Robert Woods Bliss to Royall Tyler, November 21, 1934

November 21st, 1934.

Dear Royall,

A letter has come from Miss Dorothy MinerDorothy Miner (1904-1973), medievalist curator of manuscripts at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, beginning in 1934. See “Miner, Dorothy E[ugenia],” Dictionary of Art Historians, http://www.dictionaryofarthistorians.org/minerd.htm (accessed September 9, 2015). of the Walters Art Gallery saying that she will be glad to order the photographs for you and Hayford, but that there will be a delay of a week or two, as the photographic facilities of the Gallery are limited.

She then writes:

“In regard to the dating of M. 520,Gospel Lectionary (Walters Art Museum, W.520), attributed to the second half of the tenth century. See Georgi R. Parpulov, “A Catalogue of the Greek Manuscripts at the Walters Art Museum,” The Journal of the Walters Art Museum 62 (2004): 77–83 and 148–49. Selections of the manuscript are available as a digital facsimile at http://issuu.com/the-walters-art-museum/docs/w520 (accessed September 9, 2015). which we have tentatively classified as 10th century, I can give you the following information: It was assigned to the 10th century by M. Seymour de Ricci,Seymour Montefiore Robert Rosso de Ricci (1881–1942), a British art historian, bibliographer, and papyrologist who was raised and educated in France. presumably on the basis of the character of the uncial script and of the ornament; Dr. Kenneth ClarkKenneth Willis Clark, a professor in the Divinity School at Duke University, and the author of A Descriptive Catalogue of Greek New Testament Manuscripts in America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1937). of Duke University ascribed it to the late 10th century solely on the score of the script. However, there has been considerable diversity of opinion on the part of other well-qualified scholars who have examined the manuscript. Prof. Edgar GoodspeedEdgar Johnson Goodspeed (1871–1962), an American theologian and scholar of Greek and the New Testament who taught at the University of Chicago. of the University of Chicago thought it might possibly be of the 9th century. In the paleographical publication of M. Vogel and V. Gardthausen, Die Griechischen Schreiber,Marie Vogel and Victor Gardthausen, Die Griechischen Schreiber Des Mittelalters Und Der Renaissance (Leipzig: O. Harrassowitz, 1909). (Leipzig 1909), p. 140, 11, 20-22, this manuscript is dated 8th century. Only one other Prof. C.R. MoreyAmerican art historian Charles Rufus Morey (1877–1955) was a professor and chairman of the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University between 1924 and 1945. He was best known for his expertise in medieval art and his Index of Christian Art. of Princeton University examined the book and was inclined to place it as a provincial work of the late 11th century, on the basis both of script and of certain features of the ornament. I shall be much interested to learn what opinion Mr. Tyler and Mr. Peirce will have, after examining the photographs.”

In acknowledging Miss Miner’s letter I have told her that I was sure you would be glad to give your opinion on the MS. after seeing the photographs!

In my recent letters I have failed to thank you for the copy of the letter which Harold TruemanHarold Trueman has not been identified. wrote to the editor of “The Financial Chronicle”.Trueman’s letter to the editor of the New York Commercial and Financial Chronicle concerned the United States Agricultural Adjustment Administration’s subsidies for not raising hogs and the profit that might be made by going into the business of not raising hogs. See http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=EP19350406.2.175.2 (accessed September 9, 2015). Mildred and I have not laughed so heartily in a long time as we did when that letter came. I have had it copied and given it to a number of people, who also have enjoyed it hugely.

The realization of our dream to visit Egypt this year has about disappeared, mainly because we want to be there is November and early December, rather than being caught up in the whirl of the ordinary tourist season. So we hope that there may be next year the wherewithal to enable us to make the trip at a time when climatic conditions are agreeable and when the presence of man does not too seriously affect one’s point of view by its quantity. I think, however, we may, some time after New Year’s, try to arrange to visit Mexico and parts of Central America.In 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 http://museum.doaks.org/IT_1144 (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.

Many thanks also for the copy of your last report to the League.Between 1931 and 1937, Royall Tyler, in his capacity as the League of Nations Financial Committee financial advisor to the Hungarian government,prepared twenty-five quarterly reports on the financial position of Hungary.

Much love from us both.

I shall be in NY next week & have a look at Drey’sThe firm of A. S. Drey was founded in Munich in the 1860s by Aaron S. Drey. The firm later expanded to London and New York. In New York, Aaron Drey’s grandson, Paul Drey (1885–1953), was a senior partner of the Paul Drey Gallery, founded in 1920. Cross.BZ.1936.20. The glass pitcherBZ.1935.6. I wrote you about is here—at Dumbarton Oaks it will remain! It is exquisite & more beautiful & satisfying, to our tastes, than the colored glass pieces we were offered by Stora from the Rothschild collection.These glass pieces have not been identified. We are still hesitating about the Stora saintThis saint has not been identified. but gradually weakening. I think we shall renounce the Greek silver,See letter of November 13, 1934. tempting though it is. I think I wrote you that I have bought from Brummer the black hard stone Mexican maskThis mask is no longer in the Robert Woods Bliss Collection of Pre-Columbian Art, although when and how it left the collection is not documented. The mask is listed on office file cards in the Joseph and Ernest Brummer Records, box 25, The Cloisters Library and Archives, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: “Quoted April 27, 1934 Mask No 1. Black & white N3242 $900”; “Oct. 11, 1934 Quoted to Mr. Bliss Last prices on: N3242 Mex. Mask N3251 Mex. flat jade $1200”; and “N3242 Mexican mask Mexican jade pendant 1200.” See also letter of November 21, 1934. with a white streak in it & also a Mexican jadite knife.This “knife” is probably PC.B.023. It is listed and identified as a pendant on one of the office file cards in the Joseph and Ernest Brummer Records, box 25, The Cloisters Library and Archives, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: “Quoted April 27, 1934 jade in a box $450”; “Oct. 11, 1934 Quoted to Mr. Bliss Last prices on: N3242 Mex. Mask N3251 Mex. flat jade $1200”; and “Nov. 19, 1934 N3242 Mexican mask Mexican jade pendant 1200.” See also letter of November 13, 1934.

R

 
Associated People: Hayford Peirce; Joseph Brummer
Associated Things: M. & R. Stora, Paris
Associated Artworks: BZ.1935.6; BZ.1936.20; PC.B.023