especially the Hermitage of St. Neophytos as being a pretty intriguing place. I don’t know if you know it, but it's a, well it's a hermitage of a late 12th, early 13th century monk, and he had it completely painted himself. He himself probably commissioned the painter and had a strong input in what was painted. And the paintings survive almost intact. So it's a very interesting view of the lifestyle and tastes of a late, late 12th century Byzantine monk.

RR: And you were, by that time you were already interested in studying art, Byzantine art.

HM: Yes, yes.

RR: How about architecture, or....

HM: I always had some interest in architecture, but I was more interested in the art of frescos and mosaics.

RR: Why is that?

HM: I think because I find the visual arts richer than archi --. Architecture, for me, is too abstract. Too mathematical.

RR: Okay. Did you have any opportunity in regards to collaborating with any projects with your wife?

HM: Yes, yes, well, I wrote a couple of bookays with her. The first one was at the University of Illinois, we put on an exhibition of, sort of art and daily life in the early Christian period, and so that was an exhibition shown at the Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois and then it went on to the Kelsey Museum in Michigan, and we published a catalog together on that, together with Maggie Duncan-Flowers, who was a graduate student at that time. And then later on we wrote a bookay on Byzantine secular art together. So, yes, we have collaborated over the years on formal projects, as well as a lot of, obviously, informal discussions and travel together.

RR: When was this exhibit? When was that?

HM: It must have been about 1981, I don’t remember the exact date. Something like that.

RR: Let's move on to your Junior Fellowship here in Dumbarton Oaks. So in 1971 and 1972 you were here as a Junior Fellow, and as you’ve mentioned earlier, your advisor was Ernst Kitzinger, as well as Ihor Ševčenko?

HM: That's right, yes. That's correct.

RR: Okay. Did their affiliation with Dumbarton Oaks motivate you to apply for a fellowship here?

HM: Yes, it seemed the natural thing to do especially since I had already had the Bliss Fellowship, which was for graduate students.

RR: Bliss Fellowship.

HM: Bliss Fellowship. I think it still exists, actually, unless its name has changed, but it was a fellowship to support one or two years of graduate study at other uni -- not at Dumbarton Oaks, but in a university setting, and so I spent two years with a Bliss Fellowship, one actually at the Institute of Fine Arts, and one in Cambridge at Harvard. And so after having had that fellowship, it seemed the natural next step to apply for a Junior Fellowship here.

RR:  What can you say about them, Ernst Kitzinger and Ihor Ševčenko as scholars and as your advisors at the beginning of your career?

HM: Well, Ernst Kitzinger is an art historian, so he was my main advisor in art history, and Ihor Ševčenko is a philologist and a scholar of Byzantine literature, so since my topic sort of covered both art and literature he advised on the literature side. It was a very strong combination of advisors, I would say.

RR: Pretty balanced, though, right?

HM: Balanced, yes, yes.

RR: So, for instance, just a follow up question, what were they working on at that time and how did their work or their topics shape your academic interests?

HM: Well, in the case of Kitzinger, he actually suggested my thesis topic to me, and it came out of some work that he’d done, which resulted in a paper he gave at a symposium at Dumbarton Oaks, called “Byzantine Art and the Hellenistic Heritage.” It was actually a symposium on the Hellenistic heritage in Byzantium, and Kitzinger gave a paper on Byzantine art. And in that paper he discussed the ekphraseis, which are these descriptions of works of art. And also the depiction of emotions in Byzantine art because the ekphraseis, often they have a-- they describe the artwork in very emotional terms, so he was interested in the relationship between these literary descriptions on the one hand and then the artwork on the other. And this was especially the case because at that time in the '60s, there was a strong interest in associating Byzantine art with modernist painting. And so the way people lookayed at Byzantine art, they lookayed at it for relationships with Matisse or other modernist artists. So they didn't see Byzantine art as being emotional. Just the contrary, they saw it as being highly abstract and therefore related to ab -- 20th century abstract art. So to see emotionality in Byzantine art was something quite revolutionary, really. So it was certainly Kitzinger who first saw this and he suggested it as a topic of my dissertation, which, I must say was greeted with disbelief by many people. Which is hard to imagine now. And as for Ševčenko, he has a very wide knowledge of Greek literature. He didn't publish an enormous amount, but he was immensely learned, and he also had that knack which some supervisors have if you tell them what you’re working on, he can give you one reference or one suggestion which is just exactly what you need, and it's so without giving an enormous amount of input in sort of discussing your thesis or the shape of it or critiquing it as a whole, he could just provide the one reference that was really going to prove to be key, which he did in my case.

RR: So you said that the topic on emotions in Byzantine art was something very new at that time, was that something that inspired you to say yes towards Kitzinger, and pursue it?

HM: Well I found it an interesting, just an interesting topic, especially and particularly because people hadn't lookayed at it before. So it wasn't a matter of going over other people's work and critiquing it, but it was something you could get into afresh and lookay at various texts, which no one had ever lookayed at in relationship to art, so that was attractive.

RR: And how did that work out, having an art historian advisor and a philologist, Ihor Ševčenko, as an advisor with your topic, how did that balance out with your academic interests?

HM: Well it fit very well with my topic and there was no, sort of, conflict. No, I think it, it worked very well. So I was very happy.

RR: What sort of collaborations did you have with -- or communications, conversations that you had with them at that time?

HM: Well, as I said I didn’t work very closely with Ševčenko, I met him -- the first time I met him to discuss my thesis, actually, was when I asked him if he could be my advisor. And he said he wouldn’t take me on until he'd talked to me about the topic. And so -- I was up in Cambridge at that time -- so -- and he was down here, living in the house, which I think now consists of offices, security offices at the corner of S street. And so I was flown down and he and Nancy Ševčenko -- they were married at that time -- gave me lunch. And he drank an enormous amount of wine. He had a bottle of wine, he gave, gave me about half a bottle of white wine, so I was quite sort of, woozy. And then he presented me with some Byzantine epigrams in Greek to translate to see if my Greek was strong enough and so fortunately I was able to translate them, so that was, I passed that test. And I think I would have been very nervous if he hadn't plied me with wine beforehand. And after that we kept in touch by mail, and as I said he gave me these very useful pointers and references. But most of the shaping of the thesis and the sort of intellectual structure I worked out with Kitzinger.

RR: You mentioned in your last interview that Kitzinger as well was not here -- physically here in Dumbarton Oaks. Is that correct?

HM: Well he was here as Director of Studies, but then he went up to Harvard, it must have been around '67, '68 he went up to Harvard and taught there for about 12 years. And he had a number of PhD students. And then he retired.

RR: But when you were here as a Junior Fellow --

HM: He was already in Harvard, yes.

RR: And you were communicating as well via mail?

HM: Yes, yes yes.

RR: You also mentioned -- I may not be pronouncing this correctly -- Alexander Kazhdan?

HM: Kazhdan, yes. Kazhdan.

RR: Is that it? And you said that he had a very strong influence on your work. Can you please elaborate more on that?

HM: Yes, because when I came here, first thing we collaborated on an article in DOP. And he, rather like Ševčenko, had an immensely wide knowledge of Byzantine literature and history. And he had a, an amazing card file of tiny little cards almost the size of postage stamps, and if you -- so I think in the Soviet Union paper was very hard to come by, so he had these little postage stamp sized cards and he wrote on each side of them. So if you were researching something like, you know envy in Byzantium or something he would go into his file and he would find, you know, 20 different references in the saints' lives about envy in Byzantium and give these to you. I mean nowadays I suppose you would consult some computerized database for this, like the TLG, but in those days they didn’t exist. So he was very, always very helpful in, in that way.

RR: So he was also working on the same topic?

HM: Well only in this one case, he wanted to collaborate with me on an article on mentions of art in Byzantine saints' lives, and I found this an interesting topic because before I had always been working with these ekphraseis which are high level descriptions of works of art. The saints' lives, by and large, are lower level -- literary level -- more popular, and there are not so many descriptions of works of art but indications of how they were used, and where they were placed and how people reacted to them. So there's a lot of material there, which again hadn't really been mined by art historians. And so that was an interesting way to lookay at the works of art more in terms of their social context than in terms of their aesthetics.

RR: I spokaye to the first speaker last Friday at the colloquium, and he mentioned that Kazhdan's archive has been copied multiple times and it exists in various repositories in -- I think in Italy, Russia...

HM: Yes, yes.

RR: Are you aware of this?

HM: I'm not aware of it, but I'm glad to know that that's happened.

RR: Okay. I just wanted to know if you were aware of it.

HM: No, no I'm not aware of it, no.

RR: Okay. Let's move on to the people that, that you -- the other fellows, the other Junior Fellows while you were here in the '70s. You mentioned that Irina Andreescu was there, Nancy Ševčenko, and you also mentioned Marlia Mundell Mango. They were here at that time --

HM: They were here, yes, not all as Fellows, but they were here.

RR:  But I think I remember, either you or your wife mentioned that you were sitting across Irina and Nancy I believe...

HM: Yes, that was when upstairs they had the reading room where now the Director of Studies has her office, but originally there was one big room without partitions, and it had these sort of long desks, which were placed sort of transversely to the windows, and the Junior Fellows had desks on each side of the table, as it were. As you and I are. So.

RR: What can you tell us about Irina and Nancy as scholars?

HM: Well they're both, you know, very accomplished scholars in totally different ways. I think that Nancy is more interested in liturgy and manuscripts and -- whereas Irina is very, sort of close to the material, especially mosaics, so she likes to get up close and lookay at them and... So they have very different approaches.

RR: Do you remember what they were working on as Junior Fellows? And did you have, did you ever collaborate with them at that time?

HM: I didn't collaborate with either of them, I'm not sure what Nancy was working on at that time, probably on her -- what eventually became a bookay, arising out of a thesis on the iconography of St. Nicholas, and the St. Nicholas cycles. And Irina was working on Torcello, which was the subject of her thesis, the mosaics of Torcello.

RR: Do you remember other Fellows that were there in the early '70s?

HM: I remember John Duffy was there, and later Ioli Kalavrezou came for -- I'm not sure if she was officially a Fellow, or if she had some sort of joint appointment with UCLA. And then there was John Wiita and, who else. I don’t remember more.

RR: Did you collaborate with anyone besides, of course, communicating with your advisors, but other Junior Fellows?

HM: I think on the whole at that stage people are not very often collaborating because usually their focus is on finishing their thesis, and their thesis is something that they write themselves, and indeed they're not really supposed to write it as a collaborative venture; it's supposed to be their own work. So the collaboration usually comes later. Probably most often after people get tenure, when there are no longer issues of -- so much of who is really responsible for the work, I think. Before people get tenure on the whole, they want to build up a kind of portfolio of publications and collaboration can sort of dilute that in a way. Once they have tenure they're less concerned about this so they're more free to collaborate. I think, I mean there are obviously exceptions, especially for archaeologists, but in general I think that's probably true.

RR: But how about in regards to conversations with your fellow --

HM: Oh, yes, conversations, yes, but not in terms of formal, writing something together. Yes. I mean, it does happen, especially if -- for shorter, shorter works like an article, two people will find they have a common interest, or can both sort of contribute to one topic, so there are, I don't want to say that there are no collaborations amongst junior scholars, but there are fewer.

RR: And who were you close with, at that time? Were you close with anyone, just in regards to having a lot of academic conversations --

HM: Yes, well, with Irina obviously as an art historian. Yes. I didn't see so much of Nancy.

RR: Okay. I also remember that you and Eunice mentioned Robert Van Nice.

HM: Yes, yes.

RR: What can you tell us about Robert Van Nice, at that time?

HM: Well he was a slightly mysterious figure, and he had his office in the basement and he appeared at lunches and was always very cordial and a good conversationalist, but not being an architectural historian I didn't get involved -- very much involved with his work. I think later on when I became more interested in some of the features of Hagia Sophia, which he recorded so minutely I found his work more useful. But at that time, since my -- I was working with literature and art, it wasn't much cause for me to engage very deeply with what he was doing.

RR: Were you aware of the Byzantine Institute collection, in the archives here when you were a Junior Fellow?

HM: Not as such, no. I mean, at that time my perspective was, you know either they had photographs or they didn't, and I wasn't very concerned about where they came from.

RR: Okay. So when you were a Junior Fellow, William Loerke was the Director of Byzantine Studies, while you were a Junior Fellow. So how was the -- what was your interaction with him or what was -- what was the environment like between the Junior Fellows and him as the Director of Study?

HM: Yes, he was very supportive of the Junior Fellows. I think he had a somewhat difficult time because it was hard to convince some of the administrators at Harvard that anything useful was going on at Dumbarton Oaks. 'Cause there -- I think at Harvard they wanted to put more emphasis on teaching, and they didn't really understand why so many of the sources should be devoted to pure scholarship and publishing on Byzantium, which probably seemed to them a very obscure topic. So he had, I think his tenure as Director of Studies was difficult for him. But with the Junior Fellows he was always very supportive, in every way. I would say, you know he, for example gave us grants so we could go to the College Art Association and hunt for jobs and this sort of thing. So he was very concerned about our welfare and what would happen to us once we left Dumbarton Oaks.

RR: And how was he as a mentor, though?

HM: Well there again he was in a slightly difficult position, which I also felt to some extent when I was Director of Studies, that the Junior Fellows have their mentors in their own universities, so there's -- you know you can provide advice and bibliography, but you can't really sort of get deeply involved with the structure of what they're doing or the parameters of the topic, because then you'll be stepping on the toes of the mentor in their home institution. So, yes he was useful as a, an art historian, and he had a good knowledge of manuscripts, but most of the input -- intellectual input into my thesis came from Ševčenko and Kitzinger.

RR: Okay. So after your fellowship here, you went back to the University of Illinois? At Urbana Champaign, is that correct?

HM: Eventually, yes, yes.

RR: Okay. So what did you do afterwards, after your fellowship here, your Junior Fellowship here?

HM: Immediately after the Fellowship here I went back to the UK, to the -- no, I'm sorry. I went to, to Harvard, I went to -- no, let's back up a bit. I went to the University of Massachusetts for one year, and then after that to Harvard as an assistant professor, so I had three years at Harvard and then the last three years of the tenure as assistant professor were here at Dumbarton Oaks. And, as assistant professor -- at that time they had that rank here. And then I went to the University of Illinois. So actually I spent, after I had been here for a year as Junior Fellow I spent another three years here in this assistant professor position. And then went to Illinois.

RR: Very fortunate to have those positions right after --

HM: Very much so, yes. Yes. Yes.

RR: And then in the 1980s you were back again here in Dumbarton Oaks as a member of the board of Senior Fellows?

HM: That's right, yes.

RR: And as well as a visiting senior research associate.

HM: Yes, yes.

RR: So for those two positions, what, what did they mean and what were your main responsibilities?

HM: Well, the Senior Fellows, as you may know -- I mean, they have them for each program, and their job is essentially to advise the Director and the Director of Studies, so they meet two or three times a year and discuss the various projects that are going on in the programs and also the symposia, colloquia, and probably their most important job is to select the Fellows each year. So they actually are not physically present here at Dumbarton Oaks very much. I mean maybe they come for a day for each meeting and two days for the major meeting when they choose the Fellows. Whereas being the advisor, that involved staying here for a year and being on site.

RR: Do you remember what you recommended when you were a member of the board of Senior Fellows?

HM: I don't remember anything specific, because you know it's a group and we discussed a variety of things in each meeting. So it's not very easy to recommend major policy changes unless everyone is unanimous. So, I can't recall anything -- sort of pushing for anything in particular.

RR: Okay.

HM: I mean obviously as an art historian I was concerned that art history be well represented in, in the meetings of the colloquia and symposia, and in the choice of Fellows, but that would be natural.

RR: Yeah. And actually with that, have you seen the change of focus in Byzantine Studies from, you know for example from architecture to art history, or vice versa, have you seen that transition throughout the time that you have been here in Dumbarton Oaks?

HM: It's very hard to answer that question because I think probably in earlier days, there were more -- there was more art history. But on the other hand I think that there -- in a sense there were more art historians out there. So, there used to be... a larger proportion of scholars in North America who were working on art history than on other fields, and you could actually see it in the Byzantine studies conferences. For example, it used to be that 50 or 60 percent of the conference would be made up of art history papers, and then there would be very few papers in Byzantine literature, and a few in history. And now that's changed, now there are many more sessions on literature and history and fewer on art history, so the fact that there may be fewer -- there may be less art history represented at Dumbarton Oaks -- I think may reflect more the shape of the field as a whole in North America than any kind of policy on the part of the institution.

RR: What do you see, or what is your point of view in regards to the role of archaeology in -- with art history?

HM: Well, they're very closely interconnected, especially in the early period, and also increasingly later on. So -- because, you know many of the most exciting new discoveries have come out of archaeology. So, I think that yes they're very closely connected. And to some extent it's helped to make the practice of art history in the Byzantine field more empirical and less theoretically based. Because of this necessity to engage with the evidence as it comes out of the ground, rather than to be theorizing what we already have. So yes, I think a very close connection.

RR: And how did this affect your own work?

HM: Well I had -- I have sort of some experience of arch -- of archaeology, but I never actually engaged in excavation, now I've done fieldwork on existing monuments, but I haven't done any digging in the type -- at least not since I was a student. When I was a student I, I engaged in some work in Cyprus. So I would say it has tangentially affected my work in that I use archaeological material, but I'm not concerned with finding it.

RR: So let's move on to your time here as the Director of the Byzantine Studies program in 1990s. So we realized that there was actually this huge gap of not having a director for the Byzantine Studies from, lets say about 1972 to 1990, so basically after William Loerke, there was no Director of Studies for the Byzantine Studies program and then you came. Do you know the reason or reasons for this long vacancy?

HM: I think, you know I can speculate, but I think the main reason was that -- the potential difficulty of having a Director of Studies who was a medievalist, and a Director who was a medievalist. So when Ernst Kitzinger was here -- who preceded Loerke as Director of Studies -- the director was not even a Byzantinist. So there was no conflict. But when Giles Constable came to be director, he was -- he is a medievalist -- and so there was sort of potential conflict with the Director of Studies, and I think he felt that it would be -- make his life easier in a way. He dispensed with that position, and then he could simply run the program himself. And also at that time, the responsibilities of the Director of Studies were much greater than they are now, because the Director of Studies was responsible not only for the fellowship program and for the meetings, but also for the Library and for the Museum. So -- and I think also there were, there was a higher proportion of Fellows in the Byzantine program. There was only, when I arrived first as a Junior Fellow there was only one Fellow in Landscape Architecture, for example, and maybe two or three in Pre-Columbian. So, it was very much like having sort of two heads. So I think that was why it was, the position was suppressed for a while. And evidently Robert Thomson when he came in -- he’s an Armenian specialist -- he felt it would be easier to not have a Director of Studies. When Angeliki Laiou came, she had a very ambitious agenda for the Byzantine program, and I think she thought that there was really more than she could take on, so that's why she lookayed for a Director of Studies. And --

RR: Meaning you?

HM: Yes. And then since then, I think that the responsibilities of the Director of Studies have been greatly diminished. So, you know, the Director of Studies no longer has anything to do with the Museum or the Library. So again there's less possibility of conflict. And it's not, you know it's not a potential problem.

RR: Conflict in a sense of the interests? The responsibilities, the --

HM: Yes, not responsibilities, but interests and direction. Maybe the Director of Studies for example would want to start a fieldwork program and the Director thinks that's a waste of money, you know, that sort of thing.

RR: Okay. So how were, how were fieldwork projects regarded when you arrived in Dumbarton Oaks as the Director of Byzantine Studies, and having that long gap?

HM: Yes. Well they've long, I mean, they were more or less wound up under Giles Constable. There had been -- some of the projects had had very large cost overruns, especially Kalenderhane. And I think that there was nervousness about the financial implications. So instead, rather than engaging in excavation or restoration projects that were open-ended they decided just to give out grants so there would be -- they would know exactly how much money was going to be spent. And so that was the situation when I arrived, and there was really no possibility of starting new fieldwork projects. I think that it would have been not approved of by the powers that be in Harvard.

RR: I remember in your oral history you expressed that you wanted to revive this. To bring it back, to bring, you know, Dumbarton Oaks and the platform of pushing fieldwork projects out there and being the institution that encourages people. So, what efforts did you take to revive fieldwork projects again, specifically ongoing fieldwork projects and, yeah.

HM: Well, obviously I made the suggestion, but it became plain that it wasn't going to fly.

RR: And what was your reason for wanting to revive that?

HM: Because I think this was a major contribution that Dumbarton Oaks made in the early days. They had all of these projects -- well as you know from the archives, in Cyprus especially, but also in other places. Which greatly -- in which not only the intellectual resources of the institution, but Byzantine studies as a whole was really very important work. And Dumbarton Oaks does potentially have the means to carry out such projects -- I mean they have permanent staff here. And they could allocate some permanent funding. So it wouldn't be impossible to do it. But I think that -- I suspect in the minds of the financial administrators there's something about the open-endedness of these projects that makes them nervous. It's very hard to budget X amount every year, because there are always unpredictable things that happen. You find something that needs more excavation or the country you're working in demands that you restore the building that you're working on. So it's very hard to control the costs, especially if it's abroad. And then, maybe the dollar goes down in value, or something of that kind. And it's much easier just to, passively give out a certain sum of money so you can make a grant to someone who applies for 10,000 dollars you know, you're not going to spend more than 10,000 dollars, that's it. Whereas if you start an excavation with your 10,000 dollars, next year the bill might be 20,000.

RR: So what do you think Dumbarton Oaks lost from not being proactive in funding or -- funding ongoing fieldwork projects?

HM: Well, I think you can probably see it in your archives that the earlier -- you know the earlier archives were filled with projects from Dumbarton Oaks. Now you have projects which were donated to you by people who have done the work elsewhere. So it means that the institution is a passive recipient of these materials rather than a generator of work and intellectual enterprises. So it changes from being active in the field to being a kind of repository.

RR: So when you were making the effort to revive this when -- in the 1990s, you mentioned again in your oral history that you were unable to do this? Is that correct?

HM: I wasn't completely unable to do it. We did have -- with the support of Angeliki Laiou, we set up a materials analysis project of analyzing ceramics from -- Byzantine ceramics -- some from Constantinople, some from Thrace, Byzantine Thrace. So we, we paid for the analyses, and then we had a conference to discuss the results, and we published the results of the conference, so it wasn't exactly fieldwork, but it was working on excavated materials, so I think that was actually a good contribution.

RR: Yeah. And those excavated materials, they are materials that we have here in Dumbarton Oaks?

HM: A few, here, but some at Walters -- Walters Art Gallery and then some in Greece, in Thrace.

RR: And why did you guys -- why did you focus on that topic, and analyzing ceramics?

HM: Because it was something that hadn't been done as comprehensively before, and it was a way to sort of engage with archaeologists and archaeological material. But it was work that could be done here, in America, and the costs were sort of limited, and it just seemed to be a project that ticked all these boxes.

RR: And when was that, do you remember?

HM: It was when I was Director of Studies, so it must have been in '94 or something like that. Again I don’t remember the exact date.

RR: Okay. And you also mentioned in your first oral history interview that, and again actually you just mentioned now, that the -- the responsibilities of the Director of Studies were divided into three? I remember you mentioned that you were responsible for the publications, and then you also mentioned that Irina was in charge of fieldwork, and then John Duffy was in charge of the fellowship program. Can you explain the division between -- the division of those responsibilities between you and Irina and John Duffy?

HM: Yes, well, this was a kind of emergency arrangement after Loerke resigned from his position, so after he resigned and the, the three of us were here as assistant professors. So there was no one in place to fulfill the role of Director of Studies, so essentially the responsibilities were divided up between the three of us. And it seemed an obvious choice for Irina to be put in charge of the fieldwork. And so we did this for about a year and then Giles Constable came in.

RR: I see. And what do you mean by an obvious choice for Irina being in charge of fieldwork? And actually, what, what did you mean, or what do you mean by her being in charge of fieldwork?

HM: Well, she -- because her thesis was on the mosaics of Torcello, and by that time I think she was already engaged with Demus on the San Marco Project, so she was, I would say that -- to be honest I'm not quite sure exactly what her relationship was with visual resources. I can only speak to my case and so I was mainly concerned with the publications, you know I did the correspondence with authors and reviewers and this kind of thing. But we weren't setting policy. We were simply, sort of doing the day-to-day administration and letter writing.

RR: So actually my next question -- I was gonna ask if -- or what fieldwork collections were acquired when you were the Director of Byzantine studies, but it seems that you were not responsible for that, of what was being acquired.

HM: Well, when I was Director of Studies, which was, you know, not this early period, but in the '90s, when I was properly Director of Studies, I would say the major acquisitions were the paintings, the reproductions of the Kariye Camii frescoes, which we located, sort of stuck down -- I've probably told this story already -- but we found them in the boiler room stuck behind some pipes, sort of rolled up, and Natalia volunteered to take them on and see to their conservation and everything.

RR: Were there other fieldwork collections that were donated by scholars?

HM: There may have been, I don't recall. But probably you would know better than I.

RR: Okay. And you mentioned Natalia, and she was in charge of the Byzantine visual resources from 1986 to 1994, and then they changed the name to Byzantine Photograph and Fieldwork Archives, and in that she was in charge from '94 to 2007. What projects did you work with her, when you were the Director of Byzantine Studies and she was -- when she was in charge of the archives?

HM: I didn't, I don't remember working with her very closely on any particular projects, I mean she was fairly independent, and she did, I mean she put up some photograph exhibitions in connection with symposia, and was cataloguing the materials. But I didn't work very -- very closely with her on any major -- that I can recall -- on any major projects.

RR: Okay. Before we go to the second part I just want to go back to one question, when you were a Junior Fellow, and I think it may tie into the second part of this interview, just going back with Ernst Kitzinger. So we are currently processing a collection that is connected to Kitzinger's fieldwork in Sicily, in 1950 and 1954. What can you tell us about Kitzinger's methodology in approaching the medium of mosaic, and also what role did photography play in his analysis?

HM: Well, of course at that time there was very little color photography, and the approach to mosaics was different, I mean now the emphasis is very much on close analysis of the tesserae. In those days people tookay more general photographs and they would discuss the iconography, which is what they're mainly interested in, and they did, they did consider restoration, but it tended to be through work in the archives, so if there was an archival record of something being restored, then they would suspect a certain passage, or style, sort of overall style, if it lookayed like it was 19th century, then they would dismiss it as restoration. But I think, probably, most scholars of that time, they weren't aware of this kind of -- these minor interventions that restorers could make. They tended to think that either something was totally restored or it was totally genuine. So his approach was to have the -- you know individual scenes photographed, sometimes individual figures because they could be used in stylistic discussions or drapery patterns or this kind of thing. But not so interested in the sort of minutiae of the setting... the composition of individual tesserae.

RR: Okay, so we'll just stop the camera and take a break for a few minutes and we'll go to the second part of the interview.

FG: My name is Fani Gargova, and I will ask you a few questions about your work in Poreč. So, to start with, after your position at Dumbarton Oaks as Director of Byzantine studies, you worked with Ann Terry in Poreč in Croatia. According to your publication, Dynamic Splendor, that resulted from this project, fieldwork was carried -- conducted in 1997, 1999 and then again in 2000. Is that correct?

HM: That's correct, yes.

FG: So, in 2012 you donated the material that resulted from your fieldwork in Poreč to ICFA. What motivated you to pick ICFA as the repository for the material?

HM: It just seemed the obvious place, because you have so much else from Byzantine projects in the past, that it seemed the obvious place where anyone would lookay for it in the United States, so that's why we chose Dumbarton Oaks.

FG: So can you please describe the origins of the project and who proposed it, why, and what was the overall purpose of it.

HM: Well, it probably originated from the work that Ann Terry did in Poreč. She wrote her dissertation on the archeaology of the site, and then since then she kept in touch with the authorities in Poreč and she wrote an article on the sculpture, which she published in the Dumbarton Oaks Papers. She also wrote a bookay on the archaeology, so all her life she'd been very much involved with Poreč and she knows the people in charge of the monuments there, and she was then in the mid '90s given the opportunity to work on the mosaics from scaffolding. And so she asked me if I would join her in this project. And the main question that we wanted to answer was about the extent of the restorations. Because the mosaics had been quite heavily restored in the end of the 19th century. And there was a kind of shadow over them, that no one knew exactly how much of what you saw was actually 19th century and how much was original, and so this shadow, combined with the fact that they were, you know, in communist Yugoslavia for a long time, so relatively inaccess -- not completely, but relatively inaccessible, it caused them to be sort of on the margins of the discussion of 6th century art. So we wanted to really try to sort out what happened there, so that was our main objective.

FG: So, what was the methodology specifically, and the day-to-day work while doing fieldwork?

HM: Well, we had a small team. I mean essentially it was Ann Terry and myself, and then one or two student assistants, and many times only one. So the methodology we had was to do a number of what we called “sondage.” So we couldn’t obviously examine every single tessera in the -- because it’s a huge mosaic in the apse and the side apses, but we divided it up into fields and we'd go in, and we'd lookay at areas that were about 20 -- 25 centimeters wide, and in each of those areas we would describe every single tessera, including the color, the porosity, the extent to which it projected above the plaster bed, all of these details. And we'd also very carefully describe the setting bed, and its color, traces of paint and inclusions, so we did about 300 of these sondages. And some of them we just did so we'd have a general coverage, others we did in particularly significant places, iconographically significant places, for example the box held by Zacharias, which had tiny figures; we wanted to see if those were genuine. Enough so that we could determine pretty much what had happened and to correlate the information from the sondages with the information in the archives about the restorations. So the archives have very detailed information, correspondence between the restorers and his employers. But, as often happens in these cases there is a lot of -- seemingly a lot of written material, but when you actually lookay at it for hard data you find that there's less than you might hope, so it was really necessary to combine the visual observations with what we could find in the archives to get a picture of what the restorers did and did not do.

FG: So you just described the role of those sondages and close examination. So, again the question about photography, but how did it shape your understanding and what was its significance of the photographic documentation specifically in this work?

HM: Well the photography is obviously very helpful, because you can't always be up on the scaffolding, so you need the records of what you saw. On the other hand it's not enough -- as I think has happened in some places -- just to take the photographs. Because even if you take close-up photographs, if you haven't got the opportunity to actually examine the mosaics it's hard to interpret the photographs. I mean for example, a very important criterion is the degree to which the tesserae project above the setting bed, because, as in dentistry, mosaics get long in the tooth, as it were, so they project more and more the older they are. And this is something you can't see in a photograph. So you have to see the mosaic, and then you can interpret the photographs, but if you've not actually, sort of been up close to the mosaic, you can't really interpret everything that the photograph has to say. So, we tookay many photographs as we went along, but they were all close-ups, so that's the reason why you see that most of the views of the overall scenes and figures were taken later by, by Renco because, at the time we had the scaffolding up, and with the scaffolding we couldn't take overall views, we could only take close-ups.

FG:  So, actually my next question would have been about Renco Kosinožić, how did you meet him, and -- you just mentioned that he tookay those photographs after the scaffolding was down already, but how did you work together with him?

HM: Well, he had already had experience photographing the apse, and he was one of the prominent local photographers, so we simply gave him a list of what we wanted and he tookay the photographs. But, he'd already taken many photographs for other, you know tourist publications or postcards or whatever. Yes.

FG: So he was basically the local important photographer of the monument.

HM: Yes, yes, yes exactly.

FG: So, you just mentioned actually also, before how Poreč was -- there was this overshadowing of the restoration of the 19th century and also that it was not -- it was on the margin of actually being considered as an important monument of the 6th century. So there was a lot of material, original material from the late 19th century, early 20th century, of people that studied the, the basilica. It seems to me though as more sculpture, the architecture and so, less the mosaic. So was that the new part about it? Or was it more -- so how does the old -- what has been done in terms of research early on, before the Yugoslavian republic basically, and after, how does it relate to each other?

HM: Well, there had been, as you say a fair amount of work, articles about the mosaics. But, sort of based on assumptions. So the author would assume either that the child, Eufrasius, was carrying a scroll, or a candle, more or less according to what they wanted to say, without anyone having gone up on the scaffolding to see what he actually was holding. So I think what we wanted to do was to establish more precisely exactly what the iconography had been, and then people could base their theories about the meanings of the mosaic on what was actually -- what had actually been there. And in some cases we weren't able to be sure. I mean a major case is the Christ of the triumphal arch, sitting on the dome, whether he was originally bearded or not we have no idea because it's simply so restored and there's no way of telling. So, there are some instances in which we could not say, but most cases I think we could establish exactly what had been there in the 6th century. There was, actually fortunately much more 6th century work than we thought, when we got down to it.

FG: So you just answered the question about how your study of the mosaic was different from previous endeavors. You also -- in this work you also mention that you worked a lot with student assistants. One of them was Warren Woodfin, so during which fieldwork season was he present?

HM: He was present in the middle season, 1999, and he was mainly responsible for the drawings that appear in the bookay, which indicate the areas of restoration and the phases of restoration.

FG: So by that time you already had a clear idea of what were the phases and where they were.

HM: Yes, yes we did have a -- we had a clear idea of, you know, what -- and this is one case where we didn’t use the sondage technique, because we gave him a whole figure, like Zacharias or John the Baptist. Maybe we had already made one or two sondages in the figure, but we asked him to make a drawing of the whole figure. So he, he knew how to distinguish between the new and the old work, and the various phases of the new work, and so that was how he made up the drawings.

FG: So what did you focus on during the last fieldwork season?

HM: Last one was the side apses, so we had the scaffolding up. The first season, we had a scaffolding just to do the lower mosaics of the John the Baptist, Zacharias, and the angel, and the two side panels. And then in the middle season we did the whole of the apse and the vault, and then the last season we did the two side apses, one after the other. Which was actually the same order that the mosaics were set in, we discovered that they set the central apse first, and then the north apse, and then the south apse, which was exactly the same, as it turned out, order that we followed.

FG: You also had Irina Andreescu present, who helped you a lot in distinguishing the restoration from the original work, as far as I understand it. When was she there?

HM: She was there; she was certainly there in the middle campaign and for the last one. I don't recall that she came in the first campaign. And she visited for about three days on each time, and came up on the scaffolding and sort of gave her opinions, and they were very helpful because she has a very wide knowledge -- very helpful. Especially for relationships with Ravenna, because she has examined some of the Ravenna mosaics from scaffolding so she knows that material very well. And neither of us -- neither Ann Terry nor I had been up on the scaffolding in Ravenna, so.

FG: Is there also something about the methodology -- about Irina's methodology that contributed?

HM: I think we followed a slightly different methodology from hers. But this sort of way to recognize phases from the tesserae themselves, this is something that certainly she knows about.

FG: So a last-- oh I'm sorry.

HM: Sorry, I’ll say, about methodology, one thing that she pointed out was the -- which Ann Terry discussed in the bookay, was the direction of the work. So you can figure out whether there were one or two mosaicists and where they began, and which direction they were working in and she was able to help with that. Because that's something she'd also observed at San Vitale.

FG:  A last question to connect the beginning of the interview with this last part about Poreč, so how did your previous research interests connect to your work in Poreč; how did it inform the work that you actually did there?

HM: I would say probably not very much because I’d never engaged with a project of this kind before, so I found this was a fine opportunity really to do a different kind of scholarship, rather than reading text to be lookaying at something face-to-face. But then in the iconographic portion of the bookay, obviously I sort of lookayed at the -- some of the textual basis for the mosaics. But the main part of the bookay, which I see as being the determination of the phases, I hadn't really done anything like that before.

FG: So did it change your view?

HM: I think it probably gave me -- I mean it certainly gave me a, an increased respect for the difficulties of dealing with material like mosaics, that you can't just sort of assume that what you see in the monument now is the way it always has been, which many – I think many art historians tend to do. So it made me more suspicious of what you see. And also a better appreciation of the subtleties of the changes over time. Something can change in an incremental way.

FG: I think you've answered all of our questions. Is there anything that you would like to add to your oral history?

HM: No, that’s fine, thank you very much for hearing my views and opinions.

FG: Thank you for your time.

RR: Thank you.