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COLLECTION Identifier: MS.BZ.011

Charles Tauss papers and records of the Kariye Camii Museum Project

Scope and Contents

This collection primarily contains administrative and photographic documentation for the wall painting conservation conducted by Charles Tauss and his assistant Betty Spitz at the Kariye Camii (also known as the Chora Museum) in Istanbul between 1984 and 1989, by permission of the Directorate of the Hagia Sophia Museum (the authoritative body for the Hagia Sophia Museum, Kariye Museum, Great Palace Mosaic Museum, and the Fethiye Museum). The conservation work is referred to as the “Kariye Museum Project” (KMP), a name used for identifying the project for fundraising and promotional purposes. The collection consists of administrative and fundraising correspondence, conservation and meeting notes, newspaper clippings, photographic documentation, and related publications and ephemera. In addition to the work at the Kariye Camii, the collection materials also reference proposed work at the Hagia Sophia Museum to clean and conserve mosaics in the eastern arch, which were partially uncovered during building restoration work in 1989. Some records refer to conserving wall paintings at St. Euphemia, but the nature of the work is not defined. The collection also includes Tauss’s master’s thesis, “The Church of Christ in Chora (Kariyeh Djami): Notes on the Parecclesion,” for his graduate degree at the Yale University School of Art in 1955. The thesis is partly informed by his experience working for the Byzantine Institute as a painting conservator, conducting fieldwork at Kariye Camii in the 1950s. Also included is Tauss’s personal black and white photography, mostly depicting sites in Istanbul from 1961 and 1975, and later color photography of the interior of his Bronx apartment in the 1980s-1990s.


  • circa 1955-1990s
  • Majority of material found within 1985 and 1989


2 linear feet (1 box of papers; 1 box and 1 album of photographs; 1 box of film strips; 1 box of slides)
Tauss, Charles. Charles Tauss papers and records of the Kariye Camii Museum Project, circa 1955-1990s: FInding aid
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Dumbarton Oaks Repository

Dumbarton Oaks holds archival collections in its Rare Book Collection, Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives, and the Dumbarton Oaks Archives. The collections include: the papers of noteworthy scholars in the three fields that Dumbarton Oaks supports (Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, and Garden and Landscape); image collections depicting objects or sites of topical interest to scholars in the three fields; Beatrix Farrand’s personal archive of letters and original drawings that document the development of the Dumbarton Oaks Garden; and institutional records and architectural plans and drawings documenting the history of Dumbarton Oaks. For more information about hours and to make an appointment to consult any of the collections listed here, please fill out the request form:

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