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  • Anniversary Blog — Dumbarton Oaks
    of the monument the Dumbarton Oaks symposium organized by Albert Mathias Friend Jr and presided over by Sirarpie Der Nersessian brought together leading Byzantinists with different specializations Glanville Downey focused on texts discussing the Church of the Holy Apostles particularly the work of Constantine the Rhodian and Nicholas Mesarites Paul A Underwood studied architectural features and reconstructed possible plans and elevations Milton V Anastos worked on the theological aspects of the monument concentrating on Justinian I s restoration of the church in the sixth century Guiding much of the project Friend had acquired copies of necessary manuscripts for the scholars in addition to photographs of mosaics and wall paintings that might offer evidence supporting their work He gave two lectures on the reconstruction of the lost mosaic cycle and Der Nersessian gave two lectures on church mosaics of the period With each individual providing his own expertise the project was the fruit of much collaborative labor Byzantine art historian Kurt Weitzmann summarized the symposium It was a very unified program demonstrating how Friend had been able to get every scholar at Dumbarton Oaks involved in his project Speakers at the 1948 Symposium Sirarpie Der Nersessian symposiarch seated Milton Anastos Glanville Downey Albert M Friend Jr Father Francis Dvornik and Paul Underwood The structure of this interdisciplinary study roughly followed the model of the 1946 symposium on the Church of Hagia Sophia which in turn used a collaborative research methodology put in place by Wilhelm Koehler Senior Fellow in charge of Studies at Dumbarton Oaks between 1941 and 1944 see posts on Koehler and the Research Archives Indeed Friend admitted that the synergetic work on the Holy Apostles Church was not so much an innovation as an attempt to bring into focus what was inherent in Dumbarton Oaks Hoping to release

    Original URL path: http://www.doaks.org/75th-anniversary/blog?Subject=Image+Collections+and+Fieldwork+Archives (2016-02-18)
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  • Anniversary Blog — Dumbarton Oaks
    monument the Dumbarton Oaks symposium organized by Albert Mathias Friend Jr and presided over by Sirarpie Der Nersessian brought together leading Byzantinists with different specializations Glanville Downey focused on texts discussing the Church of the Holy Apostles particularly the work of Constantine the Rhodian and Nicholas Mesarites Paul A Underwood studied architectural features and reconstructed possible plans and elevations Milton V Anastos worked on the theological aspects of the monument concentrating on Justinian I s restoration of the church in the sixth century Guiding much of the project Friend had acquired copies of necessary manuscripts for the scholars in addition to photographs of mosaics and wall paintings that might offer evidence supporting their work He gave two lectures on the reconstruction of the lost mosaic cycle and Der Nersessian gave two lectures on church mosaics of the period With each individual providing his own expertise the project was the fruit of much collaborative labor Byzantine art historian Kurt Weitzmann summarized the symposium It was a very unified program demonstrating how Friend had been able to get every scholar at Dumbarton Oaks involved in his project Speakers at the 1948 Symposium Sirarpie Der Nersessian symposiarch seated Milton Anastos Glanville Downey Albert M Friend Jr Father Francis Dvornik and Paul Underwood The structure of this interdisciplinary study roughly followed the model of the 1946 symposium on the Church of Hagia Sophia which in turn used a collaborative research methodology put in place by Wilhelm Koehler Senior Fellow in charge of Studies at Dumbarton Oaks between 1941 and 1944 see posts on Koehler and the Research Archives Indeed Friend admitted that the synergetic work on the Holy Apostles Church was not so much an innovation as an attempt to bring into focus what was inherent in Dumbarton Oaks Hoping to release a multi

    Original URL path: http://www.doaks.org/75th-anniversary/blog?Subject=Symposium (2016-02-18)
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  • The Holy Apostles—Visualizing a Lost Monument — Dumbarton Oaks
    Oaks The Holy Apostles Visualizing a Lost Monument celebrates the collaborative scholarly endeavor initiated in the early years of Dumbarton Oaks which had the aim of reconstructing the now lost church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople The project was led by Albert M Friend an art historian and included Glanville Downey a philologist and Paul Underwood an architectural historian The goal of this interdisciplinary team was a comprehensive three part publication on the Holy Apostles that would present the architecture mosaic decoration and relevant texts that describe the vanished monument Preliminary findings were presented during the 1948 Dumbarton Oaks symposium on the same subject but the final results were never published At the center of this exhibition are the meticulous drawings executed by Paul Underwood now preserved in the Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives ICFA They synthesize the knowledge and ideas of all three scholars and show a building taking shape from a cube to a cruciform structure complete with colonnades arches and domes with detailed mosaic decoration These drawings are accompanied by additional archival material from ICFA that illustrate the methodology and ideas behind the project which drew on the scholars understanding of key texts by Constantine the Rhodian and Nicholas Mesarites and comparison with other monuments The extensive material that resulted from the Holy Apostles project cannot be fully displayed in the on site exhibit For further exploration a booklet and this online exhibition are available The exhibition was created on the occasion of the 2015 Spring Symposium on the Holy Apostles in the approach to the seventy fifth anniversary of Dumbarton Oaks This symposium aims to complete the task of the early years by assessing the significance of the church its milieu and its legacy Exhibit Sections The Church and its Reflections A Collaborative Project Translations

    Original URL path: http://www.doaks.org/resources/online-exhibits/holy-apostles (2016-02-18)
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  • Anniversary Blog — Dumbarton Oaks
    completed or his collection exhibited at Dumbarton Oaks He died just a year before the Robert Woods Bliss Collection of Pre Columbian Art was opened on December 10 1963 to critical and public acclaim In his foreword to a new Handbook of the Pre Columbian Collection Director John Thacher remarked The Robert Woods Bliss Collection of Pre Columbian Art was formed by the strong personal interest of a man deeply engaged in his subject After decades of collecting and years of planning for the art to be exhibited Bliss s desire that the public learn of the artistic splendor of ancient America has been realized Read more about Philip Johnson and the Dumbarton Oaks Pre Columbian Pavilion here Pre Columbian Pavilion Interior Read More The Garden and Landscape Studies Program An Evolving Development Posted on Oct 26 2015 11 00 AM by Dumbarton Oaks Archives Permalink Filed under Frederic Rhinelander King Philip Johnson Garden and Landscape Studies Philip Johnson Pavilion Rare Book Reading Room Fellows Fellowship Program Garden Library Pre Columbian Pavilion Read comments None yet Mildred Bliss enjoyed a long collaboration with her landscape architect Beatrix Farrand with whom she worked for almost twenty years on the design and creation of the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens By 1950 the success of the gardens as well as Farrand s gift to Dumbarton Oaks in that year of her complete office drawings photographs and letters for the gardens impelled the Blisses to establish at Dumbarton Oaks a research center in the history of garden design Mildred Bliss had also begun collecting from the late 1940s important rare books drawings prints and manuscripts on garden design botanical illustration and garden ornaments which along with the Farrand donation were to become the foundation of the Garden Library and Rare Book Collection see post By 1951 the Blisses were ready to establish at Harvard University the first Garden Endowment Fund In making the gift they wrote the Corporation It is our hope and expectation that the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens may in time attain as high a standing in the study of and for its publications on Garden Design and Ornament as the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection has already attained for its scholarly work and research Thus will the unusual potentialities of its Gardens be fully realized Proposal by Robert W Patterson to convert the Cool House into a Garden Library 1950 Proposal by Robert W Patterson to build a Garden Library at the area of the present Pebble Garden then tennis court 1952 A big question was where to house this new center Conversion of various outbuildings including the Director s house was considered as was the possibility of a new freestanding building a prospect that at the time seemed too expensive On August 16 1949 Mildred Bliss wrote to Robert Patterson who had become a consulting landscape architect Mrs Farrand writes that she feels the cool house is too small even for a start of what the Dumbarton Oaks Garden Centre ought

    Original URL path: http://www.doaks.org/75th-anniversary/blog?Subject=Philip+Johnson (2016-02-18)
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  • Anniversary Blog — Dumbarton Oaks
    to make provision for increased stack room As momentum built for a new addition at Dumbarton Oaks the Blisses realized that this should also include space for Robert Bliss s collection of Pre Columbian art then on display at the National Gallery of Art Philip Johnson 1906 2005 Somewhat surprisingly the modernist architect Philip Johnson was approached to design the addition which was to be located to the south of the Byzantine Collection on 32nd Street Johnson designed a pavilion consisting of eight domed glass cylinders and his design pleased the Blisses when he submitted it and a model in 1959 However they were hesitant to approve the design for its intended location which was to the side of the front yard of the Dumbarton Oaks mansion By 1960 a compromise solution was reached the Johnson pavilion reduced in scale would be built in a secluded area known as the Copse to the north of the Music Room It would house Robert Bliss s Pre Columbian art and library and there would be ample room in the basement for the Byzantine coins and seals as well as a much needed new photography lab Moreover the sleek modernity of the building s design and the innovative Plexiglas stands and cases that were eventually designed for the pavilion would show off the Pre Columbian objects as artworks To house Mildred Bliss s garden library a traditional red brick building matching in size the two existing Byzantine Collection pavilions would be designed by the Blisses friend Frederic Rhinelander King and be built where the Johnson pavilion had first been envisioned see post Philip Johnson model for the new museum addition at Dumbarton Oaks 1959 Helmut Jacoby for Philip Johnson Associates Architects Pre Columbian Pavilion Watercolor 1960 The Dumbarton Oaks Administrative Board and the Trustees for Harvard University were hesitant to approve the additions however They feared that the new buildings would divert resources from the established Byzantine Studies program They wanted strict assurances that the existing focus on Byzantine studies would not be diminished in any way In response to these fears the Blisses arranged to contribute additional funds to the endowment to cover the maintenance of the new Pre Columbian and garden library wings Nor was this the last hurdle to be cleared New construction in Georgetown needed the approval of the D C Commission of Fine Arts tasked with preserving the Old Georgetown atmosphere that characterized the Historic District At first the Commission seemed a possible threat to the erection of Johnson s modern structure Ultimately the Commission granted their permission to begin construction with the understanding that a brick wall and evergreen plantings would hide the pavilion from street view All of the obstacles now removed building finally commenced uninhibited Elizabeth P Benson and James Mayo first Pre Columbian Collection installation 1963 With a new home under construction for the Pre Columbian Collection the final step was to find the proper person to install and take care of it Elizabeth

    Original URL path: http://www.doaks.org/75th-anniversary/blog?Subject=January+2016 (2016-02-18)
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  • Music at Dumbarton Oaks: The Performers — Dumbarton Oaks
    music room at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington As it later turned out this was to be but the first of more than 50 concerts in which I participated in that same room between 1944 and 1979 In a letter of 23 April 1934 I included an account of this little concert telling Mrs Bliss there were a few gratified members of my audience who really caught and admired real musical value and who really meant something when they talked of transcendent beauty Ralph Kirkpatrick On Playing the Clavichord Early Music 9 no 3 July 1981 299 Francis Poulenc and Pierre Bernac From its inception concerts offered by the Friends of Music at Dumbarton Oaks were remarkable Major works such as Bach s Brandenburg Concertos or Schubert s song cycle Die Winterreise and world renown artists such as Karl Münchinger and Dietrich Fischer Dieskau quickly established a tradition of programming of the highest caliber Using chamber orchestra forces the Friends offered for example Mozart s symphonies and violin and piano concertos In 1949 the composer Benjamin Britten accompanied tenor Peter Pears in a concert of Britten Purcell and Mahler songs The composer and pianist Francis Poulenc made his American debut at Dumbarton Oaks in 1948 and returned in 1952 for a concert with Pierre Bernac where they premiered Samuel Barber s Mélodies Passagères This song cycle set to the poems of Rainer Maria Rilke had been commissioned for Dumbarton Oaks by William Strickland The Friends also sponsored early appearances of soon to be internationally famous artists such as Leontyne Price 1957 and Joan Sutherland 1961 both appearing at Dumbarton Oaks before their acclaimed debuts at the Metropolitan Opera And notably the Friends endeavored to offer concert performances of then little heard works such as Monteverdi s L incoronazione di Poppea 1953

    Original URL path: http://www.doaks.org/75th-anniversary/blog/music-at-dumbarton-oaks-the-performers (2016-02-18)
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  • Anniversary Blog — Dumbarton Oaks
    Robert Woods Bliss to play in her beautiful music room at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington As it later turned out this was to be but the first of more than 50 concerts in which I participated in that same room between 1944 and 1979 In a letter of 23 April 1934 I included an account of this little concert telling Mrs Bliss there were a few gratified members of my audience who really caught and admired real musical value and who really meant something when they talked of transcendent beauty Ralph Kirkpatrick On Playing the Clavichord Early Music 9 no 3 July 1981 299 Francis Poulenc and Pierre Bernac From its inception concerts offered by the Friends of Music at Dumbarton Oaks were remarkable Major works such as Bach s Brandenburg Concertos or Schubert s song cycle Die Winterreise and world renown artists such as Karl Münchinger and Dietrich Fischer Dieskau quickly established a tradition of programming of the highest caliber Using chamber orchestra forces the Friends offered for example Mozart s symphonies and violin and piano concertos In 1949 the composer Benjamin Britten accompanied tenor Peter Pears in a concert of Britten Purcell and Mahler songs The composer and pianist Francis Poulenc made his American debut at Dumbarton Oaks in 1948 and returned in 1952 for a concert with Pierre Bernac where they premiered Samuel Barber s Mélodies Passagères This song cycle set to the poems of Rainer Maria Rilke had been commissioned for Dumbarton Oaks by William Strickland The Friends also sponsored early appearances of soon to be internationally famous artists such as Leontyne Price 1957 and Joan Sutherland 1961 both appearing at Dumbarton Oaks before their acclaimed debuts at the Metropolitan Opera And notably the Friends endeavored to offer concert performances of then little heard works such

    Original URL path: http://www.doaks.org/75th-anniversary/blog?Subject=Music+Room (2016-02-18)
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  • Anniversary Blog — Dumbarton Oaks
    Washington Occasionally recordings resulted from the Friends of Music programming This was especially true between 1947 and 1952 when pick up orchestras were assembled at Dumbarton Oaks and they rehearsed with famous conductors and soloists On at least three occasions recordings were made featuring what was called the Dumbarton Oaks Chamber Orchestra Although it is unlikely that the instrumentalists remained the same on all three recordings it is certain that the recordings resulted from concerts given in the Dumbarton Oaks Music Room that were then recorded within the week for posterity The three vintage recordings that resulted from Dumbarton Oaks concerts are Igor Stravinsky Dumbarton Oaks Concerto conducted by Igor Stravinsky 1947 Samuel Barber Knoxville Summer of 1915 with Eleanor Steber soprano conducted by William Strickland 1951 and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Piano Concerto no 17 in G with Ralph Kirkpatrick piano and Violin Concerto no 4 in D with Alexander Schneider violin conducted by Alexander Schneider 1952 Read More The Musical Art Quartet and the Bliss Stradivarius Viola Posted on Nov 02 2015 11 00 AM by Dumbarton Oaks Archives Permalink Filed under Friends of Music Music Music at Dumbarton Oaks Read comments None yet Mildred Barnes Bliss was an enthusiastic patron of the Musical Art Quartet She supported the string quartet from soon after its inception in 1926 until it disbanded in 1944 Initially the Musical Art Quartet comprised four students from the Institute of Musical Art in New York later known as the Julliard School of Music The Quartet s founder and first violinist Sascha Jacobsen 1895 1972 and cellist Marie Roemaet Rosanoff 1896 1967 both became friends of Mildred Bliss and she frequently invited the Quartet members to perform at Dumbarton Oaks and also helped them to book engagements at her friends homes and at concert halls After Dumbarton Oaks transferred to Harvard University in late 1940 the Musical Art Quartet performed in the Music Room each year between 1941 and 1944 and it was largely due to the success of these performances that Dumbarton Oaks decided to inaugurate a Friends of Music concert series in 1946 The Dumbarton Oaks Archives contains considerable correspondence between Mildred Bliss and members of the Quartet In one letter of May 26 1931 from Marie Rosanoff to Mildred Bliss Rosanoff states It is only through the generosity of a few far sighted individuals like yourself who realize the ultimate importance of the development of art in America that we hope to be able to continue as a quartet Bliss Stradivarius Viola Saint Senoch ca 1734 front and back The Musical Art Quartet July 1931 In 1937 several patrons joined together to acquire for the Musical Art Quartet string instruments made by the famed Antonio Stradivari ca 1648 1737 so that the group could remain an all Stradivarius quartet The banker Felix Warburg 1871 1937 had previously provided the Quartet with Stradivarius instruments from his collection but on his death in 1937 they were returned to his estate To replace the Warburg

    Original URL path: http://www.doaks.org/75th-anniversary/blog?Subject=Friends+of+Music (2016-02-18)
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