Monthly Archives: June 2013

Fletcher’s Castoria and Dumbarton Oaks: An Historical Excavation

Recently, at the Georgetown Flea Market, the father-in-law of Director Jan Ziolkowski purchased a new artifact of relevance for the Dumbarton Oaks Archives, one allied neither to the Byzantine, nor the garden and landscape, nor the pre-Columbian components of the institution. In fact, at first glance, the artifact seems outrageously distant from the Dumbarton Oaks Research […]

Oleg Grabar

Oleg Grabar, the great Islamic art and architecture historian, moved to the United Staes in 1948 when his father, André Grabar, took the position of Director of Studies at Dumbarton Oaks. At that time, he was eighteen years old. A prolific writer who shaped western perception of middle eastern Islamic culture, Mr. Grabar was a member of […]

Don’t Feed the Wildlife: Dumbarton Oaks and its Neighbors

Though Dumbarton Oaks may feel “otherworldly”, as Margaret Dawson, an associate of Mildred Bliss, has it—what with its self-sufficiently immured Arcadian vistas and charmingly, necessarily arcane scholarly foci—no research institute is a world unto itself; even D.O. is part of the main, in rich and vibrant commerce with its environs and neighbors. As Georgetowners congregate […]

The Music of Dumbarton Oaks

The Friends of Music program has long made Dumbarton Oaks a staple of the Washington music scene. Started in the 1930s when the Blisses informally invited guests to enjoy performances in their wonderful music room and formalized in 1946 with the creation of the Friends of Music program, Dumbarton Oaks was known for sponsoring some […]

Alexander Kazhdan

Few individuals were as influential to the field of Byzantine Studies during the past century as Alexander Kazhdan. Kazhdan, a Russian scholar, immigrated to the United States in 1978 after it became clear that Soviet censorship was limiting his ability to publish his research.  While he is perhaps best known for his work on the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, he […]

The Social Lunch

Dumbarton Oaks, unlike many other institutions of its kind, is home to three, very different programs of study.  On their own, Byzantinists, Pre-Columbianists, and Garden & Landscape scholars would have no reason to interact, but at Dumbarton Oaks this is not the case.  By organizing communal lunches, teas, and social hours, a unique culture has […]

The Swimming Pool

Out of Dumbarton Oaks’s many prominent garden features, the swimming pool remains one of the most popular.  The pool was built in the early 1920s, replacing the stable yard and manure pit belonging to the previous residents. Currently, the pool is available for use by all staff and Fellows of Dumbarton Oaks outside of the garden’s public hours. […]