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MONASTERY OF SAINT PAUL: LANDSCAPE, STRUCTURES, DAILY LIFE OF MONKS: A COLLECTION OF VINATAGE PHOTOGRAPHS FROM 1930-1 AT THE WASHINGTON DUMBARTON OAKS RESEARCH LIBRARY AND COLLECTIONS

September 27, 2017

Paul

One of Kazazian’s beautiful photographs of the Monastery of Saint Patl (looking towards the Red Sea)

The Byzantine Institute and Dumbarton Oaks Fieldwork Records and Papers, ca. late 1920s-2000s (MS.BZ.004, Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives, Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University, Washington, D.C.) has also a large collection of vintage photographs from 1931-2 of the Monastery of Saint Paul at the Red Sea, Egypt.

The photographs were taken during the Thomas Whittemore’s Expedition, an American archaeologist, in 1930-1 (actually, two visits in the winters of these two years), and were taken by the mission’s photographer, Kazazian, a famous Armenian photographer.

Like those of St. Anthony’s monastery, which I shared with you in a previous article, the pictures are perhaps the first photographic documentary of the ancient Coptic monastery of St. Paul, which is dated to the 4th century, capturing the 1930’s structure of its walls, pulley, towers, keep, churches, guest house, mill, bakery, oven, kitchen, refectory, storeroom, springs, cisterns, garden, streets, courts, pasture, murals and paintings, library, cells, and the monks in their daily life and work. And in this sense, they are invaluable. They are all in black and white.

To see these beautiful photographs, please go here, where you find a lovely view towards the sea from the monastery, and then, under More Exhibit Items, search for more gems (some of the photos are from St. Anthony’s Monastery).

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