January 17, 2017

Red Sea Monasteries of Saints Anthony and Paul: A Film from 1930

The first official project undertaken by the Byzantine Institute was the examination and documentation of wall paintings in the Red Sea Monasteries in Egypt, which occurred between 1929 and 1932. Filmed in 1930, this film was likely recorded during the First Expedition (1929-1930) to the Red Sea Monasteries and it includes scenes from both monasteries of Saint Paul and Saint Anthony. It shows general exterior views of the monastery and the surrounding landscape, and it shows a glimpse of Thomas Whittemore on a camel. It also illustrates local men digging a waterway from a nearby stream and doing food preparation.

1) Film starts with general exterior views of the Monastery of Saint Paul (According to Michael Jones of ARCE, Cairo, the film mainly contains views of the Monastery of Saint Paul.)
2) Men preparing food and performing day-to-day activities
3) Thomas Whittemore and unidentified individuals on camels
4) General exterior views of the monastery and surrounding landscape
5) Men digging a waterway
6) Film ends with general views of the surrounding landscape

Citation: The Red Sea Monastery of Saint Anthony, Egypt, Byzantine Institute Films, Courtesy of Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C.