Over the past month, we have been talking about Thomas Whittemore and the Byzantine Institute, and their major contributions to the Byzantine studies and community. Whittemore and the Byzantine Institute made it their mission to preserve the major monuments in the former Byzantine empire such as the Hagia Sophia and Kariye Camii. To preserve and study the marvelous mosaics in each monument, each staff was assigned tasks such as painting life-size reproductions or painstakingly tracing each tessera.
But they weren’t the only ones who wanted to capture the beauty of Byzantium! Nicholas Artamonoff, one of ICFA’s leading protagonists and a less well-known character in the Byzantine community until recently, also made it his goal. Between the 1930s and 1940s, Artamonoff attempted to record each of the Byzantine monuments across Istanbul using the medium of photography. In addition to the streets of Istanbul, Artamonoff photographed five archaeological sites in Western Turkey including Ephesus, Hierapolis, Laodicea, Pergamum, and Priene.
ICFA is proud to announce that our colleagues Günder Varinlioğlu and Alyssa DesRochers have placed Artamonoff back in Istanbul after 66 years! Last night, June 25, 2013, they curated and opened the exhibit “Artamonoff: Picturing Byzantine Istanbul, 1930-1947” at Koç University’s Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (RCAC) in Istanbul, Turkey. This exhibit is in conjunction with the 3rd International Sevg¡ Gönül Byzantine Studies Symposium.
The exhibit aims to freeze time and highlight Byzantine Istanbul before many of the historic places Artamonoff captured underwent destruction and/or major change in the twentieth century.
Please support our colleagues and visit the exhibit, which will be up until October 6, 2013. In the meantime, here are some photos from one of the curators: