Photographs and negatives of Sonia P. and Hans C. Seherr-Thoss. Mounted and unmounted color slides, transparencies, black and white negatives, mounted prints, contact sheets, and a photograph, circa 1960-1968. The majority of images, taken by Hans C. Seherr-Thoss, appear in their publication, Design and Color in Islamic Architecture: Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey, published by the, Smithsonian Institution Press, in 1968. Countries depicted are Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
Scope and Contents of the Collection:
Photographs and negatives of Islamic monuments. Photos taken by Hans C. Seherr-Thoss and most appear in his and Sonia P. Seherr-Thoss' publication, Design and color in Islamic architecture: Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey.
The mounted slides have been placed in cold storage due to preservation concerns and the transparencies and mounted photos have not yet been processed.
This collection is arranged into three series by format: 1. Mounted slides, 2. Transparencies, and 3. Mounted photos. Only the mounted slides have been arranged and remain in their original order.
Count Hans Seherr-Thoss was born in Dobrau, Germany in 1912 (New York Times, October 29, 1992.) He later became a United States citizen and served in the United States' Army during World War II. Sonia Phipps Farrell married Seherr-Thoss in Palm Beach, Florida, on March 3, 1948 (The Washington Post, March 2, 1948.) Both had children from previous marriages. Mrs. Seherr-Thoss graduated from Columbia University with majors in economics and sociology. She served as president of the Litchfield (Connecticut) Historical Society and the Oliver Wolcott Library. She received the Paul Harris Fellowship for community service and the Connecticut Association of Schools awarded her the Distinguished Friend of Education Award. In 1968, the Smithsonian Institution Press published, Design and Color in Islamic Architecture: Afganistan, Iran, Turkey. Written by Mrs. Seherr-Thoss, the photographs were taken by Mr. Seherr-Thoss during their travels to the concerned regions. Many of the photographs featured in that publication are included in this collection. Hans C. Seherr-Thoss died on October 28, 1992 and Sonia P. Seherr-Thoss died on June 13, 2006.
Biography of Sonia P. and Hans C. Seherr-Thoss:
Count Hans Seherr-Thoss was born in Dobrau, Germany in 1912 (New York Times, October 29, 1992.) He later became a United States citizen and served in the United States' Army during World War II.
Sonia Phipps Farrell married Seherr-Thoss in Palm Beach, Florida, on March 3, 1948 (The Washington Post, March 2, 1948.) Both had children from previous marriages. Mrs. Seherr-Thoss graduated from Columbia University with majors in economics and sociology. She served as president of the Litchfield (Connecticut) Historical Society and the Oliver Wolcott Library. She received the Paul Harris Fellowship for community service and the Connecticut Association of Schools awarded her the Distinguished Friend of Education Award.
In 1968, the Smithsonian Institution Press published, Design and Color in Islamic Architecture: Afganistan, Iran, Turkey. Written by Mrs. Seherr-Thoss, the photographs were taken by Mr. Seherr-Thoss during their travels to the concerned regions. Many of the photographs featured in that publication are included in this collection.
Hans C. Seherr-Thoss died on October 28, 1992 and Sonia P. Seherr-Thoss died on June 13, 2006.
Other collections housed in the archives documenting Islamic monuments include: Ambassador Richard B. Parker Photographs of Islamic Monuments and the Lionel Bier Architectural Drawings.
This collection was donated by Sonia P. Seherr-Thoss, 2001
Collection is open for research. Mounted slides are in cold storage; digital surrogates are preferred for access. One week's notice is required prior to access originals.
Permission to reproduce and publish an item from the Archives is coordinated through the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery's Rights and Reproductions department. Please contact the Archives in order to initiate this process.
Decoration and ornament, Architectural -- Middle East Search this
The material from the excavations at Samarra, except for the photographs mounted in Photo Files 19--3, and drawings which are in Series 5: Drawings.
"Two campaigns of excavation at Samarra in Iraq, carried out by Ernst Herzfeld on behalf of the Kaiser Friedrich Museum in Berlin between the years 1911 and 1913 mark the beginning of large-scale archaeological research on Islamic antiquities. During this time, Herzfeld was supported for brief periods by the swiss architect Samuel Guyer, Commander von Ludloff, various technical assistants, and finally Friedrich Sarre, who was the director of the Islamic department at the museum and initiator of the expedition. For most of the time, however, all tasks that today would be divided among a team of archaeologists rested solely on Herzfeld's shoulders: coordinating hundreds of workmen at various sites, measuring buildings, drawing architecture and objects, and cataloging finds, but also negociating with local authorities who were often uncooperative. Still working at a time when the success of a venture such as the Samarra expedition was measured by its spectacular finds in both architecture and precious objects, the immense responsibility for bringing this expedition through the unexplored territories of Islamic archaeology to a successful conclusion presented an enormous physical and psychological challenge. In an effort that from the perspective of modern archaeology must be called Herculean, he excavated and examined nineteen sites [Great Mosque of al-Mutawakkil, Congregational Mosque of Madinat al-Mutawakkiliyya, Shiite Shrine Complex, Qubbat al-Ṣulaibiyya; palaces of Balkuwārā, Ṣūr ʿĪṣā, and the Qaṣr al-ʿĀshiq; the Cemetery at Shabbat al-Hawā; Mausoleum of Imām al-Dūr; Tall al-ʿAlīq; Ḥarba Bridge and finally the residential architecture at al-Quraina, al-Qāṭūn, al-Jubairiyya, and west of Ṣūr ʿĪṣā, and the baths] and collected a stupendous corpus of material, one that in many respects still forms the foundation for our knowledge of the city of Samarra and ʼAbbāsid art in the 3rd/9th centuries. What is astonishing is that Herzfeld himself considered his achievements during the first campaign in Samarra to be merely a dress rehearsal for the more ambitious second campaign which focused on the Dār al-Khilāfa." [Leisten, Thomas, 2003: "Excavation of Samarra, v. I. Architecture : Final report of the first campaign 1910-1912. Verlag Philipp von Zabern, Mainz am Rhein, 2003. Preface, p.IX."]
135 units of original materials; numbered subseries, kept in the order in which they arrived, and housed in document boxes.
Biographical / Historical:
"Ernst Emil Herzfeld (1879-1948) was an orientalist whose many talents led him to explore all phases of Near Eastern culture, from the prehistoric period to Islamic times and from linguistics and religion to art and architecture." [Margaret Cool Root, 1976: "The Herzfeld Archive of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Metropolitan Museum Journal, Vol. 11, pp. 119-124."]
FSA A.06 07
- Title is provided by Xavier Courouble, FSg Archives cataloger, based on Joseph Upton's Catalogue of the Herzfeld Archive, Thomas Leisten's publication, "Excavation of Samarra, vol 1," and Alastair Northedge's publication, "An Interpretation of the Palace of the Caliph at Samarra (Dar Al-Khilafa or Jawsaq Al-Khaqani). In Ars Orientalis, Vol. 23."
Series title in Joseph Upton's Catalogue of the Herzfeld Archive reads, "Records of Samarra Expeditions."
Date/Time and Place of an Event Note:
Field notes related primarly to the two campaigns of excavation at Sāmarrāʼ (Iraq), carried out by Ernst Herzfeld on behalf of the Kaiser Friedrich Museum in Berlin between the years 1911 and 1913.
Collection is open for research.
Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository.
These records are the official minutes of the Board. They are compiled at the direction of the Secretary of the Smithsonian, who is also secretary to the Board, after
approval by the Regents' Executive Committee and by the Regents themselves. The minutes are edited, not a verbatim account of proceedings. For reasons unknown, there are no
manuscript minutes for the period from 1857 through 1890; and researchers must rely on printed minutes published in the Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution instead.
Minutes are transferred regularly from the Secretary's Office to the Archives. Minutes less than 15 years old are closed to researchers. Indexes exist for the period from
1907 to 1946 and can be useful.
The Smithsonian Institution was created by authority of an Act of Congress approved August 10, 1846. The Act entrusted direction of the Smithsonian to a body called
the Establishment, composed of the President; the Vice President; the Chief Justice of the United States; the secretaries of State, War, Navy, Interior, and Agriculture; the
Attorney General; and the Postmaster General. In fact, however, the Establishment last met in 1877, and control of the Smithsonian has always been exercised by its Board of
Regents. The membership of the Regents consists of the Vice President and the Chief Justice of the United States; three members each of the Senate and House of Representatives;
two citizens of the District of Columbia; and seven citizens of the several states, no two from the same state. (Prior to 1970 the category of Citizen Regents not residents
of Washington consisted of four members). By custom the Chief Justice is Chancellor. The office was at first held by the Vice President. However, when Millard Fillmore succeeded
to the presidency on the death of Zachary Taylor in 1851, Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney was chosen in his stead. The office has always been filled by the Chief Justice
since that time.
The Regents of the Smithsonian have included distinguished Americans from many walks of life. Ex officio members (Vice President) have been: Spiro T. Agnew, Chester A.
Arthur, Allen W. Barkley, John C. Breckenridge, George Bush, Schuyler Colfax, Calvin Coolidge, Charles Curtis, George M. Dallas, Charles G. Dawes, Charles W. Fairbanks, Millard
Fillmore, Gerald R. Ford, John N. Garner, Hannibal Hamlin, Thomas A. Hendricks, Garret A. Hobart, Hubert H. Humphrey, Andrew Johnson, Lyndon B. Johnson, William R. King, Thomas
R. Marshall, Walter F. Mondale, Levi P. Morton, Richard M. Nixon, Nelson A. Rockefeller, Theodore Roosevelt, James S. Sherman, Adlai E. Stevenson, Harry S. Truman, Henry A.
Wallace, William A. Wheeler, Henry Wilson.
Ex officio members (Chief Justice) have been: Roger B. Taney, Salmon P. Chase, Nathan Clifford, Morrison R. Waite, Samuel F. Miller, Melville W. Fuller, Edward D. White,
William Howard Taft, Charles Evans Hughes, Harlan F. Stone, Fred M. Vinson, Earl Warren, Warren E. Burger.
Regents on the part of the Senate have been: Clinton P. Anderson, Newton Booth, Sidney Breese, Lewis Cass, Robert Milledge Charlton, Bennet Champ Clark, Francis M. Cockrell,
Shelby Moore Cullom, Garrett Davis, Jefferson Davis, George Franklin Edmunds, George Evans, Edwin J. Garn, Walter F. George, Barry Goldwater, George Gray, Hannibal Hamlin,
Nathaniel Peter Hill, George Frisbie Hoar, Henry French Hollis, Henry M. Jackson, William Lindsay, Henry Cabot Lodge, Medill McCormick, James Murray Mason, Samuel Bell Maxey,
Robert B. Morgan, Frank E. Moss, Claiborne Pell, George Wharton Pepper, David A. Reed, Leverett Saltonstall, Hugh Scott, Alexander H. Smith, Robert A. Taft, Lyman Trumbull,
Wallace H. White, Jr., Robert Enoch Withers.
Regents on the part of the House of Representatives have included: Edward P. Boland, Frank T. Bow, William Campbell Breckenridge, Overton Brooks, Benjamin Butterworth,
Clarence Cannon, Lucius Cartrell, Hiester Clymer, William Colcock, William P. Cole, Jr., Maurice Connolly, Silvio O. Conte, Edward E. Cox, Edward H. Crump, John Dalzell, Nathaniel
Deering, Hugh A. Dinsmore, William English, John Farnsworth, Scott Ferris, Graham Fitch, James Garfield, Charles L. Gifford, T. Alan Goldsborough, Frank L. Greene, Gerry Hazleton,
Benjamin Hill, Henry Hilliard, Ebenezer Hoar, William Hough, William M. Howard, Albert Johnson, Leroy Johnson, Joseph Johnston, Michael Kirwan, James T. Lloyd, Robert Luce,
Robert McClelland, Samuel K. McConnell, Jr., George H. Mahon, George McCrary, Edward McPherson, James R. Mann, George Perkins Marsh, Norman Y. Mineta, A. J. Monteague, R.
Walton Moore, Walter H. Newton, Robert Dale Owen, James Patterson, William Phelps, Luke Poland, John Van Schaick Lansing Pruyn, B. Carroll Reece, Ernest W. Roberts, Otho Robards
Singleton, Frank Thompson, Jr., John M. Vorys, Hiram Warner, Joseph Wheeler.
Citizen Regents have been: David C. Acheson, Louis Agassiz, James B. Angell, Anne L. Armstrong, William Backhouse Astor, J. Paul Austin, Alexander Dallas Bache, George
Edmund Badger, George Bancroft, Alexander Graham Bell, James Gabriel Berrett, John McPherson Berrien, Robert W. Bingham, Sayles Jenks Bowen, William G. Bowen, Robert S. Brookings,
John Nicholas Brown, William A. M. Burden, Vannevar Bush, Charles F. Choate, Jr., Rufus Choate, Arthur H. Compton, Henry David Cooke, Henry Coppee, Samuel Sullivan Cox, Edward
H. Crump, James Dwight Dana, Harvey N. Davis, William Lewis Dayton, Everette Lee Degolyer, Richard Delafield, Frederic A. Delano, Charles Devens, Matthew Gault Emery, Cornelius
Conway Felton, Robert V. Fleming, Murray Gell-Mann, Robert F. Goheen, Asa Gray, George Gray, Crawford Hallock Greenwalt, Nancy Hanks, Caryl Parker Haskins, Gideon Hawley,
John B. Henderson, John B. Henderson, Jr., A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., Gardner Greene Hubbard, Charles Evans Hughes, Carlisle H. Humelsine, Jerome C. Hunsaker, William Preston
Johnston, Irwin B. Laughlin, Walter Lenox, Augustus P. Loring, John Maclean, William Beans Magruder, John Walker Maury, Montgomery Cunningham Meigs, John C. Merriam, R. Walton
Moore, Roland S. Morris, Dwight W. Morrow, Richard Olney, Peter Parker, Noah Porter, William Campbell Preston, Owen Josephus Roberts, Richard Rush, William Winston Seaton,
Alexander Roby Shepherd, William Tecumseh Sherman, Otho Robards Singleton, Joseph Gilbert Totten, John Thomas Towers, Frederic C. Walcott, Richard Wallach, Thomas J. Watson,
Jr., James E. Webb, James Clarke Welling, Andrew Dickson White, Henry White, Theodore Dwight Woolsey.
Antiquities, Pre-Columbian and Ethnographic works of art : including Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Islamic antiquities, a collection of ancient Roman, Near-Eastern and Islamic glass, African, Oceanic, Pre-Columbian and American Indian works
Bahrain National Museum : archaeological collections / with contributions by Béatrice André ... [et al.] ; edited by Pierre Lombard and Monik Kervrans; with the collaboration of Abdul Aziz Suwailah ... [et al.]