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Letter from Merrick, Mrs. Richard T., March 11, 1937: from Myron Bement Smith Collection; Series 1: Papers; Subseries 1.4: Correspondence

Smith, Myron Bement 1897-1970
Sevruguin, Antoin -1933
Smith, Myron Bement 1897-1970
Physical description:
Correspondence : 1 item (1 leaf) ; 14.4 cm. x 17.5 cm
March 11 1937
Classical archaeologist, architect, and art historian Myron Bement Smith (1897-1970) had a life-long devotion to West Asia, accumulating some 87,000 items now in the Archives documenting Islamic art and culture from Spain to India, with an emphasis on architecture. Established in 1948 to further an appreciation for Persian art and culture, nearly seventy-five percent of Smith's "Islamic Archives" consists of his own work; the remainder obtained from other sources. One of the most significant portions of the "Islamic Archives" is the photographic material of Antoin Sevruguin, a commercial photographer in Tehran active during the 1870s to 1930. Other materials in the collection include Smith's personal and professional papers including correspondence, research files, writings, and documentation regarding his 1927-1928 Italian and 1933-1937 Iranian expeditions.
Myron Bement Smith (MBS) had an extensive list of friends and colleagues with whom he corresponded over the years. After 1930, when he joined the American Institute for Persian Art and Archaeology, MBS acquired many new friends and contacts within the world of Islamic and Near Eastern studies and among those associated with academic foundations and funding organizations. Extensive correspondence by both MBS and his wife Katharine Dennis Smith during their stay in Iran from 1933 to1937 describes life in the ex-patriate community; contacts with foreign scholars and travellers; and interactions with Iranians. The earliest correspondence includes only letters written to MBS, but beginning in the 1930s, he and his wife kept copies of their outgoing letters as well. MBS' correspondence with his wife during their times apart contains more information about what he is doing and life around him than is included in his letters to others. Letters become fewer in the 1940s as MBS and his wife begin conducting more business and social interchange by telephone.
Cite as:
Myron Bement Smith Collection; Islamic Archives; Series 1: Papers; Subseries 1.4: Correspondence. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. Gift of Katherine Dennis Smith, 1973-1985
Local number:
FSA A.4 1.4.30.Merrick1937
See more items in:
Myron Bement Smith collection 1899-1962
Data Source:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives

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