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Robert Woods Bliss to Royall Tyler, January 19, 1935

January 19, 1935

Royal Tyler, Esq.

Finance Ministry

Budapest, Hungary

Dear Royal [sic]:

Many thanks for your letters of December 14th and January 4th. It gave Mildred and me the greatest joy to read Falkes’Otto von Falke (1862–1942), a German art historian of the decorative arts. He was appointed director of the Kunstgewerbemuseum, Cologne, in 1895 and director the Kunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin, in 1908. In 1920, he succeeded Wilhelm von Bode as general director of Berlin museums, a position which he held until his retirement in 1927. In retirement, von Falke founded and acted as publisher of the journal Pantheon. appreciationOtto von Falke, “Hayford Peirce et Royall Tyler, L’Art Byzantin. Tome I. Paris, Librairie de France, 1932,” Pantheon 11 (June, 1933): xxvii–xxviii. of your volume one.L’art byzantin. Do let us know what he says regarding number two.

A letter from Hayford not long ago reports that the photographsSee letter of October 29, 1934. from the Walters Gallery have reached him and that they are satisfactory, for which I am glad.

Our Central American tripIn February and March 1935, Robert Woods Bliss traveled through the highlands and tropics of Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras to see the ancient cities of the Maya. His traveling companion, Frederic C. Walcott, was at the time a trustee of the Carnegie Institution for Science of Washington and arranged the trip, which included visits to the archaeological sites under excavation by the Carnegie Institution for Science. For an outline and images of this trip, see (accessed September 9, 2015). Mildred Barnes Bliss was not able to take this trip due to the illness and death of her mother, Anna Barnes Bliss, who died on February 22, 1935. is all set. We were to have left today but the pressure here was so great that we have to postpone it for a week. We, (that is, ex-Senator Fred WalcottFrederic Collin Walcott (1869–1949), a U.S. senator from Connecticut (1929–1935). He also served as regent of the Smithsonian Institution from 1941 to 1948. At the time of the 1935 trip, Walcott was a trustee of the Carnegie Institution for Science of Washington, and it was he who made arrangements for the trip. besides Mildred and me) will go first to Yucatan, where we will join KidderAlfred Vincent Kidder (1885–1963), an American archaeologist and specialist of southwestern United States and Mesoamerican archaeology. Many of his excavations were sponsored by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology of Harvard University. of the Peabody Museum,The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, a Harvard University museum founded in 1866, is one of the oldest and largest museums focusing on anthropological material, with particular strengths in New World ethnography and archaeology.  who will be with our Santa Barbara friends, North DuaneWilliam North Duane (1869–1944), a supporter of several archaeological expeditions of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. and his wife,Ethel Phelps Duane (1875–1942). and we shall see that region as thoroughly as possible, staying part of the time with MorleySylvanus Griswold Morley (1883–1948), an American archaeologist, epigrapher, and Mayanist who was noted for the extensive excavations of the Maya site of Chichen Itza that he directed on behalf of the Carnegie Institution for Science. so that I think we will make our visit there under the best possible auspices. Thence, we shall go to Guatemala and see as much of that region as possible before returning. We expect to be here about the first of April.

The PeruginoPietro Perugino (ca. 1446/1450–1523), an Italian Renaissance painter of the Umbrian school. See letter of November 13, 1934. has turned out unsatisfactorily. We are dickering with DreyPaul Drey (1885–1953), senior partner of the Paul Drey Gallery, New York. over his cross.BZ.1936.20. In the meantime, Loewi, from Venice, just showed us a small Byzantine cameoBZ.1936.31. in green and red porphyry, mostly green. You may have seen it at the Early Christian Art Exposition held at the Vienna MuseumThis exhibition has not been identified. I think last year. It was no. 56 in the catalogue. I wonder what you think of it?

Sachs has said nothing to me about the possibility of the work of Dr. FewkesVladimir Jaroslav Fewkes (1901–1941), an archaeologist born in Czechoslovakia and educated at the University of Pennsylvania. Between 1932 and 1938, he was associate director of the American School of Prehistoric Research and was associated with Harvard University between 1932 and 1937. being interrupted for lack of funds to continue his work in Macedonia. Fewkes spent more or less a whole day with us here last year and we were very much interested in what he had to tell regarding his work. I shall make it a point of bringing the matter up with Sachs to see what the situation is, for I agree with you that it is important that Fewkes should continue his activities and, of course, to have his important work done under Harvard is appealing to me.

Your letters will be forwarded to us while we are in Central America so do not hold off writing merely because we are not at Dumbarton Oaks.

I hope that the new developments in the relations between Rome and Paris are really to be solid and far-reaching.In late 1934, Yugoslavia accused Hungary of complicity in the murder of the Yugoslavian king Alexander in Marseilles, France, on October 9, 1934. Italy, which had strong diplomatic ties with Hungary, then wanted to bring the question of the criminal activities of political refugees before the League of Nations in Geneva. Specifically, Italy was concerned about terrorist activity on the Yugoslavia-Italian border and the assassination plots against Mussolini and other anti-Fascist plots by political refugees in Paris. See Arnaldo Cortesi, “Italy Welcomes Emigre Hearing; Ready to Accept Discussion of Yugoslav Complaint though Regretting Hungary’s Lot; Long Vexed by Plotters; Will Seek in Geneva to Widen Debate on the Criminal Activities of Refugees,” New York Times, December 2, 1934; and Hamilton Fish Armstrong, “After the Assassination of King Alexander,” Foreign Affairs 13, no. 2 (January 1935): 204–25. It should tend very materially towards preventing serious trouble in Central Europe and the Balkans.

Much love from us both. Do write soon.



Associated Things: L'art byzantin
Associated Artworks: BZ.1936.20; BZ.1936.31