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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, April 16, 1937 [1]

Finance Ministry



Dearest Mildred.

We’ve just heard that the Guar. Trust are taking Bill on in London. This is a great relief, after the disappointment when head office turned down Dan Grant’sDaniel B. Grant (1893–1948), an American banker and a vice president (since 1930) of the London office of the Guaranty Trust Company of New York. plan for a new Dept. in London, which would have included Bill. But now, tho’ the new Dept. is not to be (yet), N.Y. has agreed to Bill being taken aboard. He’s to start work there 1 June. He’s delighted, as you may imagine.

I’m highly pleased you’ve got the Lucca panel,BZ.1937.18. which I’ve always had a fondness for, and I greatly hope the GothaSee letters of April 8, 1937 [2]; April 9, 1937 [1]; April 9, 1937 [2]; April 16, 1937 [1]; April 16, 1937 [2]; May 22, 1937; June 3, 1937; June 16, 1937; June 26, 1937; July 6, 1937; July 25, 1937; August 21, 1937; September 4, 1937; October 25, 1937 [1]; November 23, 1937; December 13, 1937 [3]; February 28, 1938; March 31, 1938; July 10, 1938; July 29, 1938; August 10, 1938; August 16, 1938 [2]; December 20, 1938; and January 3, 1939. one may follow. Observe in what exalted company Gogo.Adolph Goldschmidt (1863–1944), a Jewish German art historian. Tyler’s nickname for him was Gogo. The ivory was included in Adolph Goldschmidt and Kurt Weitzmann, Die byzantinischen Elfenbeinskulpturen des X.–XIII. Jahrhunderts, vol. 2, Reliefs (Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1934), 37, pl. 14. reproduces it. And I think he’s right.

I’ve just had the Worcester ShowThe Dark Ages: Loan Exhibition of Pagan and Christian Art in the Latin West and Byzantine East, February 20–March 21, 1937 (Worcester, Mass., 1937). catalogue, for which I’m indebted to you and Robert. Many thanks. Hayford went to see the show, and liked it very much.

Otto NiemeyerSir Otto Ernst Niemeyer (1883–1971), a British banker and financial controller at the treasury and a director at the Bank of England. was here for a few days lately. Quite unsolicited, a propos of something quite different, he came out with the opinion that Robert was the best U.S. Ambassador he had ever seen on the job. And he gave his reasons—which, coming from an Englishman (si l’on peut dire . . .)“In a manner.” conversant with the Argentinian field, were well-founded.

There’ve been absurd delays with Vol. III of L’Art Byz., but I’ve now got the final proofs, and shall give the bon à tirer“Okay.” in a few days. The plates are already printed, which is the long part, and the text should be ready now very soon. We’re at work on Vol. IV.

I hope Tittlemouse. raised enough in USA to go on at S. Sophia.On June 7, 1931, Thomas Whittemore, director of the Byzantine Institute, received permission from Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (ca. 1881–1938) to uncover the Byzantine mosaics of Hagia Sophia. Whittemore and his team uncovered fragments of sixteen figural mosaics in the vault southwest of the gallery. When Hagia Sophia was secularized in 1934, Whittemore was able to uncover additional mosaics, in work that continued over the next eighteen years. According to Whittemore’s report to the Administrative Committee of Dumbarton Oaks in 1948, the total contributions to the Byzantine Institute of America in 1937 were $25,015, down from $38,066 in 1936. Whittemore’s financial shortfall that year, however, was not as bad as in 1935, when the contributions were $21,499. Dumbarton Oaks Archives, Administration files, Administrative Committee minutes, April 9, 1948. See Robert S. Nelson, Hagia Sophia, 1850-1950: Holy Wisdom Modern Monument (Chicago, 2004), 155–86.

When are you coming over? News, please.

Much love, dearest Mildred.

R. T.

Associated People: Hayford Peirce; Thomas Whittemore
Associated Things: L'art byzantin
Associated Artworks: BZ.1937.18