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Oral history interview with Carroll F. Wales, 1992 November 10-1993 February 11

Wales, Carroll F., 1918-2007



Collection Information

Size: Sound recording: 9 sound cassettes; 203 Pages, Transcript

Format: Originally recorded on 9 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 17 digital wav files. Duration is 12 hr., 20 min.

Summary: An interview with Carroll F. Wales conducted 1992 November 10-1993 February 11, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Wales discusses his childhood as an orphan in Maine; work as a designer for Cheney silk works, Manchester, Connecticut; World War II service in North Africa and Europe; education at Harvard in fine arts under Chandler Post, Frederick Deknatel, and John Coolidge; art conservation training under Morton Bradley, Frank Gettens, and Richard Buck; fellow students Evan Turner, Elizabeth Jones, John Maxon, and Dore Ashton; first jobs restoring Roman mosaic at Worcester Art Museum, Italian paintings in the Jarvis Collection at Yale, and early 19th century murals at Wesleyan University; extended work (1952-1959) through the Byzantine Institute on Byzantine frescoes in Istanbul, George Stout's work on particularly difficult projects, and the division of preparatory work among Greek Christians (figural paintings) and Turkish Moslems (decorative areas); and friendship with British archaeologist Max Mallowan and his wife, author Agatha Christie, while conserving ivories during excavations at Nimrud, Iraq.

Biographical/Historical Note

Carroll F. Wales (1918-2007) was a restorer from Boston, Massachusetts.


These interviews are part of the Archives' Oral History Program, started in 1958, to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics, and others.

Language Note

English .


Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.



The following oral history transcript is the result of a recorded interview with Carroll Wales on December 4, 1992, and January 19 and February 11, 1993. The interview took place in Boston, Massachusetts, and was conducted by Robert Brown for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

The Archives of American Art has reviewed the transcript and has made corrections and emendations. This transcript has been lightly edited for readability by the Archives of American Art. The reader should bear in mind that they are reading a transcript of spoken, rather than written, prose.



ROBERT F. BROWN:  This interview this morning February 11, 1993 is a retake of the first session, uh, with Carroll Wales. Robert Brown, the interviewer. Let's see—

[Audio Break.]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Just to start out with your childhood, early memories, you were born in Conway, New Hampshire in—what—about 1919?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Nineteen eighteen.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Nineteen eighteen?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Mm-hmm [affirmative].

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What was your family's background there?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Um, my—my father worked in the automobile industry in Detroit, so he was back and forth. I can remember him, but I don't remember my mother because she died a year after I was born. It was during the great Influenza Epidemic [Pandemic] in 1919, and so. But I was fortunate in being adopted into the family, in other words by my grandfather's brother and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Your father died when you were—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes, my father died when I was about six years old, and it was from an operation. He died in the hospital.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was your father—you only saw him periodically because?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, just to—I actually only have one good memory of him. I remember that, I suppose, related to the fact that he was working in Detroit. But he bought me a small automobile in which you would sit in and there were pedals, and you could—uh, it's a quite sizable, little machine, and of course, the only in the town. [00:02:04] Of course, I was delighted with that and had it for many, many years. But I don't have many other memories of him and then of course certainly none of my mother at all. But at least, I was still part of the family.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  They lived just over nearby—

CARROLL F. WALES:  They lived nearby—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —in Maine.

CARROLL F. WALES:  —but in Maine, yes, in a little, very small town called Denmark and a—so I grew up there, and I remember that I—I don't know how I started, but I always seem to be interested in pictures. I started long, winter evenings in Maine when I wasn't reading, I like to copy things. I copied all the comic characters. I copied magazine covers of the many magazines that we all—they always seemed to be in the home—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  In drawings these were in—

CARROLL F. WALES:  In drawing.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —of course?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, no. No, they were all in drawings, which was very good because, I suppose, it gave me a lot of practice and knowledge in drawing, which is very, very important, and so—and I did this for many years. And then I—and I remember at one point, my sister had said that I must have inherited some of this from my mother because she liked to sketch, although I never did find any evidence of this. I mean there's no—she never did—uh, she never left any sketches or none that I know of. It must have been destroyed or something, so—in fact, one time, I submitted some, I remember, to the Fryeburg County Fair, which they had every year, and I won first prize, which pleased me very much. [00:04:07] It was a drawing of a dog, but I don't feel very—I don't feel particularly proud of the thing because I was making a copy of what somebody else had done, [laughs] but it was evidently a very good copy. It was a good copy I know and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What were the expectations of your family? You were now living—adopted by—into your grandfather's household?

CARROLL F. WALES:  In my—into my grandfather's brother who would be my great-uncle.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Your Great-Uncle Sal so—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, right and lived with them in Denmark, and they—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What were they like? Were they very—rather demanding or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, no, no.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Can you explain?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No. No, they were wonderful people. The—it—I knew from the very beginning that I was adopted. They, uh, never held anything back from me that they weren't my real parents, but it just—it didn't seem unusual to me. It just was a fact I had to accept, and I had a very happy, very good childhood. Since I knew they were part of the family, I suppose that helped a great deal because I felt that I was still in the family. In fact, there was also—my mother had been married before, and there was an older half-brother and half-sister that my grandfather took, but they were a bit older than I was, and so—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  After your mother's death?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, after my mother's death. My grandfather took the two older children and I was just a baby, of course, and I suppose they thought that three would be a bit much and so my great-uncle took me. [00:06:09]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And you mentioned a sister. Was this your half-sister?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, but the—no, the sister that I keep—that I do mention or have is a sister by adoption, my great-uncle's daughter. Kind of a mixed-up family I guess, but I always called her my sister because I—of course, she was much older than I was but—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What do you recall of life in Denmark? Was it—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, it very, very quiet but very active at the time where they were. I joined the Boy Scouts, and I've read just about everything in the small library that they had there. I wore out bicycles delivering papers. I was the only paperboy in the town. Well, you only needed one. I worked in the small—it was called Tea Room. It was a filling station and sold hotdogs and sandwiches, and so on, and then there was a small hotel there. For a small town, you wouldn't think they would have a hotel, but it was a town that was double or triple in size during the summer because of all the summer camps there. I think one of the Kennedys went to camp there and—I've forgotten. I'm trying to think who else that was known that went there and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  These would be parents when they were visiting the children would put up at the—

CARROLL F. WALES:  They'd put up at the hotel in the—because there were several—it's a long lake. It's actually called Moose Pond, but it isn't. It's— [00:08:00]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Lake-sized.

CARROLL F. WALES:  It's a lake-size and about nine miles long, and all the camps were up the lake, as we called it, on either side of the shore, girls' camps and boys' camps. And so—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You didn't have much to do ever with those campers?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, I did only in that by the time I got to high-school age, I worked in the post office part time while I was in school and all during the summer months. Of course, there was a great deal of mail to handle. In those days, we had two mail deliveries, so I had to be there from morning right through until early evening. In a place like that, you would know—if a letter came in with a rather odd name or something, you would know where that—it might be someone visiting. It's like a small community in which everybody knows everyone else. Everyone knows their friends or people who might be visiting, or if it was somebody in one of the camps during the summer, you could usually identify it. And in those days, people took time to be accommodating and to spend a little time looking up something instead of just marking it address unknown or something like that and sending it back. I enjoyed such things, I guess, being able to accomplish.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Were most of the campers' cities far away?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, they were.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  New York or Boston?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right, there were. There were two Jewish camps that were very popular, and some of the big names like Lazarus who was a big department store man as I remember from somewhere in the Midwest. [00:10:11] I don't know. I forget any of the other names. Olsho [ph] was another one. You see that name in New York a great deal. But then there were many other kind of camps too, and nearly all of them had Indian names, Wyonegonic and Winona and—the first ones that I can think of. And—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  I'm curious. By chance, did you ever talk much with those kids from the cities and get some ideas of what it—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Not a great—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You didn't have much experience of the outside world, had you or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, no, not at all.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You had never traveled—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, I did not talk with them very much at all because they seldom came down to the town. No particular reason for them to. If they took any, they would—oh, they would have various swimming contests and so on, but usually it would be between the camps. The beautiful part of the town or the area was on the lake where the camps were, and so I had very little contact actually with them. In fact, I—my first trip out of Maine, I guess, actually on a Sunday when we would take a ride—that would be the expression—we would usually go up to the mountains. Of course, that was where I was born Conway and the Presidential Range and all of that. I remember in high school, we did a lot of mountain climbing, Mount Washington and a lot of the Chocorua, Cathedral Ledge, a lot of the mountains in New Hampshire. [00:12:01]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And that was quite common among the youth?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That—yes, it was right. And then, of course, there were—there was a Pleasant Mountain. It was a smaller mountain right near the town, and we would go there for blueberry because there's wonderful blueberries on the mountain.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But you never went out to that area, did you?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No. You would go possibly down to Portland, But I never left the state of Maine until—it was sometime during my high school years when I was working in the post office and the lady who was post mistress was a very, very nice person. And the—one Christmas, she said, "I'm giving you a Christmas present" because she said, "I know you like figure skating and—" Because we would have skating parties on the lake and big bonfires, and it was lots of fun, and not just for younger people but many of the older people knew how to skate. I remember that I would spend some days all by myself because, at that time, you—the weather was so cold and the ice was so well frozen that you didn't—I don't remember anybody ever falling through the ice or drowning or anything like that, which you do hear about here and so—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But up there, was it that much colder?

CARROLL F. WALES:  But up there, it wasn't that much colder. But I remember the—of putting on my skates and skating for—actually for miles along the shore. Not too close to the shore in places because you could always tell by the color of the ice and the sound as if a brook was running in and then the water might be a little—the ice might be a little thinner in those places. [00:14:01] But skating all along the shore all by myself, and now and then, you would perhaps see a small animal. I don't remember seeing any deer, but I suppose their hearing was so good that even they could hear my skates. But you would see rabbits or small animals, the squirrels and so on, and you go along the shore, so—but my first trip was that the—she sent me, the postmistress sent me. She said, "I'm giving you a ticket to—a round-trip ticket to Boston on the train, and you're going. I have tickets for you to see Sonja Henie at Boston Garden." Of course, this is way back in the late '30s, it would be. Of course, that was a great experience to me and to go by myself. I remember my sister's husband was a Mason, and he said, "I'm giving this ring, a Masonic ring." He said, "If you get into any problem or any trouble or anything, you just show this to various people." He said, "You're bound to find somebody, and they will take care of you," which I found was an incredible thing at the time. [They laugh.] I never had to—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You never had to use it.

CARROLL F. WALES:  I never had to use it or anything. I remember I stayed in the Hotel Avery, which is downtown. I don't know if it's still there or not. Of course, it was quite a thrill to see Sonja Henie, and I spent one night and then came back the next day. So, it was my first trip out of Maine—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Just seeing—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —that I know—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —a very large city must have been—[00:16:00]

CARROLL F. WALES:  It was quite—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —extraordinary.

CARROLL F. WALES:  —incredible. It was to me, right. Although, I had always had a vivid imagination, always had done a great deal of reading. I found my classes in school quite easy. I loved math. I loved a lot of things that I wish I had retained a little more when I started going to college later such as my math and algebra, and so on. But in school, it was—it was quite an easy thing. I was—when I graduated, I was valedictorian. I remember winning first prize once in prize speaking, and I was in all the small dramas, the plays that were put on every year mainly because there was a shortage of people. There were seven people in my high school class—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Oh, and very small.

CARROLL F. WALES:  [Laughs.] That's very small, right. The very first years before they enlarged the school, we were—the first eight grades we were in one large room. The first two or three—well, probably not more than two rows across would always be vacant when the class was not going on. But then when it was time for your class to be held, you would leave your seats in the back, and you'd go down to the front and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And then what?

CARROLL F. WALES:  —be taught. Now, that sounds as though it would be quite noisy, but as I remember, it wasn't particularly. I suppose the voices were a little lower, and you were supposed to be—if you were not in that class, you were supposed to be busy reading or doing some project, which you needed to do in your own class, so you didn't pay much attention to what was going down. [00:18:09] It was quite a large room too but then, of course, later, it was divided up so that—into smaller rooms. The high school room, with the four grades there, were was in a separate room by itself.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But the teaching, as far as you look back, was pretty rigorous? It was—

CARROLL F. WALES:  It was. Yes, it was. It was very good. There was a lot of discipline, which of course, was very good and far more than there is today I guess. I don't remember if the teacher reprimanded you or, um—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Adult people?

CARROLL F. WALES:  —slapped you across the wrist or something that if you went home and complained to your parents, they would agree with the teacher, I think, in most cases. I don't remember anything very severe or—I had some very good teachers. I remember one lady that always—I was very fond of her because I liked her as—as a teacher. Perhaps it was just lucky, I don't know.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But what would you say were your chief interests? You mentioned you excelled in most things, but did you have particular intellectual interests, would you say, in your adult—

CARROLL F. WALES:  In—well, I read everything under the sun, everything that I could find from Shakespeare to Dracula to—[they laugh.] I remember reading because a friend had loaned me an illustrated— Doré was the illustrator—the Inferno. Some of these things were way beyond me, I suppose, actually as far as really understanding what it was all about. But I just had such a vivid imagination, I guess, that they appealed to me. [00:20:02] I started reading science fiction, and that was back in the very beginning of the science fiction days. I saw the first—I heard rather the first Buck Rogers program. This certainly goes back to early '30s, I believe, which was on the radio. This was before the days of television.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What was it about science fiction, do you think, that appealed to you? The—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, because I always liked the woods. I always liked anything to do with Indians. And I—around the small town, I could—I knew all the pass. I knew how to go completely around it without being in sight or being seen by anybody from the town itself. But what I'm getting at though is the fact that I love to look at the stars and imagine what it must be to go to the moon or to see some of the other planets. It always interested me, for some reason, a great deal. I suppose that's why the science fiction made a lot of things come to life.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did you spend a lot of your time as a teenager alone, do you think, or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, actually because I was the only—the only child in the family. The—my—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  The others were—my sister was some 20 years older than I was, and—that is my sister by adoption was. I had a very good friend. My best friend was my cousin, and he—only a little older than I was, but he was like a brother to me, and he's still living and um—[00:22:01] But other than that, I was not particularly good at sports. I liked basketball. I like mountain climbing. I like—well, fishing I like. I didn't care for hunting at all, but I would spend endless hours fishing. It just seemed to be a quieter thing to do and—but somehow, I never could get the knack of playing baseball. I either couldn't catch the thing or I couldn't hit it or something, so I was never too good at that I guess.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Mm-hmm [affirmative]. But there weren't pressures particularly or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, no. In a small place like that they—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  In that small place.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right. You—the competition would be such that if you weren't good, you were just left out. And the—then there would be somebody who would be able to—that is in sports and so on. So, I found that I—well I'm no good at certain things. There's no point in doing them. Now, many other things would take up my time and, uh—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well, as you look back then, the small community of Denmark was a pretty good nursery for development of interest?

CARROLL F. WALES:  It was. I had—


CARROLL F. WALES:  —some awakening. It was a rude awakening, whatever you might call them, when I got into the army, and one of the things I discovered was that I was talking funny, as being that I had a Maine accent. But then I found that some of the southerners were talking funny, too, I thought, and so that [laughs]—but I did realize and made an effort of course—at that time I was much older—to pronounce my r's a little better instead of saying "winda" or "extra" and—but—[00:24:09] I think I've always been a good traveler and had been able to adapt myself to wherever I was just because I was very much interested in anything that was new. I'm very fortunate that I like most foods. I—uh, it was the interest that I had that kept me going I think that—and of course, it helped a great deal later on when I had to travel and work in many places that I never really got homesick because I found too many new things to keep my interest up.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What were you prepared to do once you finished high school—when—about mid-1930s.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yeah, right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Nineteen thirty-five or so.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Thirty-seven, I think was when I graduated from high school. I—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Had you had in mind doing something—

CARROLL F. WALES:  I had always—I wasn't certain. I wanted to keep on with—by that time, I had tried to do a little painting, and I did make some rather primitive, but the drawing was not all that bad of houses and things.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was there someone to teach you that or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, there was none, no one at all. No one in the town that I knew of that—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But you did—

CARROLL F. WALES:  But I was just interested in it—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —didn't you just go on to further schooling?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I wanted to go to college very much because I had talked with people and some of my teachers, of course. And the teachers that I met after I had graduated, I talked with them, and I realized that I would like to go on to college. I knew that I couldn't afford it without doing a lot of work—working my way through, and I didn't even try and then, of course, in those few years, the war began. [00:26:16]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So you—but you didn't try then because of the problem of the expenses in those first years?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right. I kept thinking I was going to, but I didn't. I had enough work—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, you had to take a job in—after graduation?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, I worked then nearly for the—the woman who was the postmistress was an elderly woman, and she had always been the postmistress, so I suppose she always would've kept on because she was very good. But she could—I'm sure she paid me most out of her own money, and I did—so I was nearly full-time postmaster. But, of course, that was not for very long because they began to talk about the war and about Pratt & Whitney in Connecticut where—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Oh, you mean Neiman in the 1930s—

CARROLL F. WALES:  In the late '30s, very late '30s.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  By then they were beginning to talk—

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right, and saying how much money people could make and so on.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, you mentioned Pratt & Whitney—

CARROLL F. WALES:  The Pratt & Whitney—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was that where you could get work there and were you—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, I thought perhaps I could because the money seemed to be so good because they were getting, of course, big contracts from the government.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Were people from your area beginning to drift down there for jobs?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I don't know that many people did, and yet, I heard about it. I don't know. I can't think of who might have gone down there. But my sister, the one that had been taken—my half-sister who had been taken by my grandfather's family, she and her husband were living in Manchester, Connecticut. [00:28:00] So, she said, "Why don't you come down? You can stay with us, and we can see if we can get you a job in Pratt & Whitney because they're hiring people?" So I went down, but when they discovered that I was A-1—in other words I had had a physical and would be eligible for drafting into the army—they would not take me. So, in the same town were Cheney Brothers, the silk manufacturers who made cravats, neckties, scarves, and designs for dresses, and so on. I was able to get a job with them in the etching department. They would—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What was the etching department?

CARROLL F. WALES:  It was—I didn't work on creating the designs at all, but the designs would be given to me, and I would have to transcribe them on to a metal sheet. The sheet would be covered with a material that the acid would not touch. But where the lines were of the design, they acid, of course, would eat in, and you would have small grooves. All this had to be done with constant supervision and timing so that the little grooves were at a certain depth, no greater and—and no thinner than the required measurement so that when the ink was applied, it would—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  This was done all—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —fit in.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —freehand I mean? Or did you prick through?


ROBERT F. BROWN:  You had your design—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —did you not?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, yes, not freehand. [00:30:00] Though, I don't remember exactly how—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  How did you transfer from the designer's paper on to the plate?


ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did you prick through?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No. I don't remember. I think some of that was done and then it was handed—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Or did you—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, it was. I don't know. It was handed to me with the design pretty much on there.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And then you had to—

CARROLL F. WALES:  And I had to—yes. But I had to know—I had to know in doing—in making one of these plates, you may have a red line. Now that red line has beside it on either side of it two very small other lines. This means that the red line is a little smaller then it is going to be printed. But the two lines on either side are sort of safety things. The ink will spread a little to them and then stop. So, there's no unevenness. It sounds a bit difficult to explain it, but it's the way these things are done. They're not done with a single-line etching, at least, at that time. But they were done with other lines, which would keep them within a certain boundary.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, you had to do this—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —you would do this—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —I had to do this—did this, and it had to be exact because if you made a mistake on one of these big designs, you just had to throw it out. There were—occasionally where the tiniest things could be repaired, if you—if the acid had gone beyond a little spot that it should, you could wax that over and then when it was printed, it would not interfere but in—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But it's—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —general, it was a very exact—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —very demanding work. [00:32:00]

CARROLL F. WALES:  —very demanding work, right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did you happen to thrive in?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, I think so. I kept on for a good year and a half, maybe longer than that and then, of course, my draft number came up and I, uh—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What did you do? Go back to Maine?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, I did because I had—of course, in order to go down there, in order to work, I had to have my address, my draft status, and all of that transferred from Maine to Connecticut. Then when I—because I didn't—no one at that time had any idea how soon or how long it would be before one would be called up and so then when they told me that my number had come up, I went to the people—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And this—I'm sorry.

CARROLL F. WALES:  —and said, "Could I have this transferred back to Maine because I would like to go with the people I know?" and they, fortunately, agreed.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  When—about when was this you got your—

CARROLL F. WALES:  This was—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What year?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I'm not absolutely certain, but it—we were in Africa in '43, and I had a year's basic training and other preparation before that, so it must have been—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Forty-one or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  — in '41 or '42 when I was inducted into the army from Maine. We went first, of course, to Camp Devens and then—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  In Massachusetts?

CARROLL F. WALES:  In Massachusetts and then from there we're sent down to Camp Stewart in Georgia not far from Savannah. There I did basic training and then eventually from the—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Were you selected for any kind of special—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, the—after we had done a few weeks, whatever it was, of basic training, they sorted out groups of us for certain jobs at the army. [00:34:15] The first thing that they did was to take the groups that had the highest IQ and put them in one battalion, in one barracks I mean—not battalion, barracks. We were called the Super Dupers. [Laughs.] Well, we were supposedly officer-candidate material.



ROBERT F. BROWN:  Is that talk strange among the other soldiers?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Not too much because it was done—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Very quiet?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, it was done—it was the army, you had to do what they told you. Also, it was done by your records, your papers, what—and what your sergeants or lieutenants knew about you, felt about you. If you—they thought proper material to be an officer then you were needed there. No, I don't think that there was any. Obviously, there were people that didn't have a very—that high IQ who made better officers than some of the others. Well, I didn't think that I wanted to be an officer actually.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Why was that?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I—well, it didn't appeal. I didn't think I was suited for that, for commanding a whole group of people. I felt that I could do a good job. I think everyone did. There were—I think as any—well, there might have been draft dodgers or people who didn't want to go in the army. I might've had a different feeling when it came to—if I had been in Vietnam times. But at that time, this was just something you did. I suppose because the First World War was not all that long ago, and you knew of the people who had died or been in the army, had come back. [00:36:11] It was just something that had to be done to protect the country, and you just took it as a matter of course. You, perhaps, weren't too happy always, but it was something everyone else was doing, and you felt that you should do it. I had been placed in the headquarters section of this group. I worked in the mailroom for a while. I worked in the office on service records and so on, and I thought, I'm good at this, and I can do—someone has got to do it. I think that along with regular military training such as learning how to handle a rifle and all the things that you need to know.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You felt you were particularly good at office management?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right, much, much better than that.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  This was after you had decided you didn't want to be an officer?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right, yes, and of course, they couldn't force you to be obviously. I didn't want to make the mistake of going—wasting their time and mine by trying to convince myself or anyone else that I would be a good officer, so, I think it was a wise decision. So then we were sent up to Newport News in Virginia, which is a staging area. We knew that we were going to be shipped out going to leave the States, but we didn't know where we were going or exactly when. Although, I think we were given week's furlough soon after we got there and—and told that after that week, we might be ready to leave at any time. [00:38:06] It wasn't until we got on the ship and started going further south—We went south all the time. It began to be very warm—that then we were told we were going to Africa. We were the third convoy over of the war—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Of America.

CARROLL F. WALES:  —of American troops. We went far south and zigzagged to escape any submarine attacks. We did not land at Casablanca because the city had already been taken, but we went through the Straits of Gibraltar and landed at Oran, which is—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  In Algeria.

CARROLL F. WALES:  —in Algeria. Of course, all of this was—although, the trip over sleeping in hammocks, crowded sea was rough at times, and I didn't really get seasick, but I came very close to it. It was not all that pleasant, but we put up with it. And then when we got Oran and here was a whole new exciting life. We knew we were not in the frontlines. I had been assigned to an antiaircraft company, battalion, and we had to learn how to use a searchlight and antiaircraft guns and—but I still was in the office. I could type, and I knew how to take care of service records and so I—I found a niche there. I found a place where I could be good. [00:40:02] I eventually—well, I kept on doing this all during the war, of course, and when I came out, I had risen to staff sergeant but in the—always in headquarters battalion. But it meant that you had to do your turn as far as going down into the cities where they had smokescreens and being in charge of quarters it was called, so we had to be near the telex machine. It was not called telex at the time, but it was a machine that—what do they call those things?

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What? To receive messages?

CARROLL F. WALES:  It will receive messages, right, and you could send them out, of course, too. And then, of course, we were in many bombing raids. This is all along the northern coast of North Africa all the way to Tunis.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  There was a good deal of German aircraft still?

CARROLL F. WALES:  German right, and the—we would set up along the harbor because we're in Algiers for quite some time and in small locations. Wherever there was a big airfield, we were there to protect it, and from there, our planes would take off and bomb the Germans. Of course, at that point, one of our main objectives was to help the—help hold Rommel or defeat him because he had started from Egypt across the—towards Tunisia. So, we would—I remember that we would very often set up a false harbor or encampment so that if the planes started—German planes started coming over, our searchlights would all be—or some of them would be located around a place that was not where our camp was. [00:42:19] But this would make the Germans think that in the middle of that would be where the encampment was, which was not the case. So, they had bombed beside us rather than where we were. Although, we did get some—a few casualties from flak, and once in a while a plane would be brought down and you never quite knew because when you could hear the planes flying, you never quite knew where they were going to drop the bombs. But fortunately, nothing ever came directly on to any one of our battalions so that we had lots of causalities.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, your job was to keep the paperwork going and the communications?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right. In fact, one of my—one of the people that I paid every month was Lieutenant Hollings who is now Senator Hollings in—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  South Carolina.

CARROLL F. WALES:  —South Carolina. The warrant officer who was in charge of headquarters office was my direct boss, and he seemed to like me or seemed to need me and knew that I had pretty good knowledge of most of the people. It was not a large battalion. It was a smaller group. I think I did my duty in that. [00:44:00] I felt more comfortable in that position that I knew my limitations, I felt, and—


CARROLL F. WALES:  So, when—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You knew your limitations, what do mean by that? You mean?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, I meant that I didn't think I'd be—I just didn't—I felt my knowledge of how to—someone had to do a lot of the management work that needs to be done in an army. [Coughs.] Excuse me. I felt knowing so many of the soldiers, I knew that I was one of a small group that could do this best. I felt that was the best place for me.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, you've had—your job, you felt suited you pretty well?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Unlike a lot of people who talked about their army experience, they—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, yes, it could be—it could be very—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —was taken a round hole.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right, right. They're lost—they don't—I can understand this. It's not a pleasant situation for the most part.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Were you very frequently on alert on—

CARROLL F. WALES:  We were. Yes, we were.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Oh, there's a strain, element of strain though?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. Because still—Rommel was still making headway and—or hadn't been stopped too much during—because we were—I was in North Africa for—it was over six months before finally—and we went as far as Tunisia. And then by that time, the British had started drifting in because they had defeated Rommel in the desert. [00:46:00] The poor soldiers were—they had desert sores and were completely exhausted and so on, and so we had to take care of them somewhat. For a certain time in North Africa, we were under British command actually, I remember. And then from there—then after that ended, we were under General Patton but only for a short time because then later on, after we—from Tunisia, we came back to Algiers and protected that city and then we're sent up to Corsica.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Mm-hmm [affirmative]. Were the people in Algiers—what were the relations? Because some of them had—when they were under the Germans had been somewhat collaborationists, hadn't they?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I suppose some of them had—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You were—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —of the contacts maybe.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, not a great deal, although we could go down in to the town. We were—our camp was—

[END OF TRACK wales92_1of9_cass_SideA_r.mp3.]

CARROLL F. WALES:  —yes, then we went up to Corsica and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And while you're there, you got to Italy you—

CARROLL F. WALES:  And it was—Corsica was a staging area for the invasion of Southern France. We were—well, we were in southern, in Ajaccio and then up to Bastia in the northern part, and just preparing, waiting for them to start the invasion. We would not be in—on the invasion, but we would follow almost immediately after in order to protect the airfields and the towns that were taken. Yes, while I was in Corsica, I had the chance to have a short leave. It had to be quite short because we weren't certain just when we would be called for the invasion. We—I don't know that we knew. I certainly didn't know when that was going to be. That was top secret at the time, but it was certainly going to be in the near future. However, I did get a chance to fly over my first plane flight on a B-17, I think it was, a bomber. So, I flew up—I went up in the—near where the pilots were. I could look out and see them down below. I had passes to Naples and return from Rome, and I had passes to Rome and return from Naples because we weren't quite sure what plane we could get a ride on over there. They were—Rome had been taken but Florence had not and the—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So you landed in Naples, is that right?

CARROLL F. WALES:  So, I landed in Naples. I was fortunate to fly—


CARROLL F. WALES:  —in Naples, and I liked it very much. [00:02:00] Italians were very friendly, and it was quite an experience, of course, being there. I wasn't there very long because I knew I didn't have a great deal of time. I saw what few museums were open. Most of them were not, but I did see some collections. And then I hitchhiked up the Appian Way to Rome, and of course, Rome was also under blackout and—but I did remember going to an opera there and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Still under military administration?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Still—oh, yes, indeed, right. Out of the—and I stayed in—I always stayed in one of our army camps. There was one, it's a little outside of Rome. Mussolini had made a kind of park out of it with lots and lots of statues around, but now, it was filled with tents, and that's where I—that's where I stayed and saw as much as I could of Rome during the daytime.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  As you look back, do you think being in Naples and then Rome, were you beginning to look at art and being very interested?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes. Yes, of course, I was. I tried to see—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You were?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, yeah. I had tried to see everything I could. There's not so much in Africa that one would—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But you already had—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —were developing interest in the arts?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Very much so. Oh, yes, indeed, very much so. And—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You've been sketching here and there, you told me.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, I did. I made number of sketches in Africa. I had the time and I—and then—so then I left Rome. My name was on the list as to when the first available flight back would be. I had a few days leeway one way or the other, but I knew that I must get back. [00:04:02] In fact, I got back just in time because they were—had just got the word that we had to pack up and be ready to leave for Southern France, which we did.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  This was a vast movement of a great many people to Southern France?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, it was our whole battalion and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But there were other, many, many other units?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes, oh, yes there were, right, right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Your unit would come in after they had landed?

CARROLL F. WALES:  After they—yes, we were not—we were not on—in the invasion, but I knew that we were within a few days or within a week because we got a battle star for this, a Bronze Star for this. Because it meant that we were a part of the invasion, although not a frontline troop. Of course, when we landed in Saint-Raphael, which is south of Lyon, we had the—what were they called, the big landing things in which the front lets down and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  LSTs [Landing Ship, Tank]?

CARROLL F. WALES:  LSTs, I believe, they're called, right. I remember in going through some of the towns, in fact all the way from then, nearly all the way—


CARROLL F. WALES:  —on to Lyon, we would see sometimes bodies, sometimes wreckage, which had been cleared from the road but was still on the roadside. We went—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What? Retreating Germans?

CARROLL F. WALES:  They were from, right, the retreating Germans. Of course, everybody was cheering us as we went by and so on. We went—I think—I don't really remember, but I think we went almost directly to Lyon because that was the largest near city that we would have to protect. [00:06:02] We were there for some time, quite a number of weeks. There they—we had—we no longer had to live in tents as we had in up to—until that point. We—I didn't mention the sleeping accommodations in Africa, but they were nearly always—we were provided with a mattress cover, and you would get straw, and there was plenty of that in the villages or nearby. We'd fill the mattress cover with straw and use that to sleep on in the tents. Of course, the more straw you put in it, the more insulation you would have from damp, the ground. It—I don't remember that it was—it was not wintertime, so it was not bitter cold. It was—but it—I would not have liked to have been there in the winter. But when the winter came, we were up in Northern France, which is near where the Battle of the Bulge, but in—we were in Lyon. I had time there to meet some very good friends, two very good friends who were in the—I think it was called the FFI something, the Free French. They were the underground French marquis, they were called.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You made friends there?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I made friends there, and I improved my French. I had taken French in school, in high school, but didn't know a great deal, but tried to learn more. I learned more in Africa because we seemed to be more with the French-speaking people in Africa. There were a lot especially in Algiers, and the—some of the soldiers who had girlfriends there would get letters from their girlfriends, or we would have to help translate when they would meet their girlfriends, and so on, or I would at times. [00:08:07] Other people who knew French even better than I, did of course. But in Lyon, I met some very nice French families.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  People were very obliging. Will they welcome you to their homes?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes, yes, indeed. I did. I went. And they—some of them did not have a great deal of food, although there were—there was one particular family that I got to know quite well. We'd drive out into the country, and there, they could get more fresh vegetables and food that were not readily available in the city. I went to dances once in a while with these people, and I met a very nice French girl. I learned the pasodoble, which I was—I had always loved to dance. I always liked that very much. I knew how—all the old-fashioned and so on back in Maine. I remember while we were in Lyon, we had a visitor, and I did not know very much about her, I must admit, at the time. But she came to see us. She came, of course, to see the officers first and then they took her around to each one of our rooms where we were living. They put us up there in a large schoolhouse, and they had taken all the seats out—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  The desks.

CARROLL F. WALES:  —and desks and so on out, and just made one large room with cots in it for us. So, the visitor that was brought to each room for us to see was Gertrude Stein. She was alone, except that she had the large—[clears throat] she had the large—oh, yes. [00:10:13]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Why was Gertrude Stein visiting the American troops?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, of course, she had been hiding out in that area in the South of France, somewhere near Lyon. I'm not sure just where. And so, I suppose she was just interested in visiting the army or the people who were there. She came with that large—I don't know what kind—white dog, which was nearly always with her called Basket, I believe. It's sort of a scrubby-looking dog I remember. She was a very, very kind person. I have a very vivid memory of her. She didn't stay too long. She talked with quite a number of us wanting to know where we were from and so on. I remember she told us the sort of—well, typical Stein conversation, I guess, in which she compared us with the other soldiers. She said, "You know in the First World War, there would be a group of solders on the street corner, and one of them will be talking, and the others would be listening." She said, "In this war, it would seem that when a group of soldiers are on the street corner, all of them are talking." [Laughs.]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Now, she wouldn't have been—her name wouldn't have meant anything to most of the—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —soldiers, right?

CARROLL F. WALES:  It didn't a great to me. I knew that such a person had written books, and that she was one of the people with Hemingway and with the early impressionists who were in Paris. [00:12:10] But—although how much of all this was after the war or before the war, I'm not quite certain. But I did know there was such a person, but I'd never read anything by her. She was a celebrity, and so we were, of course, interested in seeing her.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And meeting with—you made friends with several of these French underground?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, the underground people and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did they talk a good deal about what they had been through and so on?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, it had been pretty rough I guess for some of them and they—because they were—all had been hiding out pretty much. Some of them, I think, well, had not had to hide out but just kept it secret that they were sympathetic with the French course because they were all French. But it was—it—they were particularly friendly to us because we were helping them get rid of the Germans and so they went out of their way to be kind to us. Of course, we could help them in a small way in getting certain—a tin or canned foods, cigarettes, whatever, from our PX. Since I didn't smoke, I always had a good supply of cigarettes, but I had always used those for trading for silver objects or wood objects that I got in Africa and the same way in France. I remember we went to—we went one day while I was still in Lyon. [00:14:02] We went to the Baccarat factory, which is just outside the city. In fact, I have a decanter and some glasses that I got from there. But after quite a number of weeks, it was more than—it was up to two months or so, something like that, we were then put on a—what's called a 40&8, a car.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  The boxcar.

CARROLL F. WALES:  The boxcar.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  [Inaudible.]

CARROLL F. WALES:  And went up the Rhone River up towards Dijon, up to that area. I think we went as far as Saverne, which is a little beyond that, which was going to be our location. We couldn't yet go into Germany. In fact, we didn't stay very long right there. We hardly had unpacked before we were told to get packing. It's then become wintertime. The snow was on the ground, and we were told to get into our trucks and to go retreat as fast as we could because of the Battle of the Bulge, which was just to the west of us.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  The German offensive.

CARROLL F. WALES:  In the German offensive.

CARROLL F. WALES:  And had I not gone to Connecticut and had I stayed—had I been called into the army a little earlier from Maine, I might have been with a good friend of mine that I had gone to high school with who was in the Battle of the Bulge and was killed in it though. But anyway, we made a quick retreat not for long though because soon after that, we had been successful in driving the Germans—defeating the Germans. [00:16:08] And then we came back again to Saverne and Nancy where we stayed for a short time as I remember. And it must have been part of the winter though, I guess, because I remember when we crossed at—on Sauerbraten? I don't—it's strange, I don't remember—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Across the Rheine?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right, across the Rheine, right, and we were so—things were moving so fast at that time that we would go through towns. I remember seeing windows open, food still on the table where the place had been taken. Many of the Germans have just been in hiding at the time, and were not—there's not so much destruction because we had just driven them away so fast because now we were getting to have more and more help from the British, the French, and so on. And then—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You were moving very quickly.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Moving very quickly, right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was your battalion customarily then set up every night and be ready to—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, we were. We—I forget exactly where we were. We were near Worms in Germany. We went eventually down around Switzerland, down more to the south, and we're in Bavaria, and there, we set up near Garmisch-Partenkirchen. My pronunciation isn't so good I guess. [00:17:59] And the—oh, one of the things I had done in Algiers, which I hadn't mentioned, there was a large prison camp of mostly Italians but some German, too, in Algiers. I had charge of taking out provisions from our PX. They were given a weekly or biweekly allowance of toothpaste, toothbrushes. I don't remember if there were cigarettes at all, but there were chocolate bars, soap, various things like that, which each prisoner was allowed to—was given. I remember going to seeing these great encampments and distributing these things. We did—and I did the same thing again in Germany because the large amphitheater there where they had Olympic Games at one time later were filled with prisoners too.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  There were a huge number of them.

CARROLL F. WALES:  The huge number of them, oh yes. And the—we were—we were staying in a town called Fussen, F-U-S-S-E-N in Bavaria. I think we were in the hotel there. One of the things I remember about the hotel other than lying awake at night hearing the German planes, which were fairly close by going over, and just wondering if they were going to keep on going, you know? One of the things that was a little plus there was we liberated quite a small cache of German champagne, [they laugh] which we all enjoyed, I remember, a great deal. Then it was winter. I was down in that area, which is a beautiful part of Germany. [00:20:01] And that I did not—I remember I had a chance on one of our holidays or one of our days off of going either to—oh, I can't remember the name of—Hitler's hide up—hideout up in the mountains.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Berchtesgaden.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Berchtesgaden, right. Either to go there or we could go to—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What, a city?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yeah. Where the—Mozart city, Salzburg.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Salzburg.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right. And I went to—I chose to go to Salzburg, which was very, very enjoyable, very interesting to see, a beautiful town—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Now their populations would have been—received you much differently—

CARROLL F. WALES:  They were—in Bavaria, they did—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Rather sullen?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm [affirmative]. Yes. In fact, I remember finding that the prisoners that I was in contact with in Algiers were friendly or that is easier to talk to than they were in Germany. The Germans just froze up. They just will not—they were not particularly interested in us at all as far as any contact.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well now you were supposed to treat them some respect and—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes, of course.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —very straightforward.

CARROLL F. WALES:  It was supposed to be not so much—not nearly so much in Algiers or in Africa as it was in Germany. In Germany—I'm talking about fraternization—it was against the rules, and you could be punished and all that, but there still was a lot of fraternization with our soldiers and the German girls. But it was then when we were in Bavaria in Southern Germany or southern—well Southern Austria really that the war in Germany was over. [00:22:11] Peace had been signed. And so, very soon after, we were sent back towards France and eventually to one of the cigarette camps there. I don't know. I suppose the cigarette companies maybe had given so many cigarettes to this—to the army because smoking at that time was not such a danger as—we didn't think it was I guess—as it is now of course. But was Camp Lucky Strike and then Philip Morris and Chesterfield, and so on. And—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And these were in France?

CARROLL F. WALES:  This was in France on—at Le Havre.


CARROLL F. WALES:  And it was a staging, again, for us to leave for the States or to go home. We were told that because we had been in so many campaigns and because we had so many the points or battle stars—meaning that we had been within a week or within that week on which they counted the invasion or taking of the place—that we would not have to go to Japan. But that everyone else, all the new arrivals would be shipped to Japan as quickly as possible.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, had this been a worry in your minds?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No. Well, not—no we had had heard rumors I suppose of it. No, I didn't think too much about it.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But this was fortunate though.

CARROLL F. WALES:  BROWN:  But this was very fortunate of course and—but we'd had four years of it or nearly. I know it was four years because I had—I found out when I got back to the states or I knew then that I would have that number of—48 months, the maximum of being—going under the GI Bill to a college or some training. [00:24:09] So—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, did this mean that you weren't going to be shipped out as soon as the—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, it did, of course, because our priority now were on the ships, were for those soldiers and equipment that would be sent to the Far East. And the rest of us who are going to be sent home would have to wait until there was a ship available. So, in the meantime, the French had told us that a number of their universities would be open for anyone who would like to apply to study French language, French history, literature, and so on. Of course, immediately, I applied for Grenoble or for, yes Grenoble or Biarritz, which I had been told—there in the south of course, which would be the most—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Pleasant?

CARROLL F. WALES:  —pleasant, interesting, and so on.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, you could go anywhere in France even though you were [cross talk]—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, the thing is we could go anywhere maybe, but I mean that was the idea. However, since I wasn't in time or wasn't able to go to either of those, I was sent to the University of Nancy, which is in the north, which is not—which I didn't feel perhaps would be quite as interesting, but I was grateful, at least, that I got that.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, you did go—

CARROLL F. WALES:  And so, I did go to—I went—backtracked again. I went back to Nancy, and I spent some weeks or months there.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  This was in 1945, right?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I think it must have been. I'm not quite—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  It would have been though.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yeah, yeah. And—


CARROLL F. WALES:  It was there—and there, we would—there I did learn a great deal of French, and I also got credits, which I could apply to when I came back to go to college. [00:26:10] It was very, very interesting, a nice, old city, and we lived in the dormitories. We lived right in the college and had courses, as I say, entirely in—a crash course in French, which was very, very good. It was there one day when we got the newspaper saying that the atomic bomb had been dropped on Hiroshima. And so, soon after that, we were sent back to Le Havre and then soon after that were sent home. And I—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Back home, you went to Maine?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I went—yes, we went to Fort Devens and then almost immediately—I don't think we spent more than one night there—we were all sent home for a furlough of I forget now—it was one or two weeks I think. But then we had to report back for our official discharge, which we did. Of course in the meantime, I had an in—because there were a number of college graduates who were in the office section that I was in who had been to college, and they convinced me even more that I should certainly take advantage of the GI Bill and go to college or to get some training. I wasn't quite certain whether I wanted to go to an art school or to go to a college. I felt I wanted to go college because my interests were not only in art, but in other fields as well, history, and literature, and so on. So, I came back to my little town, and they told me that I could be the postmaster if I wanted to be, but I said, "No, I'm going to college if I can." [00:28:03] I applied at Harvard and Bowdoin, was accepted at both, and I chose Harvard, and that's where I went.

[END OF TRACK wales92_1of9_cass_SideB_r.]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —with Carroll Wales, this is Robert Brown, the interviewer. I thought we just begin at your beginning and some of your earliest memories. You were born in—near the Maine, New Hampshire border, I think, actually in—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Conway, New Hampshire.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —Conway?


ROBERT F. BROWN:  And you were born to a family that lived in that small town?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right. Yes, right. My mother died when I was quite young of influenza in the great Influence—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Oh, in the late 1919, or so?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Near the end of the First World War. And so, I was adopted into the family by my great-uncle and then they were living in Denmark, Maine, which is very close to the New Hampshire border, and I grew up there. I went to high school there and then from there, I've always been interested in art. I think I took some of this—what little talent I may have from my mother who was also interested in the art and paint or so I'm told. And then I—


CARROLL F. WALES:  —had four years in the army.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Mm-hmm [affirmative]. And now back in school, was your father there? Were you—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, my father died when I was six years old, and so—and actually, that's when I was legally adopted. Before that, my great-uncle and his wife had said they will take care of me while my father was working and so on. And then when he died in six—when I was about six, he legally adopted me and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Were your great-aunt and uncle, how would you characterize them? [00:02:03] Were they a stern couple or were they very indulgent or were you—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, they're not particularly stern. I mean they were—it was very good to be a part of the family even though they we were not really actually my mother and father that I knew. So it was—considering all things, it was an ideal situation. I was very happy there growing up in a small town and so—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did you have particular interests that you can recall?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I always read a great deal. I found all my studies very easy, and I was not terribly active in sports. I played little basketball, and I liked figure skating very much. Also, I did like fishing. I'd always spend hours and hours on end fishing [inaudible], but I didn't care very much for hunting. I liked the woods and was very much interested in Indian lore. I knew of some of the plants and things, the berries that one could find that were edible and the ones that were not. This all interested me a great deal because you have to realize that this was back [inaudible]. And—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You were the only child in that family?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I was, yes, right, right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But you—there were a number of companions from the small town?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yeah, from the small town. My cousin, my real father's brother's son was a very close friend, almost like a brother to me, a little older, and so I felt that I did have a brother or a close person. [00:04:08] Because the town only had 500 people in it, a very small town, of course. And when I—I remember even in high school, I liked to be in the school dramas or plays that we put on, and I think there weren't very many of us. I think there were seven in my high school class, and so it was not a very good [inaudible] for me, but winning prizes in prize speaking and I was president of my class, valedictorian, all of that. There was—there was not much competition. [They laugh.] And—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was there art instruction of sorts because it was a very small school.

CARROLL F. WALES:  No. Not that I remember. I don't think there was, but my foster mother when I was still quite young before I was in my teens, I guess, had suffered a partial stroke. She recovered mostly from it, but my—her daughter who was the fifth—my second cousin would read to her in the evenings, and I loved to sit there in the cold, stormy, wintery evenings, and we got a lot of snow in those days it seemed to me. The—she would read, and I would be always drawing. I copied comics. I copied magazine covers. I, at that time, didn't do very much original work, but I suppose the fact that I was constantly drawing was good. I entered something in the Fryeburg Fair. I remember once I got a prize. [00:06:03] But again this was—it was a copy of a dog, which had been on one of the magazines, Boys' Life or some type of [inaudible] for boys, or some of the early—Youth's Companion, some of the early magazines at the time. I read everything within sight. In fact, I was caught once reading Dracula

ROBERT F. BROWN:  I see that—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —when I was perhaps a little too young to read it. But one of my great interests at that time was science fiction, and I believe that I heard the first Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Of course, it was only in radio at that time but then I followed it every week from then on and then later on just for like into the—into the '30s, I began to buy and collected—I had quite a good collection of amazing stories, astounding stories, wonder stories, [inaudible]. And I would have done—I would have given anything to have gone to the moon. That to me was one of the greatest things in my life. [Laughs.]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And what do you think accounts for this curiosity and fascination with—

CARROLL F. WALES:  I have no idea. Part of it maybe because I've always loved nature so much. I love to look at the stars. I found it fascinating almost anything that was glowing or—I still remember the most wonderful, beautiful sound is the wind in pine trees. I knew many of the constellations and so I suppose all of it just seem to me—I had a great imagination. [00:08:00] I know that, and just—and in fact, almost anything, I suppose, that was new or different from the little town that I was in fascinated me a great deal. It wasn't until I was in high school and I was working during the summer when I wasn't in school in the post office. My first trip out of Denmark, Maine, at that time was the postmistress gave me as a Christmas present, a trip to Boston to see Sonja Henie.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Oh, the ice—great ice-skater—

CARROLL F. WALES:  The ice-skater. And that was—I've never been on—I've been on a train, but I've never been on a trip that's going to Boston. And, uh—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, you really had hardly traveled at all until then?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, not at all. Not out in that area, and so—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  The—so, by and large, your upbringing, you were quite happy?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yeah.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You finished high school when? About when was that?

CARROLL F. WALES:  In 1937, I graduated from high school.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Thirty-seven.


ROBERT F. BROWN:  And then did you know pretty much what you wanted to do at that point?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I wanted to go to college, but I did not have the funds and neither did my family. I didn't—I applied to the University of Maine and also Bowdoin, but I put it off for a couple of years. And then, of course, it was the beginning of the '40s and the beginning of the draft and so on. I went down to Connecticut and tried to get a job in the aircraft—Pratt & Whitney—in the aircraft factory. [00:10:08]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  This was at—this was by a few—a couple of years after high school?

CARROLL F. WALES:  This was, yes, two or three years after high school.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But before that, you just worked locally in Maine?

CARROLL F. WALES:  In Maine, right. There was a small inn at the time in there, and I was a busboy there I remember. I worked in what was called the Tea Room, which was really a little filling station that also sold hotdogs and cakes, and cookies, and soft drinks, and so on. I worked there, and I wore out two bicycles delivering papers. I was the paperboy in the town, and the town was—of course, there were outlying farms and one had to go a little ways to deliver the papers, the Sunday papers as well as all the daily papers, but that was only a certain time of the day, so I had other times to work. I remember that we had—it goes back—I'm backtracking a bit. I remember that in the—what's called the Art [inaudible] Hall we had silent pictures and that was the first time that I saw Charlie Chaplin and Frankie [inaudible], some of those early—well some, of course, were animated in some of the movies. And the early [inaudible], or early, very early movies, I remember some. There was a piano player, and this all took place and many very early—but this, of course, was in the '20s time. Now, my sister by adoption played the piano, so I've always like the music very much. [00:12:09] I remember—and now, we had a Victrola, it was called, that you wound up, and we had a number of records, and I was listening to those. Oh, yes, and something else that somehow helped me was that in the house amongst all of the other toys, was a French language—a little booklet from the First World War, and I started learning some of those things. I was very interested in that, and I also picked up a little—a very small vocabulary of Indian words because there were a few people in the town—one or two who were part Indian. Or I knew the names because the people there knew the names of certain things in Indian. And this all was great. As I say, anything new like this interested me a great deal. And but the—but I learned some of the French, and I think a lot of that stayed in my mind because when I started because that's the language I knew of best at the time.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And then did you have that language in high school?

CARROLL F. WALES:  And I had that in high school along with Latin—and both of which helped a great deal and so that.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was the population there fairly uniformly old-stock New England or were there—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —other people?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, there were—I remember there was a Polish family, a Czechoslovakian family, well, I believe there were two Czechoslovakian families. [00:14:03] I remember—odd sort of thing—I guess, was that the—they seem to be a little bit brighter, a little bit smarter, or perhaps they were smarter than many of the so-called "yankees" of New England. So, I was told that I must do better than them if I was to be head of our class, and I wanted to be smarter. And I think that was part of an incentive.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Who would tell you this?

CARROLL F. WALES:  My cousin, you know my cousin—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Slightly.

CARROLL F. WALES:  —mother and father.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Yeah, they would.

CARROLL F. WALES:  If you would—not that we disliked them by any means. They were wonderful companions, and it was only that there was a little bit of competition, which I think I might have been a little lazier if I hadn't had that, so—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Mm-hmm [affirmative]. So then at the—more or less at the outbreak of World War II, you went down to Connecticut to see about—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes I went down to—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —having a job?

CARROLL F. WALES:  —and I brought with me—when they interviewed me they said, "What is your draft status?" I said, "Well, I'm 1A," and they said, "I'm sorry. We cannot take anyone who's 1A because we would train you maybe for six months and off you'd be taken to the army." But in Middletown, Connecticut, where [inaudible] some [inaudible] I believe, some—something across town. But in Middletown was Cheney Brothers, and at that time, they were great manufacturers of silk neckties and cravats. So, I got a job with them in the designing department. [00:16:03] I did not do the design, but what I did was to transfer the design on to metal plates using acids and engraving needles and so on. It took a bit of doing because you had to be exact, the patterns had to match up when they print it, and I found it again very interesting. Design has been one of the things that had always interested me a great deal. I think that it helped me a little, and the year and a half or so that I worked there, I learned a great deal. And then, of course, the draft came along, and I went back to Maine and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Oh, excuse me, back to design, had you done some designing earlier?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, I did not do—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  That you—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, I had not done any designing except that I was always interested in abstract design, I think, as much as—I guess that's the way of putting it.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You mean the—

CARROLL F. WALES:  The way things were, the patterns. The way things were—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  As in nature or as in man-made things or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, probably in both. There are beautiful trees as well as arbor trees. The shapes of clouds of—I could always see certain shapes of things. I still can. I can be staring at a rug, which has no particular design, except it may have a kind of pattern through it, and I can sometimes pick out a face or an animal or something, which is only partly there, but it just strikes me immediately as an interesting figure of design that I'm looking at. [00:18:08] And that it—I am particularly interested and fond of many, many of the things that Picasso has done because of the drawing and the design of these—in these things. They're absolutely incredible. That was why he's of the greatest because he was such an innovator in adapting design. I don't want—

[Audio Break.]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  At the Cheney works, you mentioned the kind of work that you did. Did you find that this was one of your first experiences of routine, of going day after day to work? Did you find that the discipline that required came very naturally to you?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. I did because you would only work on a design [inaudible] then you move on to another one. It was constantly changing, and we worked on neckties, we worked on—or sometimes which is the same design, they're both a large kerchief of a scarf. Scarves are not always narrow above. They sometimes they are very hard and square. I have some of those now. Because the designs were constantly changing and because it was really quite exacting and tricky to get the—when you're doing an overall pattern and you have one design per piece many times, those have got to match up exactly without any slight deviation. And you have got to know—a lot of this, of course, I have forgotten, but you've got to know the right depth of channel that the ink is going in, and you have to allow another channel on each side in many cases. [00:20:10] Again, I don't know exactly. So that if there's a slight overlap—or I guess there's supposed to be a slight overlap then it matches. In other words, one design was not—did not tuck in and then another design is kind of right beside in two [inaudible]. There's a safety thing in between that means that they will join once the ink was property put on it. I'm making this very general and not—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But these were very sophisticated, little technical—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, they were—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —tricks that you had to learn fairly quickly.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right, right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, your job was to take the designs, which others have done and apply them to the metal—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Which is—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —rowers?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right, right. And then make sure that the etching was correct, and of course, if the—if you went to be right there and watch the time because if the acid didn't leach enough in, it didn't etch in enough then you would get a poor print. If it was too deep, it could go through because these were quite thin, and of course, it would be—well it would be useless work. So, it was quite an exacting—and I was not the only one doing it. It was quite an exacting thing, but I found it challenging and very interesting. But now when I look at patterns, and the repeat patterns, I know a little more about how difficult it might be to do these, although I'm sure today, they are much more computerized or smart or better ways of doing the designs because this is, as I say, goes back quite a number of years early, very early forms. [00:22:11]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, this was an experience that stayed with you? You had to learn to work very precisely?


ROBERT F. BROWN:  You had to, uh, give it a good deal of skill and work with a variety of tools?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Mm-hmm [affirmative]. Yes, yes indeed.


CARROLL F. WALES:  Because though now, they—while a lot of this was done with the acid and etching, you could make slight, slight adjustments with an engraving tool. It would cut a little more. I believe—I've forgotten now. I think there was some way of patching, but again, it only had to be done in very, very small areas that anything—any drastic mistake just had to be—the whole thing has to be by the [inaudible].

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Mm-hmm [affirmative]. Mm-hmm [affirmative]. Mm-hmm [affirmative]. The fact was then finally you were drafted, is that right?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Then I—well, yes.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Or you learned—

CARROLL F. WALES:  But then I—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —that you might be.

CARROLL F. WALES:  What I requested—because I had to tell the draft board that I was going to be living and working in Connecticut. So then I requested that I be taken—that it be changed, I'd be taken from Maine because I might then be with some of the people that I knew, and they agreed to that. And so then I went back to Maine and remained a few months longer, and I was drafted. There were two people that—in the army with me at the time.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  When were you drafted? Would this have been in 1942 or so or [19]41?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I believe it was in '42. I don't—I don't exactly remember that. I know we went first to Camp Devens and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  In Massachusetts, yeah. [00:24:01]

CARROLL F. WALES:  And then—in Massachusetts—Fort [inaudible], and that was the first station. We didn't stay there for long. And then we—then I was sent down to Camp Stewart in Georgia. It's not far from Savannah, Georgia, and there I did my basic training. And they—I was not that fond of the army, I don't suppose. I found all the traveling and all of that interesting, but I hated to wear the same color of clothes every single day. And the clothes were rather drab and—[they laugh] or me, they were and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But you didn't mind the—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —physical rigors of the training?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I didn't mind it too much, no because I'm very young [inaudible]. I think that—I know that it was instilled into me. I was quite aware of the fact that this was a very serious war, and we all had to help in some way or another, so I might—just as an aside, I might have objected going to Vietnam. I, certainly, did not object to being in the army at that time because then all of my friends around me were going into the army. It was just something that had to be done. So, after the—after the basic training in Georgia, we were sent out to Newport News in Virginia, and that was what's called staging area. In other words, we were soon to be—it was all very secret. [00:26:02] None of us knew what and where we're going, when are we going. But we were put on a ship in Newport News, and found later that we were the third convoy to cross the Atlantic. I remember we went way south to avoid German submarines and it began to be quite warm by far and then we crossed over. And by the time we got to the other side, which was a lengthy trip. I don't know if it was 10 days, two weeks, or what, but it was quite some time. We were in a large convoy zigzagging. And we—Casablanca had already been taken, so we went through the Straits of Gibraltar and landed at Oran, which is very nice little—I found it very interesting and exotic at the time.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Even during—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Even during that.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —under the circumstances?


ROBERT F. BROWN:  Were—did you have by now a special training? Had you had a specialty or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Because I could use a typewriter a little—of course I—my math was fairly good at the time, I was put into the headquarters field. I think they also did something with IQs because we were—I know that because we were a mixed group from all over the country. I remember one soldier coming by was friends with me, and he was from the Appalachians, something right there, and he said, "I understand you're from Maine. I've never seen one before." [00:28:01] [They laugh.] But it was a very interesting group of people, and I, for the most part, enjoyed it, all this, and that pleasant regimentation. Some of the training was pretty rigorous, but I know after that [inaudible]. So that and–

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And was there a specialty of the unit, the headquarters unit to which you were attached?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. When we arrived—I don't really remember now. This was all settled. I think it went—I think it was settled, of course, before we got to the States. And I had been—and was very fortunate—really, I was very fortunate to be equipped in an antiaircraft field rather than the infantry. And that meant that we were not in the frontline out there, but we were—we were within a few days of the taking of—I mean an area of the city or airport. Because immediately as it was taken—we moved in and put our antiaircraft guns and searchlights around and protected the area from fighting continuously, because [inaudible]. And our greatest danger, of course, was from German plane of which there were many. And so we were—as I said, we landed in Oran. We had camps. We stuck on the ground and not just covers, and we filled with straw and whatever we could find there and then we proceeded across. As the Americans went towards the east, we went to Algiers and spent quite a number of months in Algiers waiting for the British to come from the other side, from Suez—from Egypt. [00:30:19] And we met up with them in Tunis, and we were in Tunis, in Tunisia for a while, and we were—I remember often being in the headquarters section. We took turns being what we called CQ [ph] in charge the quarters. We were—because our camp was outside the camp, so we'd go down into the town, and there would be—and set up the smokescreens and we would be near the, um—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  These were—what—sent out routinely—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —to obscure the town?


ROBERT F. BROWN:  From the aircraft?

CARROLL F. WALES:  —where the—it's odd. I can't remember the name of that. What do you call those things that you get from watching the stock market?

ROBERT F. BROWN:  The ticker tape.

CARROLL F. WALES:  The ticker tape-like things, and we had one of those, one of which—there was one that we could talk back to, but most of them, as I remember, came in giving us news or warnings or events of what was going on. They were going constantly, so a person had to be near them all night long. If there was any urgent communication that came in, we must immediately call the commander and report all of this. We had—in a number of locations along the coast of North Africa where we were, our encampment would be in one secluded area but a little more from that area, not in the town of course, but away from the town and away from our camp. [00:32:12] There would be set up with camouflage, a kind of dummy area. And our searchlights—if we heard a German plane, our searchlights would be focused over that area. So that the planes would come and think they were underneath them when we were not. We were—so, we were in bombing range but not in that wreckage, fortunately.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, every time the Germans took the bait?

CARROLL F. WALES:  They did. It was hard for them to know exactly where else we'd be because of searchlights never wavered, unless there was a plane somewhere that they could pick up an area. And, of course, the camps were shot down at the time. And I—one of the—I was in headquarters. I was working—I worked on payroll and service records for the whole battalion. We had four core battalions. And I was the other one to other people obviously. And the—one of our lieutenants at the time is now a very well-known senator, Senator Hollings.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Oh, of South Carolina.

CARROLL F. WALES:  South Carolina. I remember him being a very nice person at the time [inaudible]. [They laugh.] I don't think he'd remember me because there were so many people in the camp. And so, finally, we met up with the British, or they met up with us because they were on the move. They were moving.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You were more or less stationary for a while?

CARROLL F. WALES:  We were more or less stationary in Algiers and then—but we did move in Tunisia, and I've never seen a more sorry group of people. I mean they had desert sores. They were—the hot sun was just bad enough for us. [00:34:03] In fact, I can remember—I remember when we were in Africa. Of course, it was quite warm in the summer, and we were on the [inaudible] and under General Patton's time, and we were not happy with Patton only, only I say, because he would not let us, well for a certain time really, wear our fatigues which are a lightweight, khaki, green summer outfit. Instead, we had to go into the hot khaki, which are the regular uniform.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  A heavier—

CARROLL F. WALES:  The heavier, right. But he was a little more strict, I suppose, than [inaudible] at the time. But other than that, I have no other comments or complaints or anything like that on any of the people in command [inaudible] but—then—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well, now did you have a chance—of course, this is wartime, but any chance to begin to ascent any completely exotic culture and—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, I did. We could—we would go into Algiers, which was very close by, and there was a small, a local group of French and Italian singers, and they had a small opera company. I remember going during operas that I of course have never known had existed, such as "Thais" and "Samson and Delilah," and that was a pretty good and a great opportunity. We had the chance to buy souvenirs, that is—silver objects were very plentiful at the time and small rugs. [00:36:11] And so it was—we were really now—the African campaign was pretty much over with, and very rarely [inaudible] raised this. We were now waiting preparations for the invasion of Southern France, and when we left Algiers, we were sent to Corsica. We stayed in Corsica for a few months just before the invasion of Southern France. And we—I remember in—and then I think for the first time, we had the chance to swim. They would take a truckload of us, there we were—beach, and back and so on. And I went to see the house where Napoleon was born. And also, I had a chance to take a few days' furlough, a vacation, or R&R, rest and recreation or whatever it is. And so, my—the warrant officer over me said, "There would be 52 of us that would go regularly to—some to Rome and some to Naples. I will give you a set of passes—" [coughs] excuse me "—to each of these places and also return from them. [00:38:02] So that if the plane is available, it could take you." So, they would take a few of us over each time.

[Audio Break.]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You had this opportunity for a leave, rest and recreation, or whatever it is in Italy?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. And, of course, we could hear—and Corsica is reasonably close to the coast there, and we could hear guns in the distance at times. My destination or the first—the plane that I was able to get went to Rome—went to Naples. It actually worked out very well because I flew up in the front of—I went up in front of the—where did I fly? A B-50?

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well, there couldn't have been a B-50—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, wait, a B-17

ROBERT F. BROWN:  A B-17? Mm-hmm [affirmative].

CARROLL F. WALES:  See, I'm sorry, B-17, and I've never, never been on a plane before either, and that was all very exciting. But I flew to Naples, and I spent a day or two there on—I found the people very friendly, and the food, of course, was quite a change from army food.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Really? Even then through the—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. Even—well, it was always good pasta, of course, and seafood being near the coast. And I had—most of the large museums were in all of these places of course was closed. There's not much one could see there because the buildings and the [inaudible] was nearby and so on and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Mm-hmm [affirmative]. Did you take that in? You took in as much as you could?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I took in as much as I could, yeah, because I knew I had a limited amount of time and I knew that I wanted to see Rome. [00:40:03] And so I—after two or three days, not very long actually in Naples, I hitchhiked up the Appian Way to Rome and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Rome was by then—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Rome was then—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —liberated?

CARROLL F. WALES:  —it was liberated but the—I believe they were—I don't believe Florence had been taken, and that's not—that's too far away, I'm assuming, it's near the [inaudible] there. Of course, there was complete blackout at night. Well, it was in Naples, too, after [inaudible]. While in Naples—I don't remember. I guess I must have stayed in the army encampment there. I know that I had to or did in Rome definitely, but I do remember the opera, and I went to see Little [inaudible] at the opera, but I had to leave before it was over in order to get a transport back into the camping area, which was—I've seen it since on film. Oh, actually, I saw it when I was in Rome and come back [ph], it was the area, a huge park with a lot of statutes that—I forget the name of it, that Mussolini had built. And that was—that was what was used as a camping area. I suppose that perhaps they thought that the Italians or the Germans would not bomb that area. They would have bombed in Rome anyway. But they wouldn't touch that area because of all the statues and [inaudible].

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Now were there—was there any hostility in the part of the Italians.

CARROLL F. WALES:  None at all. [00:42:00] No, not at all. There was—they didn't have any such [inaudible]. Of course the military was everywhere, even more so than it was in Naples. I remember the Jeeps and soldiers, they all outnumbered the Italians it seemed at times. And then from Rome I—of course again—I did not see any of the museums, but I did see the buildings, the fountains, the architecture there that and things like the Coliseum. But then—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What was your reaction to seeing these things?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, it was just—it was—well, it—it was almost unbelievable. But by that time, I had come to expect almost anything [laughs] could be happening to this country boy that did not see [inaudible]. Of course, I had read about [inaudible]. I've seen pictures of it, but they were—after a while, the seriousness of the whole situation was just sort taking in as a matter of course on the way and after marveling or the excitement and at the same time. I—then I flew back to—from Rome to—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Corsica?

CARROLL F. WALES:  —Corsica just as the camp was beginning to move out. I think they were a little worried about they had no way to get in touch with me. But I made it just in time to—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And did you—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —again, not know what you—where you were going?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, not exactly. Well, we knew that we were on a—I don't even remember the exact name for this, but it's a ship. [00:44:02] It's a kind of a ship that the front end falls down under the shore, tanks and all such things and people can just march out very quickly.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Mm-hmm [affirmative]. So, a large landing craft.

CARROLL F. WALES:  A landing craft?


CARROLL F. WALES:  That's the name of it, a landing craft, right. We landed at Saint-Raphael in Southern France, which is—well it is quite some—well no. It was some distance. It is between Nice and Marseilles. It's in that area, a small, small town was Saint-Raphael and Frejus F-R-E-J-U-S, I believe, was another. I hope I'm right on that.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Mm-hmm [affirmative].

CARROLL F. WALES:  I hope I'm right on that. But at San I know is where we landed. And then from there, we—that of course had been taken and Lyon had just been taken. I don't know how long we stayed in Saint-Raphael but not very long. And then we were sent to Lyon and that was our—that's where we remained for quite a little while, a very nice city. We no longer had to live in tents and on the ground, but we—the army had taken over a large school, and so we had the large rooms, you know, with lots and lots of cots in them. It was very comfortable. It was inside. And I knew—I got to know in Lyon some—I had met some very good French friends, many of whom from the French resistance fighters that were there. [00:46:00]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  They were now emerging of course?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. They were now emerging, right. And I had two very good friends there. They took me to dances that—and I met the—I met Odette, and we were very good friends.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Who was Odette?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Odette was a girl that I met at one of the dances with a friend of Paul [ph], one of the FFI, the French Freedom District [ph]. And so, I went, and I learned the pasodoble possibility, [they laugh] which is a little difficult. Oh, I've always loved to dance. I never mentioned that. Of course, back in Maine, we—back when I was growing up, my sister was a very good dancer, and I learned all the old-fashioned dances. There was, the two-step, the gallop, the waltz, of course, as well as contra dances, and all those [inaudible]. And I think that—

[END OF TRACK wales92_2of9_cass_SideA_r.]

CARROLL F. WALES:  —to keep time and enjoyed it very much. But I enjoyed my stay in Lyon because it was a little more comfortable, and because I did get to know a number of French families and was invited often. Of course, one would reciprocate by taking things that one could get in the PX to them that they might not—goods were scarce. Although, I readily would take 15 to the country, and they would know of it, they would know people that were there that they wanted to buy things from [inaudible]. so. Now, one of the—one of the highlights I guess of our being there was that one day, we had a visit from Gertrude Stein who was living or hiding not very far away from the [inaudible] in Southern France. I remember she was not very tall and a bit on the stoutish side, I would say, a very—she had the large dog. Basket is the name I believe, and I—she came and talked to us and then—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Where? A general meeting of a—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, no. I think she went around to—she went, of course, first to the officers because I was on the—noncommissioned officers. And she—I think they took her around to various groups of us at different times. I know—I remember one little story, an anecdote more I think. We—someone had said there or I guess she had just made the comment—I don't remember now—of seeing the difference between soldiers of this Second World War, how different they were from the from the First World War. [00:02:17] She said, "In the First World War, you had a group of soldiers on the street corner. One of them would be talking, and the others would all be listening." She said, "In this world war, you have a group of soldiers on a street corner, and they're all talking" so—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And how did she explain that?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I don't know. It's—she said, "You're more aggressive or you're—" I'm put words in her mouth I suppose. "You're just more interested or not as quiet." I don't know just how to put this. That's all that I—typical Gertrude Stein story always leaves a bit puzzled as to what the exact meaning is. But I—it was—and of course, at that time, I didn't know very much about Gertrude Stein.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was she part of the program of improving morale or she just by accident—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —happened to—

CARROLL F. WALES:  I don't really know. I—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  She had been underground or in—

CARROLL F. WALES:  All that time, yes, yes. I think that anyone who—that she was—oh, well, I didn't know. I can't say that. But—so not being very knowledgeable at the time, I couldn't ask her very many questions. In fact, you weren't supposed to. It was just a matter of being able to meet this prominent figure.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Mm-hmm [affirmative]. But the French themselves were very—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —pleased in that moment?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, they couldn't have been nicer to her, and they were, very, very— [00:04:01]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Now, you're—you're still with this headquarters battalion then you went out of Lyon. You went up—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Then we were—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —near the fighting or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Then we're put on a 40&8s, I think they called them.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Oh, a boxcar?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, a boxcar. We really rode the thing there, and we went straight up to the—near Nancy and Saverne, and it was then becoming, getting close to wintertime. So—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  This would have been the fall of '44 or something like that?


ROBERT F. BROWN:  Yeah, yeah. That last fall of the war?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. It was the time of the Battle of the Bulge because we were not—we were not far away. I don't know if it was a hundred miles or what, but we had no sooner settled in—I believe it was in Saverne, which is not too far from the German border, but it's also in that small area close to where the Battle of the Bulge was taking place. There's no—no sooner settled there when we were told to get packing and get out of there and go south as fast as we could because of the Germans that were expected to come that way. It was not safe, and we were not—we had not yet given the time to set up any kind of anti-aircraft guns or a searchlight or anything like that. And it was really—we were sent up there to help towards the invasion of Germany itself, so we did move south. I later learned that a very good friend of mine in school who was not in my battalion but in the infantry was killed in the Battle of the Bulge. [00:06:00] And so, I've always been thankful that I wasn't in the infantry. But the—so then we went— I forget. I don't remember how far south. We didn't go all the way back to Lyon but from—we soon came back when the fighting was finished to the west of us. And then we went into Germany little by little. I remember going into a village at a sizeable place, and there was even food on the table that they had left so—or they have hidden or gone away at the time when we were coming—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So quickly.

CARROLL F. WALES:  BROWN:  It was all so quickly, right. They moved quite fast then, and we moved quite fast. We went around Switzerland. We went down towards—we went east and then down towards the south, and we're near Bavaria. I remember going—we were in a hotel there, and we were ready to fill in. We had some wonderful German champagne, I remember that. [They laugh.] But the—there, of course, we were not supposed to fraternize at all. I know there was some going on, although I never knew any German family or any Germans particularly at all.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  The reason being that they might be thought to be listening and drawing?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I suppose. We were not supposed to—where in France, we went to social affairs, and so on. I forgot to mention that one of the things I did when I was in Algiers—because I did a similar thing in Germany—was that I would—there were a certain number of essential PX rations that were given to prisoners of war, and there was a large encampment of Italians and Germans. [00:08:09] They were prisoners—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  In Algiers?

CARROLL F. WALES:  —in Algiers. And so, I would take them toothpaste and chocolate bars and those things. Now, I did the same thing in Germany in the—there was a very large stadium in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, I believe, where they had the Olympics at one time. And this was still the German prisoners, I can remember that. I don't remember much beyond that, except where else they might have been taken.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You had a—one of your jobs was to take them?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Was to take the—take PX rations to them. I don't remember if it was at a week or 10 days or what. I don't remember now.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Or do you know why it was done either?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, because they needed something.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  They do?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Of course, they were provided with, I believe, with tents and food and so on, but things like razorblades and toothbrushes and toothpaste and other things that they—I can't remember. I don't know. I think we could have [ph] books at the time. I don't say. I just remember. And it didn't last very long, and that's something. We seem to be constantly on the move because things were happening very fast. And then when I was in Saverne, a beautiful, beautiful country. We were not far from the Swiss Alps, of course. And I've seen some of it since then. [00:10:05] And then we were—but then we learned that the Germans—oh, of course, we saw places like Munich—which was so heavily bombed the streets were completely cleared, but everything was just rubble, and just I couldn't believe that there could've been quite so much destruction that you saw there.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was this about the first city you had seen which had suffered massive destruction?

CARROLL F. WALES:  The first—right, the first very, very large city we had seen. I remember Heidelberg. I'm sort of—I'm doing some of these things out of order as far as location, but there's just certain things stuck in my mind. I remember near Heidelberg, I saw a railroad track that had—it was curled up like spaghetti. I couldn't believe where the bombs have hit. The—then when we were in Bavaria, the Germans had capitulated and so then plans were made for us to go back to France. And in Le Havre or Cherbourg, there were the cigarette camps, they were called, Lucky Strike and Philip Morris and so on. They were our staging areas for us to come back to the States, and so we were sent there. But we were told that we would not—even though the war was over as far as the Germans were concerned, we would—the ones that had been in the African campaign and in the European ones, had enough service and battle stars because we—although, we were not a frontline, we were then a week or a few days, whatever it was. [00:12:05] We got a little Bronze Star, and I came back with five of them.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Which indicated you had been—

CARROLL F. WALES:  We had been—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —involved?

CARROLL F. WALES:  —involved, right, yes, and yet, I was not in the frontlines. There's quite a difference, and I was fortunate. So, we were told that there would be waiting period because everything was now—ships and ammunition, food, everything was now devoted to the Japanese, the Pacific. But because we had all of the spoils [ph]—it was called then—we would not have to go to the Pacific, which again was a great relief. So, another thing while we were in the camps, they said, France had opened up a number of universities where any of you who wish can apply to go to study French, French history, literature, and so on, if you would like to. Well, I applied for Grenoble and Biarritz, and I got Nancy. [They laugh.] So back I went towards Nancy, and stayed there at the university, and took all the course I could possibly and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You had a city that you liked or—



CARROLL F. WALES:  —it was the only—I wanted—we had learned, I had learned that either Biarritz or Grenoble would be the best. It would be warmer and also greater, larger universities I believe, so. But this—Nancy was number three, I guess, but anyway, it was all very pleasant and very, very fine, very good food, a nice group of people of course. [00:14:03]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was it a mixture from various countries or most of—

CARROLL F. WALES:  As I remember, it's almost—I think it was all American. I think it was. I don't remember any other—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And French teachers?

CARROLL F. WALES:  And French, oh, yes, yes. In fact, we hardly ever heard a word of English except amongst ourselves, which is very good for learning something like that. And I remember there when we were at Nancy of the leading French newspaper saying that the atomic bomb had been dropped on Hiroshima. And so we ended up [inaudible] anything soon, and of course it was. One thing we did—I don't remember the town—we would—while we were studying there, we would take the overnight train down to Paris, and it was my first time to see Paris. And that was also, of course, very interesting, and there most things were beginning to open and that more [inaudible].

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Were you following—you said you seem to have a developing interest in music and so forth, you were able to—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Mm-hmm [affirmative]. Yes, you could. I don't—it's odd. I don't remember going to the Paris Opera at that time for some reason. I don't know what. I don't know.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But had you—you seem to have developed some interest in opera or was it just—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, no. In music—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —fortuitous?

CARROLL F. WALES:  —it was music—


CARROLL F. WALES:  —and that was what was—what we could see in Algiers, a small company, which to me they were very good. And then of course, the Rome Opera House, which maybe I tried in the beginning to get back to going as quickly as possible [00:16:08] And you would—you'd go outside, and you could hear the guns in the distance, but—and so then after—I don't know of a period—I don't remember. It was about two months, I believe, that I was at the University of Nancy, and I don't know exactly, then we were told, If you want go home, you should go to Le Havre, and there we got on a ship, and fairly soon, I came back on the [inaudible] of the United States. I can't remember what—liberty ships, I think they had been called at the time. And that was the end of the war. I mean, I—well, what I mean by that that the Japanese had been—given up also before we left France.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was there great elation that the war was over in your time?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes, of course, yes, everywhere it was said. Well, when the war was over in Germany, and of course was the first big exciting time. And then when the Japanese war was over, it was just unbelievable. And the, of course, the—I mean coming into the harbor and bands playing and everybody greeting you is quite incredible.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Where did you come in through, New York or Boston?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, into New York, into New York. Then we were sent up from there to Fort Devens, I was [inaudible]. And I think they only kept us there for the rest of the day and the night or something like that. [00:18:00] They said, "You will go home for—" I think it was a two-week period "—and then you must come back to us and be officially discharged," and all of that. But they didn't bring you right home directly. You had to go through channels and all of the stuff. And immediately, they knew where everyone was and to go home  as quickly as possible and so—and that was it. The war was over. And then, of course, the next step, which is then going to college.


[Audio Break.]

CARROLL F. WALES:  — unbearable but uncomfortable and then we had been wearing light cotton, fatigue clothes, and he said, "No, everybody has to go into khaki," you know, the—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Oh, it was—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —which is pretty uncomfortable.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —[cross talk]?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So, it's the only thing I remember about that.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well, you were out of the army and the summer or fall of 1945, and you returned—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Mm-hmm [affirmative].

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —you've already explained—as soon as you could to Maine and then what were your plans? Were they fairly defined at that point? You've mentioned you could've had a job in Maine.

CARROLL F. WALES:  I could have become the postmaster there. The job was—it was vacant. But during my years in the army talking with a lot of my friends there, I had made up my mind that I wanted to go college when I got out. I knew that I could go under the GI Bill, which would take care of that part of it, and so I've made up my mind, yes, that I am definitely going to go to college. [00:20:00] The first thing I did when I got home was to apply to two colleges to Bowdoin College in Maine and to Harvard. Much to my surprise, I was accepted at both of them, and so—of course, I chose Harvard. I came up and took my entrance exams and then started all within months of being discharged from the army. I wasn't any—getting any younger, and I wanted to begin as soon as possible.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Would Harvard to a New England boy at that—or a man at that time, have been the preferable one, a much stronger—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, well—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —offering?

CARROLL F. WALES:  —it had—of course, it does have a bigger name. It's a bigger college and an older one. But also Bowdoin, we knew was—I thought I preferred that to the University of Maine. I don't really know now why. I think they had a very good art department at Bowdoin, and it seemed a smaller one and a little closer to home where I was living at the time, so I had chosen that rather than any—than the University of Maine. But I had never really—well, I don't know if I'd expected I get into Harvard or not, but I did. [Laughs.]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And did you—you say you went to college determined to study art and so—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, because—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —tell me more—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —since I had always been interested in paintings and doing a little myself but not having any training really. But I did a lot of drawing all through my life, which was—up to that point I mean, which, I think, was a great help. It kept me busy. Even in the army, I made sketches, and so I knew that's what I was interested in. But, of course, I didn't know how it was going to—what direction it was going to turn in. [00:22:04] I didn't believe I wanted to teach. I didn't think that I would be successful enough to make a living on only my painting, and it was very early. It may have been the second year in college that a very good friend of mine, Evan Turner took me up to the conservation department on the top floor at the Fogg Museum, and that was it. I got very much interested in that, and [Morton C.] Bob Bradley [Jr.] was acting conservator while—in charge of the department while [Richard D.] Dick Buck was in London. I don't remember what for, but he was in London for more than a year, and Bob was there. So, um—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And Turner, was he a classmate or almost so that he—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. I don't—it seems to me he was not exactly class of '49 as I was, but we took—he was very close to it. We took courses together, and I think we got our MA at the same time. Of course, he went on to get another degree and—but [Elizabeth] Betty Jones was also a classmate I can say. I mean we were taking courses together, and Dore Ashton, Dusty Covelo.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What was Dore Ashton studying at that time?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I don't know exactly, but she was getting her MA in fine arts, and I don't really know if she had been a Radcliffe student before that or not. I only knew her when—during that one year.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But you were already then doing some graduate work after you had been there only two or three years as an undergraduate? When Evan Turner took you up to the conference—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, no, I was an undergraduate then. [00:24:01]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You, were an—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, I was still an undergraduate. This was before 1949, yes. And then when I finished—and then when I got my degree, well I—this all had to be planned ahead of time because I found that because I had taken some courses at the University of Nancy in France—I was waiting to come home—I had a few college credits there. I also went through one summer. I had straight through without stopping and got extra credits. In other words, I had the maximum amount of points to get me the maximum amount of college education, meaning for college years. So, I thought, If I can manage this, I will get my BA in three years. That is I'll get it by having the extra credits by work—going on through one summer, so I will have another year and get my MA, all of which I did.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You're speaking of years that would be paid for as well?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yeah, that's what I mean. That's why—


CARROLL F. WALES:  —under the GI Bill, and I did all of that within a period of 48 months in other words. I—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What kind of a course was laid out for you?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, I had to—you—I had to write a thesis for—a senior's thesis for—to graduate with honors, which I was told I would have to do if I was to be accepted as an MA student. And so I did that under James Carpenter, Jimmy Carpenter, a wonderful, wonderful man and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  He acted as your advisor?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Advisor, and of course, there was also John Gettens and Dick Buck in the conservation department. [00:26:00]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Gettens?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right. Yes, very, very good friends, very—and—George Stout had left the museum by that time and was in Worcester, the director of a museum in Worcester. But the—those—so I wrote a thesis on Degas and his composition in painting and so on, and then was accepted into graduate school.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Who did you write the thesis under? For Carpenter?

CARROLL F. WALES:  On Carpenter, yes, James, my teacher.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What was he like as a tutor?

CARROLL F. WALES:  He was particularly good as an instructor because Harvard does not offer or did not offer then very many practical art courses. We studied from a model only briefly. We did a lot of quick sketches by using slides. He was interested in teaching us as many mediums as possible and having us actually do them, which of course was just the right thing for me. It would be also for Stewart to know how to handle the various painting techniques, drawing techniques. So—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did he lecture also in the—

CARROLL F. WALES:  And he'd also lectured—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —arts?

CARROLL F. WALES:  —in art, of course, as well, and so the combination, he was an ideal teacher. The—of course, I did take a lot of art history. I—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Who were some of your teachers there? Can you—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  — describe them?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Of course, there was—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You mentioned Chandler Post.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. Actually, I only audited his courses. I did not take any of them. I don't know exactly why. I took courses from Ben Rowland, from—I didn't take courses from George Hanfmann. [00:28:05] I did from Professor Rosenberg, Jakob Rosenberg, and of course Deknatel.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Yes, you've mentioned earlier that he was rather fussy, was he, in some respects? No?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. Oh, yes. Also, Professor Updike. Now, he was actually the one—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Professor—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —he was, right, really the one that was a little more fussy. It was a memory test really. He would present you with a tremendous amount of detail, and I remember him saying once when—at the beginning of the course, he said, "Now, everyone must pay strict attention to all that I'm saying and don't do anything else except to use—keep all your attention on all of this. Because," he said, "if you should drop your pencil, you might lose two centuries." [They laugh.] I saw him afterwards, after I had graduated and at a social gathering, and I said, "You know, I learned a great deal from your course. Not only an awful lot of facts, but the idea of memorizing, of not just reading something and forgetting it the next day." He said, "Well, that was the whole point." He said, "I wanted you to develop a long-lasting appreciation and fund of knowledge that would help you in whatever you were going to do," so it worked out very well but—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  It did, did it?

CARROLL F. WALES:  But it was—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What was he teaching then?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, he taught survey courses. He would go from the beginning to up to a certain period or he'd take a few centuries, the Renaissance for instance or the Baroque period, and he gave a number of courses. [00:30:09] I think I took all that he presented because I just—although, it was a lot of work. He would—he would once in a while, maybe more than that, put in a sort of little, tricky question just to more—well to make certain that people noticed all the little things as well as all the big things, which is they all were connected. You caught on to that after a while. I remember I had, at that time, a very good friend who helped me a great deal in learning how to study again. Because I had been out of high school in the army and so on for a while and college was a bit different from my sailing through high school. But this was Paul Stone who was a quite a good artist and was taking many of the same courses. We had—and also with Dusty Covelo, we had long talks together and they—it was good to discuss many of these things and see their point of view. And some of them that had more training than I had in art I mean before I came to college. So, it was a very good atmosphere and a very good group of people, I felt, that was there and then—and at the time, of course, I met Betty Jones. I think I probably met her in the conservation department. The—so after I started in graduate school, it had already been decided before that if I was accepted that John Gettens and Dick Buck would write some courses for me that were not in the catalog. [00:32:05] In other words, certain—I had to take a number of courses to fulfill a requirement, the MA requirement. Of course some not in in the fine arts and history and so on. They were to be related because it was not an MFA, it was an MA. And—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did they had a graduate level of students in conservation before you?

CARROLL F. WALES:  They had had a teaching program and then for some reason, one of the few places in the country that did have. You had to go to Rome, I guess, to study conservation at that time or the Courtauld in London, but there weren't many in the States. They were just beginning, but the Harvard or of the Fogg Museum one had sort of died out or was not active at the time. They wanted to start it up again, and I think the group of us that were interested helped tell them that a course in conservation was needed. Of course now, they do have apprentices, and they teach people, and so on. So—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But to be able to get a—to satisfy the academic requirements—

CARROLL F. WALES:  You had to—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —the MA, you had to—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —diversify a little, yes too. But I had already taken—I felt afterwards that one little fault maybe I had was to take too many fine arts courses and not enough history and other background things, which I have tried to compensate for since then. Because knowing what an artist did and not knowing much about his time, and why he did it, and so on, are two different things really. But—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  At that time, were they a bit lenient though about you didn't have to take such a spread of courses right after World War II? [00:34:03]

CARROLL F. WALES:  I don't—I suppose so. Of course, I did. I took chemistry. I took history courses. I took one or two courses that were supposed to be snap ones that is a history of religion, a history of Russia, which were really quite easy. I took them mainly to give me more time on my art courses, in my art history. And I should have—I didn't take anything on government for instance. I wasn't interested in that at all, but maybe I should have. But I took the chemistry because I thought it would be necessary, and it was of course, and I took just the basic chemistry one.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You mentioned when you—I guess shortly after you got to John Coolidge who was your first tutor, that you were—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, he was—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —he indicated that you were just a country boy in his—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —eyes was—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, he said that. I said, "This is all quite new to me," although I have always been interested in painting and art and so on. And he said, "Well you do have one advantage over some of us. You have already been in Europe during the war and seen many of the things that you're studying now." I said, "Yes, that is true, of course," and he said, "That's, obviously, a great help to anybody."

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Of course, you had seen him under extremely special circumstances.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, right, right, and all the museums weren't open at the time, but many of them were. And, oh, of course, the building, the cathedrals, the architecture, that was all there to look at in which I was very much interested in but didn't know a great deal about at the time. But it all worked very well with all that.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Your graduate study, you already had done some work in conservation then in your third and fourth years or what? [00:36:00]

CARROLL F. WALES:  I had done a little. I had done a lot of observing, and I had gone out and I had taken a course in materials, the materials of fine arts. I forget the exact title of it, but that I did take as an undergraduate I remember. John Gettens taught that to get us to know what went into making a painting such as canvas and the different kinds of pigments and how they would work. Also, a little, which I—more of which I got later, how to determine by using microscope and pigment analysis, and so on, to find out exactly what a certain technique was when it was not obvious by just looking at it. You would want to have some scientific reason for stating why this is a lead pigment or something—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You had to do analysis then?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I had to do a certain amount of analysis, more of which I did, of course, later when I—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Were you working then say with paintings right away with Gettens however—

CARROLL F. WALES:  I didn't really work with—


CARROLL F. WALES:  That is no practical application of any restoring thing until I was a graduate student. The rest of it was theory and looking and seeing what other people did and being taught what they were doing. But I was not actively doing anything myself until I got into graduate studies. Because then the graduate, part of it, there were only very few of us, you see.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was that, right.

CARROLL F. WALES:  And there were more of us in the so-called museum classes. Oh, I did take a museum class. [00:38:02]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But that was as an undergraduate.

CARROLL F. WALES:  That was an undergraduate, right, and that was very good because I had talked about Tintoretto that the Fogg owns and Professor Sachs who ran the museum class, I had said that I believed that it—the painting was not 100 percent Tintoretto but was some of the workshop. Well, this is what happened in many cases anyway. I wasn't really saying a great deal, but I thought I was I guess. But it turned out very well. I had to give a talk on it and explain things and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  How was he as a teacher?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Very good. He said, "You are not very complimentary sometimes, but I appreciate the reasoning and the logic." And it was—I was a little afraid I had gone beyond my bounds perhaps, but that was what I was supposed to try to do was, I mean, to at least give an honest opinion—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What his method of teaching, would you say? Was there any general way you could generalize about that?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, you learned an awful lot. Well, like Professor Rosenberg, you suddenly became more intimate with the object. That is you just didn't look at it and just look at the obvious composition, colors and so on. You almost had a feel of how the artist was doing as what might have been in the artist's mind when he did it or why he did it this way. It was only just the beginning of that of course, but it was all—a new way of looking at things for me. And— [00:40:00]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  He did this by lecturing partly or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Lecturing, yes, yes, right. But then the—you know, we'd go on trips to various museums to look at other collections. Very fortunate being here and having the Boston Museum and the Gardner Museum, all these wonderful things. I remember—I forget just who it was now that came from the Midwest and said that, "This is incredible to have a teaching course like this where you don't have to rely on slides and photographs, but you actually go and see the works of art." He said, "You are very lucky to be in this and of course also being close to New York and Hartford or wherever the other great museums are.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  When you would go see these collections, would Mr. Sachs introduce you to the directors, curators, the owners, and so forth? Did a bit of that?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I don't remember very much about that. No, no, I don't remember anything about that. I don't. I don't.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  I mean the structure of your graduate work, what were the courses you took or lab work? What did they consist of? The one year, right, you were there?

CARROLL F. WALES:  The one academic year that I was there, well I learned how to use a microscope and how to do some pigment medium, I should say, analysis and learned a little, a small amount about paper restoration, not a great deal. Although I wrote a long paper on it, which for a while was used at the Fogg, I think, mainly because of the bibliography more than anything else. I just found—tried to find and excerpted—I guess that's the right way of saying—paragraphs and things from what was known about paper restoration at that time, which now is—has been amended, and it's much, much more extensive than it was in those beginning years. [00:42:21] Starting even with the making of paper as the Chinese first did, and it was a real survey—one course devoted entirely just to paper. But there were—I still have some of my papers, I think, that I wrote in that course. I should have reviewed some of those again. But John Gettens was a very good teacher, very good as far as materials were concerned. And you—I realized how important all of this was. I enjoyed looking at paintings, and I enjoyed trying to copy some and do some. But then to find—to learn what they were made of: That they're perishable things, that they have to be done in the right manner, learned—we studied Chenino Chenini and how he built up the—his panel paintings, and we did some of that too. We would take a piece of wood or a piece of Masonite as—not that that was recommended as a background, but it was a good, solid support at the time. But the main thing was to build up the proper background and then do the tempera painting on top of it. And then you would have a much better appreciation of Van Dyck, as many of the Flemish painters.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What had John Gettens background been? [00:44:01] What was his training?

CARROLL F. WALES:  His was, I think, almost entirely scientific which was—which is very good because then he added to it, his like of painting. But I don't think it was so much on the artistic or art history side as much as it was—he was interested in, very much interested, of course, all the rest of the years that I knew him, which was right up until he died. He was very much interested in any new gadget or appliance or way of helping us in not only cleaning or the right—the proper solvents, why they were good or why they were bad. We didn't even know at the time very much about their toxicity, and that was a little later. But it was—he wanted to find things that would—he used the word appliance, again, to make conservation a little easier and especially a little safer to do. So that you would have a thorough examination of a work of art before your dared touch it. You had some idea of what you were going to be up against, and you must always remember, of course, that each work of art is an individual. You can't trust artists to do what they're supposed to do sometimes, and you can't always trust someone else who's been along and thinks that they can improve on it. So, it's like a doctor with a patient. Each person has its own individual peculiarities. [00:46:03]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  I was going to ask you, now was the basic—can you—could you speak of a philosophy of art restoration, conservation at that point related to what you had just been saying, I mean, in terms of—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, I suppose all of that, all of it was leading to one or that was all—it was—there were so many avenues and so many ways of going about this that I hadn't realized in the beginning that it was almost overwhelming at times. And yet once you realize how important all of these various things were, it made so much more sense to—well, it increased your appreciation.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was Gettens and others, did they say to do as little as possible? I mean do nothing until you test it and retest it?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Exactly. Exactly. And then you must always—

[END OF TRACK wales92_2of9_SideB_r.]

CARROLL F. WALES:  —conservation, and he was really the one that advised me the most. I could—he was a well-known restorer. He had done actual—being a restorer naturally, he had done tremendous amount of restoration and has an incredible mind of remembering what you've seen or what difficult problem that he has done and how he solved it. Whenever there was any question, you would go and ask him, and he always seemed to know the answer. He was very encouraging and he—there's a matter of ethics, of course, when you're doing a restoration on something because you can't damage it. You—it doesn't—it goes against your conscience if there's any slight damage to a work of art. So, you have to proceed very, very cautiously and very carefully. You start out usually with a magnifying loop so that you can magnify the area. You learn to know—you learn to where one should start. For instance if you're cleaning a painting, there are certain pigments you never start in the darks. You always begin, well, in a white area or a light area or a sky area or a cloud because the paint is much stronger. It's a combination of several pigments together, and also, you can see what you're doing. You use two swabs—one with the solvent that you think is going to perform the task of removing varnish or dirt or whatever, and the other one with a diluent. [00:02:07] That means it will stop the action immediately if you find that you're going too far. You learn that—and, of course, you not only look at the painting, but you look at the cotton, the swabs that you're using. You go in very, very small areas until you are certain that you are on the right track. Of course, you've already had the training in the kinds of solvents that will work on certain varnishes or waxes or the kind of—of—um.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  [Inaudible.]


ROBERT F. BROWN:  The kind of—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, the kind of detergent. For instance, if you start working on a painting after a good solid examination, and it's best to get a second opinion if you can. Talk with other people and then you know from past experience, hopefully, what you think might work. If there's perhaps something a little less strong than what you had planned to do, try that, and you work gradually up until you feel that you've got the right solvent or detergent. Now, most paintings have been varnished, but many of them have a layer—many, most of them have a layer of dirt, maybe even nicotine. Now solvents as such, chemical solvents will not touch these. Unless they're so strong they go through these, to the varnish underneath, but that's not the way to begin. What you want to do first is to get the dust and the dirt off, the grime, which may be mixed a little with the varnish, but at least, you've got to get that off as much as you could—as you can. [00:04:08] You've got to be very careful with that that you don't use very much—we used to use very mild Ivory soap, very little of it, and the cotton you use would be damp but not wet. You would go over there area in a circular motion usually so that it wouldn't have lines or squares or edges that will—some clean and not clean. You would do this, and you would be very careful. When you saw that you were taking the dirt off, you would be very careful to get all of the excess soap off because you're not using much soap at all or detergent. Later, we found detergents were even better, a little safer.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You would rinse or you—

CARROLL F. WALES:  So, you would rinse it very carefully. But rinse, usually you think of excess water, but in this case, of course, you don't. You take another swab with some—that you just dampen. You might even squeeze it to get any more water out, and you go over that maybe two or three times together. First, you've got all the soap off then you want to go over it finally with a dry piece of cotton to get any moisture out. because if there are cracks in the painting, whatever, if you had any excessive soap or any water, it could go down and eventually cause more damage. So, first, what you've done is remove the grime then you start on the little more difficult part of cleaning the varnish coating that has given the painting the so-called Old Master glow, which is really only dirty varnish. [00:06:02] Again, you have to be careful. You can use a mild—a relatively mild solvent like toluene, but toluene happens to be a wax solvent. Well, people have used wax as a technique. I'm not talking of a encaustic painting because those are obviously wax. But there are times that people have put a wax layer over a painting. You might try to clean it and find that no varnish solvent is really working. But the—you might use a little naphtha, and it would take the coating of wax off. Because people wax their paintings as well as varnish sometimes, but—am I going to much into restoration?

ROBERT F. BROWN:  No, no. And these were things you were learning gradually—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Gradually as you went along.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —day after day?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Day after day, right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  By then you were working on actual works, right?

CARROLL F. WALES:  A little yes. Still a great deal of theory. They felt that there was a great deal we should know before we started. I suppose it's like a doctor. Before you start operating, you've got to know—you've got to not only know but watch what other people do, and remember what they do, and why they do it. Of course later when—after Bob had left the Fogg and gone back to his own practice, I spent most of my time—in fact, I lived in his house for a while when I was a graduate student. And that's where I was really exposed to one of the best restorers that I know of and a constant flow of all kinds of paintings. That, of course, was very good. European, American, and so on, and primitive as well very, very fine ones. So, all of those years were—it was a concentrated amount in those years that I was given of theory and history and knowledge of materials, and so on, which helps. [00:08:16] Because you still can—as I did once or twice, I would go into a completely different area of as I went. When I went to Istanbul, they sent me out because I had done a great deal of work on paintings. I had done very little on fresco, but I went out there to work on frescoes. But you had all of these basic training or background of how one goes about cleaning an object, and you would just have to apply it to a new one that perhaps you had only a little—very little experience on but it—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, it was very fundamental and well—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Very, very. I can't think of any other place that were you could—I suppose you could get so much knowledge and have such excellent teachers they would have there. Of course, now, the conservation courses that they give are courses that are taken after you've got a college degree and strictly only in conservation. But here we were, we had to learn history and techniques and restoration all in one short time, but it was the beginning of all of this. So, it was the way it was done at that time.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Mm-hmm [affirmative]. And you've mentioned as fellow students in this program Betty Jones.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, Stuart Feld was there too, and I keep thinking of people. Walter Spink who was teaching I believe in Michigan now, and let me see—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  These were people who went also through the conservation program? [00:10:04] Or they were—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Some of them did. Some of them did. I know that Evan did, I know that Betty did, and I don't remember if Dusty Covelo did or not, but I saw him. We were taking courses together. John Maxon and Tony Curtis were a year or two ahead of me and so was Frank Trapp, and they were, of course—they were getting their PhDs. They were not so much interested in conservation, although I think they often came up to conservation department as many of us did. That's where I first met Sydney Freedberg who was a wonderful man.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  How was he?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, the wit and the knowledge. I never took courses from him at that—I don't know if he was—I don't know if he was teaching. He must have been teaching at that time. But anyway, I remember what a fine person, and how entertaining and how—his remarks were really pointed, and a great man. So, I—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well, this summer—the summer of 1950 then, you were given a job related to—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —at the Worcester Art Museum.

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right. I had—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You were still a graduate student at Harvard—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, I think in 1950—yes, in 1950, I must have got my MA in June of that year because from 1950 on, I started working. Now I—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well the museum itself—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —characterized you as a—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Graduate student, yes.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —student would write about it—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right. Because I think I had—I think this had all been planned when I was still a graduate student. [00:12:05] And, of course, I couldn't go to work on this until summer. And the—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You were lucky because the director was George Stout.

CARROLL F. WALES:  George Stout, right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  A conservator himself.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Exactly, yes. And they—so he had—so, George Stout called the Fogg Museum and talked to Dick Buck and said, "Do you have anyone there who can come over and clean our Antioch mosaic?" And Dick Buck said, yes, that I would be free from—after commencement. So, I went there and lived in George's and Margaret's while they were down in the Cape, I believe, for the summer. But the restorer, a Swiss restorer—I can't remember the name now, but it'll come to me—a very, very nice fellow. He needed some help because this is the largest Antioch mosaic in the country, and it's in the foyer. It's in the entrance as you go into the museum. They had just put a rug over it at times, and they had concerts there. Of course, it got a great deal of traffic over it, and it had never been completely cleaned when it was put down. That is there were lots of little pieces of dirt and so on. It had superficially been cleaned, but it needed a good going-over, and that's what I went out that summer. I spent a month or two—I don't remember just how long now—working on that.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You had never worked on a mosaic, I suppose?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I had never worked on a mosaic at all. I had seen them. I knew what they were. I knew some of the principles and back of working on them, but I got all my training and information while I was working there with a restorer and with George Stout's coaching, of course, and telling us how we should do this. [00:14:14]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You mean they had an in-house restorer, another person.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, they did. They had a person, the restorer who was—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well, the report indicates that you first had to remove a protective coating that, I gather, had been applied—

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —back when it was removed from Turkey and brought over.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, and that coating had gone right over whatever little pieces of dirt because the—that's a stone mosaic. I don't think there was any glass on the floor one. The stones were worn in places and little pits and so on. That's where there would be dirt, and no one had taken the time to clean all of that out. So, we removed the surface coating, of course, and then it was George's idea of using a kind of poultice. That is when we got down to the dirt area, we would—all the dirt that was on the mosaic—we would put a—we would soak cloths in Tide. Tide was one of the first of the detergents I believe. We seemed to think that was—we didn't have many others to go on, I guess, but this seems to be safe. So, we made a poultice with a lot of that on top of the—of course, tests had been made first—on top of the mosaic in large squares. And then that was covered and a slight weight was put on, not too heavy, but enough to keep everything in place, an even amount of detergent and water. [00:16:03] That was left for about 24 hours. Of course, once we got started on this, we would have two or three of these done ahead of time ready for us while we working on the ones that had already been soaked for 24 hours. It went quite well. We had to use dental tools, at times, to get into these crevices—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  The pits.

CARROLL F. WALES:  —and little pits and so on. And then you would use a brush, and again, you have to be very careful. It's not like working on mosaic on a wall, which are usually a combination of stone and glass. There, you have gravity against you, and you also don't have the strong backing that the floor mosaics have. Floor mosaics, of course, were meant to have a lot of traffic over them, usually, unless they were in swimming pools. They were set in a stronger cement than the ones that are put on a wall. So, you could—what I'm saying is you could use a brush. And as is usually, the technique we found, not only on the floor, but on the walls, too, you don't use a brush back and forth when you're working on these. You use it in one direction. There's less chance of dislodging the cubes, and you use it in one direction. You see that nothing is moving and everything is strong, and you keep doing that all over. Sometimes, you have to find the right direction, but you don't go back and forth in any—to cause any kind of movement of the cubes.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You mean square to square, you would try to follow the same direction?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, yes, more or less, right. What I'm trying to say is that you don't go—you don't brush it in a circle. [00:18:04] You don't go back and forth when you can't really see what you're doing, but you really have to do it quite—and you have to see where you've been to see what you—if you've accomplished what you're supposed to do without any damage to the support underneath. We didn't—I think we found very, very few cubes that were a loose in any case and very few that are missing in that. But it was—the poultice-type thing seemed to work. The detergent seemed to work on the dirt. With a little brushing and a little picking with the dental tools, you finally got the area clean.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What—you said the detergents were then new. What did they accomplish that, say soap, Ivory soap couldn't?

CARROLL F. WALES:  They don't leave the same kind of soapy deposit. They—the detergents it's a—I'm going to say it was a cleaner way of doing it, but what I mean is that it was—it—it was. You could rinse it off after it's done its work a lot better, and it also penetrated a little more. The detergent seems to wet the water more than a soap would do. There's lye, there's various things that are in soap that can be dangerous. They certainly would be on a painting, but the detergents just seem to be a—one advance or a great advance over using any kind of a soap—we never used any soap on that. We used only detergent on the mosaic.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did it take an awful lot of work? I mean this was really a—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  You mentioned this. You mentioned the crust of soil.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right. We were on our hands and knees there for day after day after day working on this. [00:20:04] But still it—of course, I was very young at the time, and it's—something like that is so exciting when you bring out the colors and you realize then how dirty the thing was. You could see the areas that you hadn't cleaned yet, and the thing came to life under your hands every day. And it was—it was hard work, and it was fun at the same time, and it was my first big job, [laughs] and so—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did you feel you'd chosen the right profession?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I felt—I will definitely say—oh, yes, I felt I had chosen the right—actually, I remember at the time when I was—when I was just beginning this. It was about this time—I think probably in the '50s—Bob Bradley had said, "You know, there is a registrar's job that is coming up and quite a good one." He said, "I'm sure you're not—there's no point in your thinking about it because I think you should be a restorer." But he said, "You think seriously though, and if you change your mind, let me know." I said, "No, no, I think this is what I want to do." The—but cleaning the Worcester mosaic, of course, changed my whole life because it happened that John Thacher who was the director at Dumbarton Oaks had come up to—had been to Worcester and he has sent to George Stout. He wrote him a letter and said, "I—somebody has cleaned your mosaic," and he said, "You know, we have a lot of Antioch mosaics, much smaller, some on the floor, some on the wall, and they all need cleaning. [00:22:14] Do you suppose this person could come down and clean my mosaics?" And so, of course, I did, and that eventually led to my going to Istanbul. But in the meantime, I had—I couldn't go down there right away because when I had finished this, which was only a summer's job—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  That fall of 1950.

CARROLL F. WALES:  That I—then in the—let me see now. I've got my dates here. Yes, in the fall of 1950 —


CARROLL F. WALES:  —I went to Yale because Andy Petryn who was a restorer there needed someone to help him. There was a big program. It was to work mainly on the Jarves collection of Italian Primitives, and they were all on wood. This, of course, was a great experience because I spent months. I spent almost a year working on—I didn't see a canvas. I didn't work on one at all. I worked entirely on wood, and of course, that helped me much later on when I worked on older pieces and icons. So, I went down and worked with Andy as an apprentice, which was a very pleasant experience. Andy is a very, very good restorer, I think, [inaudible] time now—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  How was he trained and where? Where had he been trained?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I don't exactly know. I don't know if he had been trained at Yale. He hadn't been trained at Harvard, not that I know of. He was a very good painter, first of all, and very much interested in the Renaissance period, and knew a great deal about tempera painting, and did a lot of tempera painting, first-rate things I remember seeing. [00:24:05] Also, a very good musician, played the violin, and I had more chamber music than I ever wanted to hear at that time, but it—[they laugh] I remember. But still it was enjoyable. The—but the Jarves paintings, there was a—they realized something had to be done to the back of them as well as to front or in addition to the front. And so, there were many of them with cradles on them, all with restraining pieces of wood that they felt because of the atmosphere, because the backs had never been treated in any way—it was a little before the time of plastics to be used in such a problem. And so, with the successful amount of dryness and heat in museums or galleries or wherever they might be, there were splits. There was movement of the wood, which had caused the paint to move and this going back and forth of drying out or absorbing moisture. So, it was felt that if we could remove some of the cradles or the movable pieces on the cradle, and thin them down a bit, and maybe even put wax on some of them, it all would help. It was a big sort of—well not experimental but a big program to see what would be the best way out of this. And so, that is what I spent most of my time doing.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Had these cradles been put on in the 19th century when Jarves acquired the painting?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Many of them had—well about that time or maybe even a little earlier, but I think many of them had been done at that time. [00:26:07] Of course, what you do—what is bad, which doesn't really make very much sense is you have a piece of wood that wants to move a little and it has its own reaction to moisture or dryness. And you are trying to keep it flat so that it doesn't buckle or curve or move, and you're trying to do this with another piece of wood, which has, perhaps or probably, a completely different way of drying and moving. So, you could have the two things fighting against each other rather than one trying—and one of them maybe trying to restrain the other a little too much. We had found—we found later on when I started working on icons, it was far better to remove some of these batons we'd call them. There would be one at the top and one at the bottom of the icon. And there was—as on the Jarves paintings, there's supposed to be slots of an area on the back of the panel where the piece that went through those was much smaller. So that if the panel wanted to move a little, there would be room for it to do that slightly without causing a crack, but all of these things were supposed to be moveable. But they had not always been made small enough. Certain woods had not been seasoned properly; therefore, they were taking a longer time to dry. They may have been exposed in the past to bad conditions. They may even have been in galleries or museums or wherever, near heating appliances. [00:28:04] They—you would have a great number of objects with a great number of different peculiarities. We were doing our best to correct a lot of this and keep down any possible or any great movement of the wood. Or let it—or keep it in a condition that it could move slightly and then go back to its original, back and forth very slightly without causing the paint to crack a little on the surface or do any damage. Of course, one of the best things, as we've found, would be to coat the back of it. You varnish the front of a painting to bring the color up and to preserve the paint from being affected by dust or dirt or nicotine or whatever is in the air, but the backs of them, they had neglected. So what you need was to put on something on the back, particularly on all the edges where the pores of the wood would be exposed to keep out atmospheric changes. That was what we spent—I spent nearly all of my time working on. I went down there for a month or two and then they decided that they'd like to extend it, and so I stayed for the fall and the next spring.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What was the chief—what did you use for the coating in the back at that time?

CARROLL F. WALES:  At that time, we were using wax. Now, wax is not used very much, and we stopped using it after a while because it's kind of gummy while it's perfectly—it's almost inert and relatively inert. [00:30:00] It's a good seal, but it also can attract more dust and dirt, and you would have to apply it with heat of course, and it does not penetrate. It's more of a surface thing, particularly if you have wormholes. A good synthetic varnish that has a solvent in it that would discourage any worm life and that the solvent would help the PVA or the methacrylate or whatever you're using as a plastic. Would—the solvent would help that penetrate much better into the wood. And else—and when it—when you finish this, you have the back looking as—looking quite presentable because it's nice and clean and clear, and it does not cover up the grain of the wood, which is as wax might do because you want to see the back of the painting. It may tell you the kind of wood or where it was made, all part of the history of the painting.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But now, once sealed then the idea was that movement in the future—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Was restricted.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —of the panel was miniscule compared to what it had been?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, I think it's probably almost impossible to completely stop any movement, but you can slow it up so much and protect it by treating in some way, and we still do, and people still do.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What curvature of the panels were best?

CARROLL F. WALES:  The—well, there were certain panels. You will see them in—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  The approach you took?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yeah, you'll see panels whether they're icons, whether they're primitives, Italian that is mainly, or Flemish, or whatever, you will see many of them do have a slight curve. [00:32:09] And it is—you realize that the people know that that's—it's best to let them behave the way they want to without trying to restrict them. Otherwise, you are going to have splits in the panel. The—you see if a wood support, if a piece of wood has been properly seasoned, dried, and so on, and if it's the right kind of wood, and if it has been properly cut. The tree is round, of course, and if you cut at a tangent, you're going to have the panel. You're going to have something where the panel is going to want to take the shape of the tree and curve. Now, if you can go straight through the middle from one end to the other straight across, you have less chance of the wood moving or if you can come from the center out, you have less chance. But when you try to go across the round part of it then you have all of these rings that want to move. When they have nothing to restrict them, they want to move in a curved fashion. So, many things—and also then where it's been kept after it was done, if it was properly treated, if it was, as I say, not the heating fans. Or even at times, they do recommend not having a painting near a door that's going to open from the outside, and you have a draft of cold air coming in, and you have warm air perhaps in the back of the painting. [00:34:03] Or if you have it on an outside wall where it's a cold wall and the front side is warm from the room temperature. So, wood is a very tricky medium to and has—it really needs more attention perhaps than something on canvas.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  I guess the experience with the Jarves collection at Yale, you discovered all manner of treatments, all manner of cuts of wood?


ROBERT F. BROWN:  You see—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —you did, right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —particularly any rhyme or reason it seems there?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No. Well, you see artists, good artists while they were craftsmen, they like to experiment. They would, perhaps, do a little traveling I suppose. Someone from Italy might go up to the Netherlands or the other way around, and they might find a little different way of doing something and might want to try that technique. Sometimes, it's disastrous, and sometimes, it's a good puzzle because you might have an Italian painting on a piece of wood that didn't come from Italy at all. But the—there was—you always had to be aware of what the artist was doing at the time. I believe even Leonardo and Michelangelo who've—well the Last Supper for instance, they—in trying to find new techniques and new way of doing things and not having time enough to make tests and see how it was going to hold up over the years, they didn't always choose the best thing. But a good artist wants to experiment, wants to find out other ways of doing things.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was your—once again, was your mandate to do as little as possible? [00:36:00]

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, of course, always, always to do as little as possible because the whole work of art, I mean if it even applies or does apply, I should say, as well to paintings on canvas and on stretchers. The—there was a time when they would have to back up painting, and they would throw away the stretcher and get a new one. Well, the stretcher, the original stretcher is all part of the history of the paining, and all of such things should be kept together and the—without adding something new. And you—sometimes in backing, they have cut the tacking margin off, and that again is very bad. So, you do as little as you possibly can to keep everything that was originally done to the painting intact.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Now what—in the case where the painter had made false starts and left and then painted over in—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, so of course you—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —the so-called—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, you find those, and the—usually or very often, the underpainting or the change or what was done first will show through because as paints age, they become a little more transparent. Especially if you're putting a lighter color over a darker one, the darker one underneath is eventually going to show through a little. In many cases, this is of great interest because it shows how the artist began and what his changes were, and usually, they were for the better as far as the composition is concerned I suppose, but they have—they do show up in such cases. As I was saying with the cleaning, when you—this reminds me of when you are working and you're watching the swabs to make sure that the color that you're getting off is either dirt or varnish, old varnish. [00:38:14] If the—if you get an actual color—use the word again in a difference sense—then you—two things could be the cause of this. One could be that you're getting—the solvent you're using is a little bit—is a little strong, is too strong. Or it could be a retouched area, and the retouched area is probably—it would be much more sensitive to a solvent because it's not had time to age as the other paints have, and the other ones would probably resist such a thing happening. But the thing is in most cases, you should have known that that was a retouched area before you started working on it by looking under magnification, or if there's any great doubt, an x-ray could be taken. Of course, today, we have all kinds of machines, the infrared and ultraviolet, all of these things that can tell you right away where something has been changed by the artist or by someone later on or by a restorer, and so that you should be prepared. You know what you're getting into before you—to reach that area.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So with—one of the first things you did was to look at the surface under magnification, is that right?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, yes, you did because your eye alone even with magnification—even with the loop is not generally enough. It—when you have worked on and seen so many paintings, you don't get overconfident. [00:40:09] In fact, it works the other way around. You think there are so many variables, so many possibilities, so many ways of treating a painting correctly that you just can't plunge in and say, "Oh, I've done a lot of paintings just like this," but this one may not be like the rest of the paintings at all. It—the more you know, the more you—the more cautious you are. You can't make a mistake because it would keep you awake all night. And anybody with any kind of an eye whether they were the owner of the painting or if they were a professor or a historian or a museum director or whatever, they are going to look and say, "Something's happened here," and you can't afford to have that be the case.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well, weren't there then—I mean I can recall, at least, in general public's idea where certain examples for paintings had been stripped or whatever where it should be where—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yeah, it's a shame.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —a pentimento was revealed so that—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right, yeah.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well, I think in the case an El Greco in the National Gallery in Washington was the paint has three heads?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, right, right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And would that have occurred not under the school of restoration you were being taught and brought up in but others or impatient—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. Now, as I said, a certain amount of that will happen over a period of time. It would not necessarily mean that something had been stripped off the top because some of it will show through. Now, the question is do you—do you allow that to remain or do you cover it up, but to cover it in such a way that you minimize that happening. [00:42:15] It depends on what the public—or not necessarily the public, the museum director, what the people in charge feel is the best way of treating it. It certainly would never cover up anything by one of the really great artists. I mean by that Leonardo or Michelangelo, you—everybody wants to know how they did things. But there are other paintings that would—it would not be necessary. As long as you have a good write-up, good photographs of it showing the change then you can go over that. You can even use something like watercolor, but you certainly would use something perhaps with a—like an acrylic that could be relatively easily removed whenever necessary if you wanted to retouch over that or to—so that it wouldn't be distracting when you saw the painting. Because there are instances where—well even artists have painted over another painting. They scraped it down a bit maybe, but they didn't want to—they want to use the canvas again, and so you don't want to see some of that showing through. It depends on the situation of course.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Mm-hmm [affirmative]. Mm-hmm [affirmative]. You also, I gather when you were in Connecticut that very time, did some work at Wesleyan University?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. When I had finished at Yale then I went in—this was in November or December 1951 because I was at Yale from September 1950 to June 1951. [00:44:09] And then that summer, a good part of that summer, I spent working with Bob in Arlington, Bob Bradley. He was writing book on restoration, and I remember helping proofread some of that. He also gave me a lot of work to do that is training, and I learned a great deal. I always did from him of course, but—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Had he been trained at the Fogg or at—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, oh, yes. Yes, yeah. And the—then in the fall, in November, December—November I believe I started in 1951. I—Dick Buck had asked me if I'd like to go down to Wesleyan University and to work in the Alsop House, which was later called the Davison Art Center in Middletown. These were oil paintings on plaster, on the wall, and there was dirt, there was varnish, there was the—I don't think they had been touched since they were done.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And they were what—approximately what vintage?

CARROLL F. WALES:  They were 19th century, but now I don't know—I don't know how much—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What were they, scenographic or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, there were—there was—so there were—in the ceiling, there were mythological figures. And in the—on the walls would be—there would be a frame, a sort of a very large framing of something. [00:46:06] And in the center, I saw a medallion of nymph or a muse or something like that. Not taking up a lot of space because a lot of the white of the wall would show through, but these were just sort of decorations around. There was also a lot of trompe l'oeil, the imitation molding—I mean the feeling of molding, and so on, that was done in various places. But it was—it all needed a great deal of cleaning. And so I spent—I spent about four or five months, yes, about—going into 1952 working there because there were several rooms that had to be worked on. And the paint—the ceilings, of course, were a little more difficult. A certain number of places where we had to reattach the paint with a heating iron, a little wax, or a little synthetic—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  This was yet another—a new problem for you?

CARROLL F. WALES:  This was another problem for me too. I had not—

[END OF TRACK wales92_3of9_cass_SideA_r.]

CARROLL F. WALES:  —very large medallion with some sort of a guard—I can't remember now exactly—on a chariot, and I think there were winged eagles that were pulling the chariot. Of course, working on something directly overhead was a little more difficult. And we had rigged up a kind of platform, a table on which I had two folded mattresses, and I was on my back painting there. That was after doing the cleaning. There again, we had to do some reattaching of paint in many areas because of the heat rising, and it had dried out the paint. All of that had to be set down before we could continue doing that. And then there was a little, small room in which there was painted parrot in a cage and vines climbing up that was all painted. It looked from a distance as though it actually was looking into a little garden. Though there were interesting and fun things to do. It was not only cleaning the paintings, but of course all this white background, all of the painted surface on the back had to be cleaned as well. You see what you never—one thing you learn so many little tricks and things that you don't get when you're taking the theory and practice of all of these things, but you learn as you go along. Now, I was were fortunate in this case because there was an older gentleman, Martin Beck was his name. He was one of his old-world restorers who sometimes had questionable ways of going about things. [00:02:04] On the other hand, he had all this great experience, and he knew little tricks. For instance if you have a large wall that is covered with dirt and varnish, you might—and nicotine or sulfur or whatever from the air, you might think you would start at the top and work down. Well, that's disastrous if you do because the solvent that you're using is going to cut through the dirt and maybe cut through too much the paint underneath, and you may have strips. So, you start at the bottom, and you work up and you keep. As you go up, now you think, well, you've got all of this, the good painting exposed as you work up, yes, and you don't have great floods of water. You do it, but there's still some trickling down. However, as you work up, you can clean and wipe immediately and clean and wipe immediately, and you always have a clean surface, and you can control the thing all the way up. Well, you can't do it when you come down. So that I wouldn't have known, I don't suppose, except by bad experience if it hadn't been for Mr. Beck but—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, these were things that weren't necessarily generally known?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did you write up certain—some of these things? Were you beginning to do—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, I don't—no, I—well I—the—so, it's in the reports, which I suppose that Harvard has. No, I don't. I didn't really—no, I didn't really do anything—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But you've said several times we. Were you working on this—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, I worked on this alone, yes. I worked on that, well, along with Mr. Beck, although, however, he was doing other things. He was working in the hall, working in different areas. We did not work in the same rooms at all because the Fogg Museum was doing the work where I was, and they hired me to do it, but Wesleyan had hired Mr. Beck to do other work. [00:04:10] In fact, he was doing—in some of the areas in the hallway, there had been a little more damage. He was actually reconstructing certain things, having a great deal to go on, but they wanted these things put back pretty much as they—they were not great works of art, and yet, it's quite an interesting house of course. They wanted a little more complete restoration. My work was more conservation, cleaning, and so on, but not a tremendous amount retouching but—so, it was really two projects going on at the same time, but he was such a nice gentleman, and I think we learned from each other.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  At that stage, would you have—how did you feel about restoration, about—as he was doing? Was that a rather intimidating prospect to have, do you think?

CARROLL F. WALES:  It was something completely new to me because I hadn't realized. I think Bob—well, I know Bob had told me. He said, "You are going to run into the—these things, and you've got to—" I had—actually, I had a chance to—another chance when I had just about finished college to work with a private restorer that I had known briefly. Bob knew him better than I did, and he wanted to hire me. Bob said, "Well, I don't think at the moment you should jump at something like this." He said, "I think there's going to be plenty of work coming up." We didn't know about Istanbul at the time or didn't even know about Wesleyan I guess. [00:06:01] He said, "Just—" He said, "I can keep busy right here until we get the right place for you because sometimes private restorers had their own ways of doing things." They don't—they—some of the old—older restorers guard their secrets very carefully and had not kept up to date with new ways, new improvements, new medium, new cleaning techniques, and so on. And they're still using the natural resin varnishes, which are being replaced now by synthetic ones, which are easier to remove, not as strong. They don't cross-link, as we say, with the older, like the old varnishes did where that they—as they get older, they're tougher and tougher to remove. It takes stronger and stronger solvents, which does more possible damage to the painting, and it's not necessary to have them now. And another great factor against them is that they keep darkening as that Old Master glow, which is just dirty varnish. The synthetic ones are in every way superior to—so I was advised not to take this job, and I'm glad that I didn't. And then by the time I had finished Wesleyan—let's see now. When I had finished Wesleyan then I went down to—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Dumbarton—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —Dumbarton Oaks, yes. I had—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —because Thacher had seen your work.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right, right, and I had had to put him off because I had all these other commitments, but then I went down and worked on. He—as I say, yeah, the mosaic as you go in the entrance of Dumbarton Oaks is a small, but complete mosaic. [00:08:08]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Had you been there before? Were you somewhat familiar with Dumbarton Oaks?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I went down, of course, to look at the project in the beginning, but that was the only time that I had been there. I had some idea, especially after working in Worcester, and it was—this was in a much smaller scale. There were—there were actually three floor mosaics there, which were much, much smaller than the ones that I had done, but it's the same—exactly the same problem. Of course, I found it very pleasant to be at Dumbarton Oaks, and I stayed in the Fellows Building for a part of the time. I met all—I met quite a number of prominent Byzantine professors and students too. It was all very educational the whole thing. And so, it was—and being in Washington, the museums, you know it was all very, very good. But—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was—were the things—like what was the condition in general of the mosaics at Dumbarton Oaks? Had—

CARROLL F. WALES:  They were similar to the Worcester one in certain areas. The one coming in the door was even dirtier, I think, because it had had so much traffic coming and going. The other ones were not. They were a little more protected, and people didn't go there very often. And, of course, what I did again was to clean off the same technique that was used in Worcester. I cleaned them off and then put a synthetic coating over them. This, we had to get together. Bob did with some scientist friends of his as to what would be the best protective coating that would take quite a bit of wear of people trampling over them or walking over them, and would be not—would not be too difficult to remove or to keep clean, and you would be able to apply this every year this. [00:10:23] It would be a synthetic coating, which was—would do no damage at all to the mosaic. But it did need some protection, not only to keep the dirt and dust and so on off, but also to keep the cubes from being worn in some areas more than in others.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, you would—you applied this coating each year?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Each year and that's what they have been doing as far as I know, yes.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did you clean it or remove it of the existing coating and then reapply it?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right, yes. Or in some cases, it might be worn down enough and be transparent enough, and you might be able to clean somewhat the surface of it. Now, you probably wouldn't get all of this—all of it off, but you would have to clean quite a bit. It's a yearly project to do this. But it's—if you want a mosaic, if you want to see the mosaic as it was originally then it's—and for the safety, security of the mosaic, it's the best way of treating it. So, while I was there on my hands and knees scrubbing the floors, John Thacher who was the director said to me one day, "How would you like to go to Istanbul and do similar work?" I said, "Well, it sounds very exciting and very interesting," and so we talked about it a great deal and made plans. The following spring, in May I believe it was, I—because I had spent the—most of the rest of the winter at Dumbarton Oaks. [00:12:03] The following spring, May 8, 1952, I flew to Dumbarton or I flew to Istanbul with Jack Thacher. He was—he was not the treasurer. John Nicholas Brown was the treasurer of the—but he was one of the advisors, one of the—he was, of course, the director of Dumbarton Oaks, but one on the board of the Byzantine Institute. Now, the Byzantine Institute was started by Professor Whittemore back in the early '30s. He had gone to Turkey, and he had seen a number of Byzantine churches, which had been made into mosques after the capture of the city by the Turks. They had put them—they put them in a [inaudible], and they had covered the—any decorations, whether they were mosaic or fresco. They would cover all the figure or Christian representations, the faces, hands, feet, crosses, inscriptions because their religion, the Muslim religion doesn't allow any figure representation. They would—in many cases, they put yellow paint over the offending parts and then they would whitewash over as much as they could. Now, they did not whitewash over all of the ceiling mosaics. It had been much—too much of a job. I think they might have tried it in some places and found that the whitewash didn't stick after time because there would be a lot of condensation and moisture in the room. [00:14:00] So, it would be rather odd to look up and see only a robe and a hand. The arm would stop. There would be no hand coming out of it because there would be a painting of yellow paint over it. So, Professor Whittemore, he had known—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  For centuries, it had been that way, is that right?

CARROLL F. WALES:  For some 500 years.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Had been these rather peculiar—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right, yes, yeah.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —special painting over—

CARROLL F. WALES:  For some 500 years or soon after the conquest, they were—this was Hagia Sophia, the Kariye Camii, the smaller church where I worked, and the number of other churches where we did a smaller amount of work because there were smaller amount of decorations that had survived. The Ataturk who's called the George Washington of Turkey sometimes has—had decided that these important, early Byzantine buildings would—that had been turned into mosques would no longer be used as a mosque, but neither would he turn them over of the Christians. They would be museums and the—so, Professor Whittemore went out and he got permission for the Byzantine Institute, which was later formed, of America, which had its headquarters at Dumbarton Oaks. He got permission to go out. We would—we, the Byzantine Institute would get first publishing rights, but we would do all the work, and of course, the Turkish people would have a very fine tourist attraction and historic building restored for people, for scholars, and everyone to come and see. [00:16:08] And so, it worked out quite well and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, Thacher had been back forth and seen?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, Thacher, oh yes, of course, right, quite a number. Yeah, we—he came at least once a year sometimes, sometimes more than that and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And the whole project was going quite well?

CARROLL F. WALES:  It's going quite well. We were there. I was there from '52 through most of '59 and the—we worked roughly nine months of the year because it was just too cold and damp in the winter to work, and there's no way of heating in the church. We didn't really want heat there at all. We had a nice group of—they were all Turkish citizens, but it was the Greek Christian boys who did most of the work on the figures. And the Muslim boys equally talented, but they preferred and they did the work on the architecture. There was earthquake damage, there was quite a bit of rebuilding in some places. The marble polishing, the putting in of reinforcing bars in some places where there had been wood with beams across that had been painted, but most of those had rotten, had fallen out because of rotting and, so on. So, all of these things had to be—these things had to be done, very, very necessary. The floors had to be repaired and so. We had a nice group of the two cultures working there.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So this—by the time you got there then it was all going very—quite happily?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I—yes. [00:18:00] But the time I arrived, the mosaics had been worked on for—oh, I don't know—four or five years, but nothing had been done. The mosaics—there's an inner and an outer narthex that has the quite extensive covering of mosaics. This small church is perhaps one of the most, certainly in Istanbul, completely decorated Byzantine church that there is, and along with that, I must say that has been preserved because many other places there—of course, you do find them in Greece, in Athens when the Byzantines were there. But the—but in Turkey, this is probably—it does have more Byzantine decoration remaining than in any other building except the very church of Hagia Sophia, so it was very important. This is late Byzantine while the Hagia Sophia of course—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Thirteenth, 14th century or so?

CARROLL F. WALES:  —was much early. This was—yes, this is the first quarter of the 14th century, 1320 somewhere or somewhere along there. There's not only beautiful mosaics and colored marble revetments and very fine floors. Now—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  They're virtually in the main church, aren't they?

CARROLL F. WALES:  There's not so much in the main church. The nave only has two large—has three large mosaics, a koimesis or death of the virgin and then two large figures Christ on one side and the Virgin and child in the other, but—and the walls have marble around them. But unfortunately, the dome I believe it fell at one time, and that has no decoration at all. But it was really the three, long side aisles, the inner and the outer narthex, and the parekklesion on one side aisle, which had the decorations. [00:20:06] Now, the two narthexes had mosaic. When I went out there, the work had begun, as I say, three or four or four or five years before that and had been going quite well. But the side chapel or parekklesion, which ran the whole length of the church on the side, was covered with frescoes. These had not been touched at all because no one there knew very much about fresco, and the mosaics had taken up all their time and money working on those.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Who had worked on them, American supervisors?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, so it's still—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Were they—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —definitely. They were still—it's the Byzantine Institute, but that was where they had first started. They also, at the same time, were doing a lot of work in Hagia Sophia. So, when I went out—and I went out in '52 to work on the paintings, on the wall paintings, the frescoes. They told me that when I arrived. I went up on the scaffold, they said, "There are two fellows here that—one of them, you're going to use as an assistant because you're going to need someone. Unfortunately, these two are our best men, but we think they're the most suitable to work." So, that was when Constantine came and worked with me.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Constantine Tsaousis?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Tsaousis, right. He was—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was he a local?

CARROLL F. WALES:  He was local. He, of course, with that name was Christian. His parents came from Macedonia, but he was born in Constantinople in the '20s when it was Constantinople. So, he came and worked with me on the frescoes. He could also speak a number of languages, which helped a great deal, although his English wasn't very good. For the first year also until he learned English faster than I learned Greek, we spoke French together. [00:22:05] It was a rather strange combination I guess, but we could understand each other. So, that was—so then I began working almost right away on the frescoes and Ernest Hawkins was the field director of the whole project, of all the projects in Istanbul actually, and had been there for some time. He was more of a mosaic expert, but he had done an experiment on one of the frescoes, and so we had a little knowledge of what to expect.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was he an archeologist or art historian?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, a little archaeologist and certainly a very fine restorer but of churches, of mosaic, of wall decoration, I would say, more than paintings. That's what his life had been dedicated to.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And you mentioned this George Stout at some point also.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, in the beginning, for the first year, Murray Pease came out from—he was the chief restorer at the Metropolitan Museum. He came out and saw what we were doing and gave us advice. I had never met him before, and it was a great pleasure to meet him, a wonderful man.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Where was he from?

CARROLL F. WALES:  At the Metropolitan Museum.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  No, I mean where in the—

CARROLL F. WALES:  I don't know. I don't think he went through the Fogg program, but I don't really know. He might have. I don't know. I don't know how he did. But he certainly was well known at the time as one of the best restorers. Oh, yes, and also at that time, in the very beginning, we sent a lot of pigment samples and plaster samples and yellow paint samples, all of these things to John Gettens for him to tell us what they were or what advice he could give us as far as cleaning and restoring. [00:24:09] Of course, that was all a great help. We knew—we were quite certain, and of course it was, that the yellow paint was a yellow ochre. That would be cheapest paint they could find and used extensively as they did all over Istanbul where there were any Christian decorations.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And they began doing that shortly after the conquest, is that—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, yes. How soon after, I don't know exactly but—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But some of that were several centuries old—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  — themselves.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Now some—yes, that was—with the frescoes, I think they had just done that once and then put the whitewash on. But they had put more than one coat of whitewash on the frescoes. In some cases, they had built it up quite thick, but in many places, it was dusting off, and you could just see a kind of filmy appearance. You could even tell where certain figures were, certain scenes you weren't quite certain or sure what they were but—and, of course, there were great surprises and great excitement when we would uncover something that hadn't been seen for roughly 500 years and to find it in such good condition. Now, there were a few areas where there had been earthquake damage where there was some displacement. And then there were some major losses and yet not enough to destroy any one composition completely, fortunately. Most of the church fathers were in very good condition all around the walls and the apse, and there were millerterant [ph] saints too. It was highly decorated, completely decorated everywhere. [00:26:00] It was—again, you're learning so many things about craftsmen or early craftsmen. We would be up on scaffolds in—above doors, places where no one from the floor could see a decoration. And yet, they were carried right down to the very edge. Longfellow has written a poem about such things of the—it's called the master builder. Well, it said something about, "In the early days of Art, workmen or craftsmen worked with greatest care. Each remote and unseen part; for the Gods to see everywhere." [They laugh.] And it's a wonderful feeling to go up and see that it's exactly what happened. [Laughs.] The—so, those were very, very exciting years. Now, we did have—as I said, there was some damage on the side chapel from earthquake and settling. There was an arch, which had been—had a break, not in the very center but just to one side, not quite hitting the pendentive fortunately. So, we had to—and the pieces of fresco on either side of this break were a bit loose. So, George Stout came out and spent quite a few months with us there, and he showed us how to take off these pieces of fresco. He would take them off in—where there were already cracks where they would separate easily, and they would be, oh maybe, not more than two feet square most of the section. [00:28:10] It maybe two feet by three feet if it was top and bottom, a little taller. We removed these. Of course, we had to put a very, very strong facing on, which was a combination of putting PVA on the surface first to hold the paint in place. And then on top of that there would layers of cloth dipped in plaster of Paris and put on the wall over the PVA, the synthetic varnish that was there. Oh, I believe there was a layer of facing paper in between. All of these are—you have to think about what you're going undo before you start doing it and can you do it safety, and so we did. Then on top of that were strips of wood, with strips of muslin, again, soaked in the same plaster, and those were put on. Now, those strips of wood would most—we weren't working on a flat surface for the most part, and where there was a curve then we would put a strip of wood on one side and then build and then continue up until we preserve that exact shape. When that set become firm then with long kitchen spatulas, you could cut in back of the fresco. As I say, much of it had been loosened by the earthquake.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Earthquake.

CARROLL F. WALES:  But—so we would dig the—take the—then, of course, what I forgot to say was that all of these was photographed very carefully, but we didn't trust just the photographs. [00:30:01] Each piece was labeled. There was a system of numbers and letters so that you knew what would match up with its neighbor, how it would and—because we were working blindly for a while until we put these back on the wall and we could take all these coverings off because we took these down. We had a table with a very large box containing sand. These pieces were put in upside down. That is the back—the plaster back would be exposed, and there, we cleaned off all the loose plaster but not down to the paint by any means. Where the loose part would come away, we would take it away and save that. And then we had a netting, a very strong synthetic netting we would put on and then we would build up to the proper level again with a casein plaster and using the grog, using the old Byzantine plaster with all of this. George Stout was always one to—he'd love to use any part of ancient materials back in the restoration that you possibly could. [Laughs.] So, while we were doing all this and getting the pieces—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was that simply sentimental, do you think or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, no, I—well it—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —did it—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —I can't call it—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —material.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, exactly. He knew they worked once, but they had been badly treated, but they should—fundamentally, the material was strong, and in the bond with newer adhesives, it would all work together. And so, while this was all being done—and, of course, these were all put out on benches, things so that they would completely dry, and in order, and so on. [00:32:14] Then while that was being done, the Turkish boys had put a centering up underneath the—this. We not only had the side where the pendentive was, but we had the soffit of the arch underneath to do so that in almost every case, you had something of a curved surface to work on to preserve. Well, that was—so then while we were doing our fresco bit of it, they—the Turkish masons put up a centering of wood, and they took out the bricks where they were loose, but saved them, of course, because they were all Byzantine bricks. They replaced all of them and rebuilt the arch the way it was in the beginning. What they couldn't do, of course, is just above this, it was the beginning of the dome, and there was a marble ledge around. Well, there was a slight displacement in that, and there was no way of jacking that up and moving that. It felt not necessary, too, for any strength of—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Again, cracks caused by earthquakes?

CARROLL F. WALES:  By—it followed the earthquake damage, yes, and the earthquake break. So, they rebuilt the arch, that side of it and then we came back when the wall was ready for us to put our frescoes back. We would—we could only do—I don't remember now—but something like two or three at a time depending on where they were because we had a strong scaffold. [00:34:03] And we would—the pieces of wood that we had on there were not only to preserve the contour or the shape of the fresco as it was originally. But it was also going to be something that we could—we had long sticks that would go down to the top of the scaffold, and that would be—they would be braced against these wooden crosspieces and hold the whole thing in place—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  While it was setting—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Until—while it was setting and for 24 hours or at least that. No one was allowed on the scaffold at all, so there would be—absolutely no movement at all.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Now, this very radical treatment would be necessary after you've consulted with Stout?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yeah, it was definitely. First of all, it looked terrible, but even more important, some of these could have—any slight movement, or, as Ernest said, some of them are just up there from force of habit. [Laughs.] They remained up there. So, it was a protection more than anything else really. Of course, it made a tremendous difference once it was done. Now, there was an area from the base of the dome all the way down the side of the arch where there was something like, oh, up to eight or 12 inches wide that there was complete loss. Well, we toned that in but without repainting anything. We did not complete anything, unless we had something where they're very small and we could see either side of it. But the other places, you just have to accept that that has been a loss, and what you're looking at is only Byzantine. It was a great experience, again a great bit of information for all of us. [00:36:05]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You say you've toned in. You didn't do it in contrasting tone—

CARROLL F. WALES:  BROWN:  No, no—we toned it in a—well what—a subdued color, a color that would not—that you would know that was an area of loss. It would not jump out at you if it was—as it would if it was white. It was a softer, warmer tone, but you knew right away that there had been damage, and you accept it. You could read it, and it did not distract from what you did see.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was there much detective work in terms of the forms you expected to uncover? Was it possible? Was it—had there—were the documents from the middle ages?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, yes. Of course, the—you see what we were doing as fast as we uncovered these things and took photographs, of which I helped do some of the photography, we were feeding the professors at Dumbarton Oaks, and they were delighted with all this material. And then we had—Cyril Mango came out. He was now teaching at Oxford, I believe. But he was—and he's quite a Byzantine scholar. He's written quite a number of things, and of course, he knew Greek. He would work with Costa [ph], and they would try to decipher the inscriptions on some things that we weren't absolutely certain of or even if we did know. For instance, I remember there were some problems in some of the inscriptions around Jacob's Ladder. He wanted to know just what Byzantines had said because they—the Byzantines used—I don't know the word for it. But they will take one—well, they'll take two ladders, at least, sometimes maybe another one and make a—if they had a "t" and an "h." [00:38:06] They would use one side of the "h" and put a cross and that would be the "t" and the "h" all in one. They did that many, many times, and some of them were quite decorative and quite interesting in a calligraphic sort of way, but you had to know. Right now in my—working on my Byzantine coins, the miter tau [ph] is only just two letters in each case, the "m" and the "t." And the tau [ph] or the theta [ph] and the—so, unless you find in nearly all Byzantine manuscripts or icons and so on. So that that—there was some detective work that had to be done and it—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But there were no document—the was no historic documentation—

CARROLL F. WALES:  On this thing?

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —you think?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, no, no. There wouldn't have been.


CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, I—there might have been eventually. Now, we did—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  There might have been a program.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yeah. We did know, for instance, that the Metochites who was the was a very important figure in the government, the Byzantine government there at that time, and I think he later became monk. But he was very interested in the church, and he supposedly had paid for most of the decorations. He's shown in one of the mosaics with a magnificent, big turban. He looks almost Turkish but then it's where the—where the Persian and Turkish art and Byzantine ends and stops is—it sometimes overlaps a bit, and so—now, what did you say? What—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  I was asking what evidence? Was there a program—a documentary?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No. Well, you see that what the—the historians know that the way a church is decorated usually follows a certain pattern. [00:40:06] The—just as the—for instance, the colors do. I mean the Virgin only wears purple, the color of royalty or blue, the color of heaven. These are—Saint Peter always has a blond beard and while Saint Paul was—well Saint Peter with his keys and Saint Paul with the book and the high forehead and—


CARROLL F. WALES:  It's because these are for people who cannot read, and they will know immediately who that they're looking—what they're looking at. In the same way, there were certain scenes that would only be putting the apse or in a domical vault. Well, the domical vault would be a low hanging—a low vault, I should say, I guess, not a pointed one. That would be a perfect space for the Last Judgement because there's so many things happening in the Last Judgment. But—and in the apse of the church was the Anastasis, which is often both mosaic and fresco. You see them in Torcello in Italy and so on—of the anastasis, the raising of Adam and Eve as Christ descended into hell. And the raising of Adam and Eve, and the devil is in chains at his feet, and the gates of hell were broken and so on. And the—then you would know what saints to expect in certain areas. The church fathers would be underneath this, and on either side would be the Virgin and child, and probably the figure of Christ, and the various miracle scenes, which started going around.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, you based what you expected to find on what was observe—had been found elsewhere?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Elsewhere, exactly. [00:42:00] So, we had some idea—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  There was no contemporary, no 14th century?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, no, no. No, no. There was not. The—even in the hallway in a narthex where there's a very large mosaic, which takes up the whole wall except down to the few feet from the floor where the marble began. This was—this we didn't know about. And then when we found—because of the inscription that was remaining, we found out who the donor or the person was that had paid for it. Then you could backtrack and you could find out at what period, when he lived and if there was any writing about the fact that he had contributed to this as in Metochites who had paid for most of—all the decoration. It was known that he had paid for this, but what he did—what was done was not known any more than the artist was known. It just wasn't recorded, or if it was, the records have disappeared. The—so it—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was Constantine—you've mentioned working very closely with him there. Was he also trained or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  He was trained on the job on the—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did he come from a university education?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, I think he had gone to both Turkish and Greek schools. He had to go to the Turkish school because the Turks—he was a Turkish citizen, but he went to the Greek religious schools, which were more than just religion. It was—and so that he was completely fluent in both languages, but I think it was more of a high school education in each case. He was a tailor. He and his brother had a tailor shop, and so he was very—and very clever with his hands. [00:44:01] His father had been an engineer, an architect and the—in fact, his last name Tsaousis is not a—it's a Greek form of the Turkish word meaning chief or sergeant. That's what the Turks had called his father because he was the one who was in charge of all the architectural work, so, but it all sort of ran in the family I believe. And he—a friend of his was working at the Kariye Camii. That's the name of the small church, Church of— Kariye Camii is the Turkish name, and it's known as that of course now. But the Church of the Chora, C-H-O-R-A, a church in the field as it's sometimes called, was the original Byzantine name of it. But his friends had said—they talked so much about the Kariye Camii, and they said, "Since you know a number of languages, why don't—and they need more workmen, why don't you come out and see if you like to work?" Well, he did, and Whittemore hired him right away, and so he, as I say, had been working there for a few years before I arrived. So, he quickly caught on to working on the paintings. Well, he [laughs] knew more about plaster and Byzantine construction things than I did, of course, so we learned from each other as—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Because he was several years on the job?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, we learned from each other as we—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You mentioned also—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —went along.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —that the head of the Greek Church took a great interest in—



CARROLL F. WALES:  Athenagoras, a wonderful man, a great man. He was very much interested, of course, in what we were doing. We would—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did you get to know him some?

CARROLL F. WALES:  We got to know him fairly well. [00:46:00] Every Sunday was an open house, and every Sunday was—let me rephrase that. Every Sunday, he would have—invite people for dinner, and they would like to know in advance if you plan to come, but I don't think anyone was ever turned away. Of course, he knew what we were doing and all the time was also very interested. And then when we began to travel later on when we were away from two or three months at a time into Mount Sinai and various other places, he was much interested in that. Sometimes, we would carry a report from one monastery to another because Kosko was able to talk with all of them, so it was—it worked out very well. I remember going there, and he was a very tall and impressive-looking person.

[END OF TRACK wales92_3of9_cass_SideB_r.]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —Robert Brown, the interviewer in Boston, Massachusetts. This is December 4, 1992.

[Audio Break.]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  We've been talking about your work in Istanbul on the Kariye Camii mosque, formerly a late Byzantine church. And you were beginning to talk about the regular visits with your partner Constantine Tsaousis to the Patriarch Athenagoras to keep him up-to-date on the work. There was—was there—there was a particular reason why he, himself, could not go to watch the work, is that right?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, the reason was that—I got an echo here. The reason was that they—from time to time, there'd be articles in the newspaper about working being done in Hagia Sophia or in the Kariye Camii where we were working. And the—and then we would also get questions along the same line, people asking us, why didn't we pay more attention to Islamic things? Why was it always Byzantine? Our answer was that we did not work on classical art or modern things. We had only—or the Byzantine Institute had only enough money to pay for working on Byzantine things, therefore, we had to concentrate on one particular aspect of it. Of course, the Patriarch was the head of the all of the Greek communities, churches, and so on, in the Mediterranean area. [00:02:01] In Istanbul, of course, and is in many other cases, he—they were a minority, a minority group. So, he must be, not only a great religious as he was, but also a diplomat. I think he handled all of this very well and was very liked, so that he did not want to—every time that he made a trip anywhere, his picture—or did anything unusual, the reporters would immediately put something in the paper about it. Favorable most of the time but occasionally, sometimes there would be some criticism perhaps. And so, he felt it was best not to come to the churches where we were working because, again, that might cause an article to be put in the paper about what are the Byzantines or what are the Christians doing in our mosques and so on. Although, the—what—these mosques were originally all Byzantine churches. So, he stayed away, but he was very happy to see us at any time that we wanted to visit him. We did every so often because on Sunday, he would—there was always an open invitation for dinner. It's always best to call ahead because there were quite a few people from the States and various places that would be at the dinner table. But the—it was always quite an occasion, and as I think I may have said, he was such a wonderful-appearing, imposing person, tall, long, white beard, enormous hands. [00:04:02] You felt that he could have been a brother to Moses. All I could think of was Moses each time that I saw him. Of course, he spoke several languages. English was perfect and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did he welcome also Muslim Turks? Were they welcomed for—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes, indeed. Oh, he was—and he did genuinely. You didn't—you always felt that he treated everyone with the same amount of respect, and I think that he did. He's an incredible person. I felt quite humbled every time I was in his presence.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well, now, did he live in some state or what was his—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, the patriarchate is quite small. It's in the Fener section, which is at the end of Golden Horn facing the old city. It would be on the—on the old city side, and it would be on the right side, of course, by the Golden Horn, yes. The—basically—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Fener, how do you spell that? Excuse me—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, it would be—it's spelled either P-H-A-N-A-R or F-A-N-A-R. I think the Turks usually did it with the F-A-N-A-R. That was the area of the—I don't know the derivation of the word, but that was the area of the city. The patriarchate consisted of the church, a small church and living quarters and offices all in one small compound in that area. So, we would go into a reception room and sit and talk for a moment and then I'll go into quite a large table or quite a large room. It could seat, oh, I don't know how many. [00:06:02] Usually, there were—I think it was limited to something like 12 people roughly that would be served lunch. I didn't see any of the rest of his quarters at any time, but I understood that he lived right in that section.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What was his interest in having you and Constantine there?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, his interest that we were doing something Byzantine and working on monuments. They had originally, of course, been Byzantine churches and then they would convert it into a mosque when the—when there's fall of the city. They were now being preserved or restored, and no longer being a mosque, and not being turned back into a Byzantine building in which you could worship. But they were a museum for people to go and see what remained of the Byzantine culture because of mosaics, frescoes, marble revetments, architectural details, all of these things, which in many cases, were fairly well-preserved because they—the buildings had not been neglected. They had been—all the decorations were covered over, but they had been used as mosques.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But the Patriarch took—did he take a particular interest in the Kariye Camii mosque—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No. Well, only—again, like Hagia Sophia, which is the—one of the greatest of all Byzantine churches at the time and still is. [00:08:00] The Kariye Camii was much smaller, but it is the—one of the few churches. I'm not talking about St. Marks—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  In Venice.

CARROLL F. WALES:  —in Venice or there maybe—I'm not certain—I've not been in Russia. The—certainly in Istanbul, it is the small church, which next to Hagia Sophia has the most complete decorations remaining: Mosaics in the inner and outer—in and outer narthex, a few left in the nave of the church and then one side chapel, the parekklesion, which is where all the paintings were. And it, of course, is a good example of a Byzantine church of that time. It was a mosque—it was a monastery in the—at one time in the very early period. But then the decorations that we were working on were all done in the 14th century, the first quarter of the 1300s.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Mm-hmm [affirmative]. You said that many times the foreign consulates, particularly the western consulates would bring celebrity visitors by to look at the progress of the work.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. You see, the church was closed while we were working there. Because we had scaffolds in all—nearly all parts of the church—either for the restoration of the decorations or for the architecture that had to be shored up in places where there had been earthquake damage or some settling or some damage to the walls, the roof, and so on. [00:10:04] So, there was—it was—and then we didn't have time, on a daily basis, to take people around and show them what we were doing, so it was for the most part closed to visitors. Hagia Sophia was always open because it's such an enormous place. You could easily work—have visitors and then work in a small area. But in our case, this was a—it was a kind of showplace for people in the consulate or in the government that could bring people and show them what was being done. It was also—another reason was that it was one way we could get people interested and contribute to the work that we were doing because this was—it—while Kresge Foundation helped us some, it was nearly all in the matter of private donations that kept us going. We not only worked in Hagia Sophia and the Kariye Camii, the two main things, but there were—the Church of Pantokrator and the Church of the Pammakaristos also had smaller amounts of work to be done. But then there were even a few other isolated—isolated I say that because they were not in the main part of the city, but more on the lesser known areas where there was very little to be done, but still things had to be photographed to be—the cobwebs, the dust. [00:12:00] A few of these churches were not in the condition that the Kariye and the other two churches that I mentioned or Hagia Sophia mainly because they were no longer—had no longer been used as mosques either. And so, they had deteriorated somewhat but the architecture and a few bits and pieces of the decoration were important to preserve. So, we had need of quite a few funds, and many of the visitors who came there were later contributors.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Can you recall some of those and describe their reaction?


ROBERT F. BROWN:  You mentioned there's Chabrols [ph] that came.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes, the three of them all came. They—as I remember, they all seem to be quite tall and they—I don't remember particularly any comments of them. They certainly looked at everything and were very much interested. I did not take them around very much. Ernest Hawkins who had—was the deputy field director, he being English and they being English, I suppose, he had them in tow the one time that they were there, but I do remember seeing them. I remember also that Paul Underwood who was our field director was in charge of all of the work done there. I remember his bringing Somerset Maugham in, and I didn't—we kept on working, of course, and I didn't pay—I didn't—was not able to hear too much of the conversation. But I did notice from time to time when I looked at them that he seemed to be more interested in the people who were working than the decorations he was looking at. Now I may be wrong in this then. [Laughs.] But then we had—we had people like Fredric March and Florence Eldridge. [00:14:06] And I was very fortunate to be invited to a dinner party that has been given for them by the British school that was doing some work there. They were all very interesting. I do remember when I showed them the decoration, the work we were doing explaining to them, I was quite overcome or overwhelmed I guess when Fredric March said to me, "I envy you your career." [They laugh.] Then the Gish sisters came and they—one of them had a bandage around her ankle, and I said, "I'll take you up on the scaffold if you think you can walk up." I don't remember if it Lillian or Dorothy now. She said, "Of course, I can go up on the scaffolding." She said, "I—this all happened when I was in Petra," and I said, "Oh, that's interesting because I plan to go to Petra this next fall when we have finished the work here." And so, she gave us some tips on what to do and then Katharine Hepburn was there with her father and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  With her father?

CARROLL F. WALES:  —I remember her saying, "Listen, Daddy, you hear what the man is saying." It's strange that one sentence is the [they laugh] main thing that—she was much shorter than I had expected her to be.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And fairly but fine-boned, I suppose?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes, yes indeed. Still—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was daddy—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —quite beautiful.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  — chatting away and she told—

CARROLL F. WALES:  I don't remember. Of course, I was more fascinated by her and she kept—she was talking and very much interested. It's strange the reactions of certain people. [00:16:04] Dorothy Thompson was there, and what I remember about her was that she spent most of the time looking at her watch to see if I was going to finish talking, so she could go to the next appointment she had. She—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Oh, dear.

CARROLL F. WALES:  But maybe I'm misjudging her a little, I don't know. The Bernstein was there with his—I think his wife was South American. I forget. She's a very attractive woman and the—he was very, very much interested and very—I enjoyed talking to him because we were not any—by any means in the same class. He was much earlier, but I would've been closer to that time had I not had the army and other work and coming in between. I did not take around Stravinsky, but I saw him from a distance, and someone else was taking. I would like to have talked to him, but I did not have the chance then. There were not only movie people, but there were actors and actresses. But the—I remember at one time the president of Lebanon was there. We had a general—now, I'm not certain. I think it was General Bradley. I don't know. A curious thing would happen, just to say this while I remember it, is that when we did have political or governmental people—people that the Turks themselves would want to bring out to see what we were doing and that would also include people like the American general—they would—when you came down to the church, you came down a hill. [00:18:11] The city walls would be at the top of the hill and then you came down this small hill down and saw the church in front of you. It was a strange thing, which not only happened when people were brought to this church, but I've seen it happen in other places. They would clean up everything and whitewash. Because whitewash was used on a lot of the buildings except for the old, wooden buildings, which very often were not painted at all. But oddly enough, the whitewash would only go halfway up the building because they felt that the person sitting in a car would not be able to see anything higher than that, and this was a quick job. [Laughs.] Of course, soon, the whitewash would be washed off by the rains and so on, but it looked very strange afterwards to see. It was almost like a movie set, I suppose, in which you see only what is going to be filmed. [They laugh.] Let me see now who—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You mentioned Freya Stark, the English writer?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, Freya Stark, yes.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Where did you get to meet her?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, I did, a wonderful woman and I—she must be in her—I know she's in her 90s now. She writes incredibly interesting books about the various travels that she has made all through Turkey, all in Iran. She writes extremely well. I have only recently over the last few years learned or just come finally out that she was, not only a very good travel writer or archeologist to a certain extent, but also she was a spy. [00:20:01] I say that because it's been printed so that it—meaning that she—I don't necessarily mean that she was in Turkey. There would've been no need for it. But in certain other countries where she did travel, she had been working for the British government.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did you get to know her there?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Not very well, not very much. You see, many of these people would only make the one trip there. They would sometimes stop and have lunch with us, and they—there were people life Philip Grierson, who is the no doubt the most prominent numismatist today and has been for many years. He's a retired teacher at Cambridge university. I've known him for many years, visited him at Cambridge, and he's still working, and he's in his late 80s. A medal was struck [ph] for him a few—two years ago on his 80th birthday so that would only have been two—yes. Oh, he's still younger than I thought. But he started me collecting coins I remember. But he would stop—he would have lunch with us very often and a wonderful man, very knowledgeable. There were—I remember there were some children that came from Jordan, and I think they were King Hussein's children when they were quite young because he had been—this is his second or third wife I believe. But I don't remember very much and didn't see very much of them because, of course, there was a police escort with them, and so. But we were—I can't think of who else—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But, did you meet Agatha Christie there or was that—[00:22:02]

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, no, I met—Agatha when I went to Nimrud. There was, oh, another—when we were talking of—I was talking about Freya Stark. And Rose Macaulay is also another—not an English eccentric but one of the group of English people like Freya Stark who—or the Chabrols perhaps who were great writers, very active, and they—and Rose McCauley's best known book is the Towers of Trebizond. And she—I read that she died only recently. Again, these are wonderful people to talk to, but it was all too brief most of the time. It's sort of a time.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You didn't really—well, your own life in—apart from your work in Istanbul, did it involve—you've mentioned Kosko and seeing the Patriarch but—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, so then—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —did it involve a wide circle of acquaintance?

CARROLL F. WALES:  It did, it did. We—I shared an apartment in the beginning with my boss, with Paul Underwood and then later on for a year or so, I shared an apartment with Daniel Newberry who was a cultural attaché at the time. Later, he came back and became a consul general there. And of course, we—since he knew us and Betty Carp was also the one of the leading lights at the consulate who survived all the various changes of consulships and ran the consulate, a wonderful, wonderful person. [00:24:01] Everyone loved Betty.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Betty Carp?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Betty Carp, C-A-R-P, yes. She was a great name in Istanbul from the early period. She said that she was always very helpful to everyone that came to Istanbul and very, very diplomatic. She said that—and whenever I'd see her or she would call up, and she said, "Now, you're going to be very nice to these people that I'm sending out. Maybe they'll help contribute." She was—[they laugh] But I remember one of the—one of her comments was that she was pleased that she had been able to be a good guide or help a lot of people when they came or do favors, whatever she could for people, particularly Americans of course, who were in a foreign country. She said one of the best things that she was not able to do was to get a ticket for some friends on the Titanic. [They laugh.] The—now—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Saying this jokingly—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, yes, in a way, but also seriously because she evidently had tried to get passage back on the Titanic and—well, it was this first trip, of course, so, but was not able to do that because somehow, she could pull strings in all. Of course, another person who I've not mentioned who was very important to the Byzantine Institute was John Nicholas Brown. He was the president of the Byzantine Institute, and he would nearly always make a trip, either a special trip or as part of one of his travels that he did very often. [00:26:12] He would come to see us, and that was always a great occasion because he would have a sort of banquet in one of the casinos. And that was—it was an outdoor place, which of course was a very nice, such wonderful climate there. He would have one or two long tables with—and he would insist on every boy, every man that was working with us be there. Of course, people are—many of them like that because they were not used to having a big banquet or a big meal in one of the casinos. But—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Now, the casinos were not gambling casinos?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, no, no. They called that—it's the Turkish word for—it means, it's like an outdoor nightclub because they would have Turkish or Greek singers. You could have meals there and listen to the show. Mostly singers but there were also some, oh, like Vaudeville, acrobatic things.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, did you get to—at times, would Brown talk with you a bit about the work and—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, very much so, always. And I—and of course, he was—I may have mentioned this before, but he was—he helped us get Constantine to this country after we had finished all the work, after we had finished in Constantinople. He would—he had had a government position at one time, but he helped get Constantine here on a visa. [00:28:10] I guess I told you that.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well, we'll go on to that a little bit later on.

CARROLL F. WALES:  All right, yes, okay.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What was Brown's personality? Could you describe that a bit, what—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, very—well, the—a very nice, very, well, I say kind because he took time to listen to people. He was very much interested in people as well as the work to make sure that the situation, accommodations, everything was the best that could be provided. He was interested in having funds enough to keep on the work. Because what we were doing, we were getting first publishing rights, but otherwise, it was all Turkish property, and would later be opened as a museum, any of these buildings that we worked on. There were various projects. He had—I remember once in his talking to a few of us, and he had Matisse's son—I think his name is Pierre—in tow that day. He was with us. We were in Hagia Sophia, and he said, "I told Pierre about our wish that we could get some sort of a scaffold or arrange some way to get up to the dome of Hagia Sophia." And this 180 feet high is a very difficult thing to do, and it would be very costly to—you would have to have a metal scaffold, obviously, or something like that. [00:30:02] Most of the time, in fact all the times I guess in all that small churches that we worked in, even including Hagia Sophia, we worked on wooden scaffolding. It was not—the metal scaffolding was not available, I believe, and there was wood, which could be used, and we didn't have to go to such great heights most of the time anyway. But he said, Pierre has this idea of floating a balloon, [they laugh] something filled with air that could support us up there. Of course, it could be attached to the lower part of the dome in some way. He said, "Of course, this is just something we're talking about, and we don't know if it'll ever happen, and of course, it never has happened. But it was—it was an amusing or interesting solution possibly to—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was—Pierre, what was he like as a—

CARROLL F. WALES:  I—well, we—the—I think that, well, the only time that I did see him for any length of time was when he was with John Nicholas Brown. We were talking in Hagia Sophia about the feasibility or this would be possible or whatever, so I was not—I did not talk directly with him very much and the—I don't—I just remember that he was there and spoke English very well, but not—I don't have many recollections of him actually. And then he was whisked away to see other things that we were doing or the institute was doing or other things in the city that he wanted to see.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Now who was, either Ernest Hawkins or Paul Underwood and the—they were administrators, and they were there most of the time? [00:32:01]

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yeah. Well, Paul was there off and on. He would—he did not usually stay a full season because he had work to do in other places and especially at Dumbarton Oaks. He would go back with the photographs and papers, notes because he was beginning to do the publications. Before he did the final publication in the three volumes, he did preliminary reports, which appeared in Dumbarton Oaks papers, and that that would be a report of the works that has been done that year. But one of the things that Paul did and that I helped him with a great deal and then Larry Majewski did when he arrived later was to do the photographing—the photography work. This had to be done on frescoes and on mosaics. Of course, there's quite a difference in working on the two. You have to be careful of the reflection of the mosaic cubes. Nearly all of the photography that was done both color and black and white was done in the evening because you could control—you wouldn't have interruptions. People would not be working, and you could control the lighting much better, we found, than you could with the changing—the daylight and light. So, we would—the driver that we had—by that time, we had been able to get a small, Jeep station wagon, which we needed to go from place to place. Alexander, the driver, would pick us up and take us whatever church we were going to work in.

I think the most—to me, the most exciting or the most interesting part of this was doing photography in Hagia Sophia. [00:34:02] I felt then that I had seen Hagia Sophia in almost every kind of light or time of the day or night. It's an impressive building. You feel almost that there were ghosts of the Byzantines there, not anything that you're frightened of. In fact, it's rather calming and peaceful and a great experience. But we did have to do a lot of photography, some—of course always before and after, but also some certain problems that had to be solved in a certain way, and so we would take detailed photographs of those and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And then you would send them off?

CARROLL F. WALES:  And those would all be—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  For evaluation

CARROLL F. WALES:  —to Dumbarton Oaks and then Paul would either write or call and say certain pictures need to be taken over and or redone or another angle or something like that. But that did—near when we were getting well on the way to being finished and all of the finished work had to be done. A lot of it had to be done, that's what I'm trying to say. Although—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You would bring in photographers or you—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, we did it ourselves—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You did it yourselves?

CARROLL F. WALES:  We did it all ourselves. Paul, of course, did the most of it and then he turned over the rest of it for Larry and for me. I had someone to help me. But I did not take Constantine with me because we needed him to carry on the work the next day because sometimes I'd come in a little later if I had been up half the night photographing. [00:36:02] His time was better used in keeping the work going than it was—Ernest did not help very much in the photography work because, again, he was field director, and he was not only at the Kariye and Hagia Sophia, but he was going around to the few other places that we might be working in, too.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And were Underwood and Hawkins both archeologists by training or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Paul was an art historian and not an archaeologist in that he done any digging, but certainly had been on the sites of archeological things and knew a tremendous amount about what was being done. Ernest was a—he was a craftsman as well as the deputy director. He was very good with—I think he had been doing some stonemason work in restoration of old buildings, stone buildings, so he knew a great deal about building materials, architecture more than anything else. However, having wonderful mind and knowing exactly what should be done as far as restoring mosaics, he was—he's one of the best. A lot of this work is done on the job. I mean by that; a lot of the experiences is gained by you actually doing the thing if you have a background or an interest in the type of work. For instance, I took—my conservation courses had very little to do with mosaic restoration, although I learned from the Worcester Museum and—[00:38:06]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Working on the Antioch—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Working on the Antioch mosaic, but I had not learned very much about that in college. But I had learned the basics of what one does and in restoration and the most important what the materials are, what they're made of, how to properly restore them, how to clean them. So that when you went to a different medium, you would be able to switch over with something in your mind of what you had studied. But then you would have to readapt, and you would have to learn and teach yourself as you went along on the new kind of work that you were doing. Of course when I arrived, I did very little work on mosaics. I did work in the Fethiye Camii on the Baptism, which was great fun, and very interesting, and quite good condition underneath layers and layers of plaster, and Constantine and I did that. But other than that, most of my time was spent working on the frescoes. Constantine taught me about Byzantine mosaics because that's what he had been working on and then I taught him about paintings when we started working on the frescoes. Of course, working on objects in a building is, I find, much more interesting than having an isolated object, a picture, a piece, a fragment, and so on, in a museum. In the building, you are working on a part of building and it—you have to know the atmospheric conditions there. Are they going to be proper or suitable after you finish restoring these things and they are—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Would you make tests on them? [00:40:08]

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, all sorts of tests of course—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Barometers and—

CARROLL F. WALES:  We did to make sure that—because the buildings weren't heated any of them. Of course, these had survived. The mosaics, they were not very much a problem, but with the paintings, there was more of a problem of they're now being exposed to the air after being covered for so long. When they were—I suppose when the churches were mosques, there would be rugs on the floor or there would be more people around. You would perhaps have a warmer atmosphere than you would if the building was vacant and not used. However, of course, many of them were open year-round, and that makes some difference.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, you learning on the job that means—you've talked earlier, in an earlier session about the caution that you were taught. I mean you proceeded very carefully in—

CARROLL F. WALES:  You did. Yeah.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did you call in anyone who had had more experience? You've mentioned Constantine with mosaics, but in frescoes as well, could you call upon people?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, yes. In the beginning, as I've said, George Stout was there. Even before that, Murray Pease came out who was restorer—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Murray Pease where was—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Murray Pease was the head of conservation at the Metropolitan Museum. He came out in the first few months that I was—had started working in 1952. At that time, also, we were sending back pigment samples to John Gettens at the Fogg Museum who was telling us what the composition was of the plaster that they were painted on, that they were—the kind of fresco, how, perhaps, the best way to remove the plaster that was—that had been—the whitewash they've put over them, the yellow paint that, again, had been put over the faces, hands, and feet, and so on. [00:42:14] And so, with their help and our own tests, we were able to proceed. And then later, as I say, George Stout came out, and we had to move certain areas of the fresco.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But by the time, you were several years into it, you were pretty confident and extremely experienced yourself.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, yes. Because we—I say yes because we were working in a—on a concentrated type of work in a smaller area. You knew what you were going to find all through that one chapel for instance. However, there's always this feeling in the back of your mind, I've done this successfully. Supposing the artist changed his mind on the next area that I'm going to work on, so you had to be careful of that. You also had to be careful of—if there was a bit of wax that had been dripped on by candles when they, perhaps, were used in the Byzantine church. Or in some cases, a few cases, we found that the—when there had been some water damage, some leakage because of earthquake breaks, a hole in the roof, or something. It had come in, and it had mixed with the kind of plaster that was on the wall and the whitewash, and had formed a very hard, almost impossible coating over, only in drips, in places fortunately, not large areas. Now, there were a few areas, very few areas where there would be these things, these drips, they would be very hard. [00:44:07] We could thin them down. We did not know how to successfully get all of that off without taking some of the paint underneath that was on there bonded so tightly. But we could thin them down working from the top so that they would become transparent, and one would hardly seem them or hardly notice them. Sometimes, it's best to leave. If you find that you run into something you cannot do, it's best to leave that—as long as it's not damaging anything—in hopes that in the future, there might be some way that—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, the very painted surface had gotten—become intermixed through in some cases?

CARROLL F. WALES:  In a few—very few places. These would be up in—the top part of the building, obviously, near the—in the domes or arches and so on.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well during your time in Istanbul, you did take time off as a fellow of the British School of Archeology and went to Nimrud in Iraq.


ROBERT F. BROWN:  How did that come about?

CARROLL F. WALES:  We worked—we worked roughly nine months of the year. We worked as late as we could into the fall but then it began to be quite cold, although it seldom snows. But you're using your hands, and you can't work with gloves, so you've got to—and you—we didn't want any kind of heating element there in a large room. It would not have helped very much anyway. So, we would stop work usually, sometimes in the middle of November, sometimes early December and then we'd start again roughly in April or as soon as we could. Those were the—we had some winter months. I came back to the States two different times to help catalog and work on photographs at Dumbarton Oaks. [00:46:04] One or two years, I did some traveling. One of the travels—one of the trips that I took, one of the first ones was to go to—back to Southern France and retrace some of the area through France that I had known when I was in the army in that and to visit friends again that I had known at that time.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Particularly back to—when you were at university or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, no, well, before that. When the world war—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —French people—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —French people, yes. All French people, yes. Then in 1955, Constantine and I made our first trip to Mount Athos. This was in March, in the very early spring before we went to work. We spent two weeks there. At that time, you could visit Mount Athos for any length of time almost.

[END OF TRACK wales92_4of9_cass_SideA_r.]

CARROLL F. WALES:  —so that those two weeks that we spent on Mount Athos were very, very worthwhile. We went either by walking or by the caïque. That's a small boat that will go from one monastery to another because nearly all the monasteries are on the shore or very close to the sore. They would need to have supplies brought in by boat because there were no roads at the time or that is the roads would be paths for a donkey, except for the one little settlement in the middle of the island up on the hill. I say island, it's really a peninsula, but since it's closed off from the mainland, you think of it as an island. There was a road from the dock, from the boat landing up to this little village. That's where you would leave your papers just to show that you had got permission from the—from an office of the Greek government and from the church itself and from the archeological institute. All of these things had to be—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Had to be in order.

CARROLL F. WALES:  —in order before you could—they would let you travel then you could go wherever you wanted. We saw—of the 20 monasteries that are there, I think we saw about 12 or so. We went down one side of the peninsula around end where the holy mountain is, Mount Athos is and then back on the other side. Of course, the contacts that we made there were very important later on when we went back to work. [00:02:00] Also, we knew a great deal about the life and perhaps mainly, the most important was to be able to see the treasures in the churches, in the treasure rooms, the Byzantine. This is the greatest stronghold or—I can't think of the word but—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Greatest group of—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Greatest group of Byzantine objects. Mosaics, frescoes, marble revetments, ecclesiastical robes, crosses, icons of course, a tremendous number of icons, and there we learned a great deal about icons and what had to be done. We were able to, from time to time, suggest to them how they could treat the icons a little better. That is some of them would be broken, damaged in some way. They felt they couldn't use them in the church, so they would take them into a [Greek word] which is the kind of attic or kind of large room, which would hold the icons. They couldn't obviously be destroyed at all, but they also were not used in the church.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well now when you—you went first though then more or less as tourists but—

CARROLL F. WALES:  We went as tourists—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —very well recommended tourists.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes, yes.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Would you—were the monks quite approachable? Could you discuss?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, you could. We could because, first of all, we were going in a time when there were very few tourists, very few other people there, so they could give us a little more time. Constantine being Greek Orthodox made all the difference in the world. I never would have been able to see or get around if I had been on—been alone. [00:04:04] The—for the most part, the monks were very friendly. The only thing that they did not like very often, and we always asked permission first, was having photographs taken of them, but that's understandable.


CARROLL F. WALES:  But in other cases, they would let us photograph in the church, and I did not have anything except my Leica would me but I did and was able to take a lot of very good photographs.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did you soon discover in this—even in this first trip that a number of them were concerned about the condition of their mosaics, and so?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, they were, indeed. They would say that, "Can you tell us a better way for us to keep these the icons clean?" Because the candle—the soot from the candles would, after a time, build up on these. In many cases what they would do thinking that—not knowing how to get any of these off but wanting to make them brighter, they would rub them with olive oil. Well that, of course, when you wet something that it usually wets the dust particles so that there is more of a reflection, but you're building up another surface that is going to attract more dust and dirt. So it's an endless—later on which I'll talk about the number of layers that we had to remove because of their treatment of them. They, fortunately, did not try to do anything stronger than that because they didn't have the knowledge or access to strong solvents. [00:06:00] And then for some reason and happily, they never thought of using soap and water. I guess—and then I suppose that had they even tried that, they would not have been very successful in doing much or doing much damage because there were so many layers of varnish on top. It was really a great, great experience to visit Mount Athos and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, you did—your first short visit was in 1955?


ROBERT F. BROWN:  And then you went back there a number of years?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, that was after I had come back to this country.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Yeah. Why don't you, before we get you back here, talk about the time you went to Iraq and how did this—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. In 1958—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —come about?

CARROLL F. WALES:  —the British School of Archeology was doing work on the Great Palace Mosaics. These were all floor mosaics, and of course, the Great Palace has been destroyed a long, long time ago. But the great—the remains of the floor, the excavations are not—they're very far from Hagia Sophia. They're down towards the sea with your back to Hagia Sophia, to be on the left, and the ground slopes down towards the sea a little. Although, you're not near the sea really, but it's—there—a number of chambers were the Great Palace Mosaics are. I knew David Oates who was the—David Talbot Oates who was one of the great names in Byzantine history—he's written very many books. [00:08:00] He's gone now—and his Russian wife Tamara who's also written a great deal, they were in charge of British school in Istanbul. David Oates who's now a professor at the University of London I believe. David Oates was a young Englishman who was a deputy director. So, David said to—we went often to see the progress that was being made on the floor mosaics. There were no glass in this case. They were all exactly

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Oh, excuse me. Now Talbot was—not Oates. Talbot was—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. Well, David Talbot Oates who was the director and who has written so much on Byzantine art.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Then there was David—

CARROLL F. WALES:  And then there was David Oates who was—I beg your pardon. I made a mistake here. David Talbot Rice.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Rice, exactly.

CARROLL F. WALES:  David Talbot Rice, yes, yes.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And Underwood. was the deputy, oh, yes, of course. There was no relation or connection there.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Yes, it's good—

CARROLL F. WALES:  The—so David said, "You are free most of the winter months." He said, "Early spring, we go to Nimrud to work." It's in northern Iraq in the Mosul section. You take an overnight train from Baghdad to get there. And the—Layard or one of the great archeologists of all time back in the 19th century was the first one to start doing Assyrian excavations in Nimrud. Max Mallowan had taken over this position and was now the head of the British School in Iraq. [00:10:09] David worked with him when he was not in Istanbul working so—David Oates. So, David said, "Do you suppose you could or would you like to come and work with us on Assyrian ivories? Last year, we uncovered one room that seemed to have a lot of ivories in it. We believe—and many of them just thrown in. We believe that it was—since some of the ivories had been covered with gold, we believe that once the gold was peeled off or stripped off, they just threw all of the rest of these just in one room and then it was just filled up." He said, "We started and then found there was just so much work to do that we would need some help. This year, we plan to open up that room and to, along with the rest of the archeological excavations, finish this room and work on the ivories more then we have before. And would you like—would be interested to come out and do this?" I said, "I would." I said, "It might a week or two of my work when I should be here." He said, "Well, I think we can arrange with Paul Underwood so you can do that." Well, it was all arranged so that I went there in 1958. Because I was not a member of the British School, they—Max Mallowan said. He said, "We're going to do a little unusual work in this case. We're going to make you a fellow of the British School of Archeology for the year of 1958, and that allows us to pay you." [00:12:05] So that all worked very well, and I—it was march and part of April that I was there. They don't work later. I stayed until the end of the time. They don't work later because it then gets quite hot. And the—we were in the middle of a farming area, and, of course, they had to buy the land, but the farmers didn't want too much more of the land taken because it would interfere with their crops, and so on. So—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  When you got there, was it all that they—that David Oates had said it would be? Was it—what had you expected and—

CARROLL F. WALES:  I didn't know.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —what did you see?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I didn't know exactly. He had tried to explain to me and shown me photographs and reports and so on, but I had no idea. I had no—and I don't think they had exactly until we've—I did not do the excavating or that is I did not do the turning over of all the earth, which had to be done first. They—we had to take away some of the earth that they had put back to protect it during the time they were not there. We—so, the Iraqis, they had some Iraqis who had worked for years and years for the British School and even their fathers had worked for the British school, a very good relationship. It was very interesting to see—to be on a British dig and to see how they worked with the people, and the people were completely devoted to them as far as I could see. The consul general was—when we arrived on the overnight train from Baghdad, the consul general met us at the train, took all of us to his house for a big breakfast, and then from there, we went to—we went out to the excavation. [00:14:23] In Baghdad where we stayed before and after the actual time at Nimrud, they have a house, the British School House, which is—it has a large central courtyard. And the rooms, there are two floors, a balcony above, which goes all the way around, and one at the lower part. It think there's Delacroix painting that I have seen that looks almost as though it had been taken. But it's what often happens in these hot country houses is that you have the whole central area completely enclosed but open to the sky and then the living quarters and working quarters are all around. The—back to Nimrud, we—there was a masonry, a small masonry building, long, which was—which housed the finds which were—they were—David Stronach was in charge of all the metalwork whenever any armor or any—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Stronach, how do you spell that?

CARROLL F. WALES:  S-T-R-O-N-A-C-H, a Scottish name. He's—he was—I forget where he is teaching now as a professor somewhere, I think, in this country. And—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  His job was to ensure— [00:16:01]

CARROLL F. WALES:  His job was to—any time that any metal was uncovered along with doing other work. We all fit it in. We all did a little photography. We all did various things to help along with our own work whenever something was needed—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Now, the conditions were utterly different Istanbul.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Completely different. Here—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Hot and dry.

CARROLL F. WALES:  —it was quite, quite warm and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And the British ran things differently, would you say?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, the conditions—since the conditions were so different. You were in the field really. We all lived in tents. I shared a tent with a Danish epigraphist and he—whenever the small, clay tablets were found, he and Barbara Parker—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Who was she?

CARROLL F. WALES:  She was—well she was not secretary, but she was very—she was one of the top people along with David that had been working there for a long time. She spoke a little of the Iraqi language and she—the people knew her or respected her a great deal. She later after Agatha—oh, I haven't mentioned Agatha. But when Max came out, he brought his wife Agatha Christie, the mystery writer. I'll talk more about her after a moment. But Barbara later was the second Mrs. Mallowan, Max's wife after Agatha had died. He had told me, he said that—because I went to visit him later on. He said that Agatha said that, "She hoped that I would get married again, and I think she would have been very happy that I chose Barbara." Because Barbara is so—assume. I'm saying this now myself—was—is a wonderful woman. [00:18:03] Of course when he did this, it was one of the things that I'm sure was—well, how the hell am I sure? I think maybe was in the back of his mind. But since at that time when Agatha had died, Max had been knighted, so he was Sir Max. When Barbara became his wife, she became Lady Mallowan, and that obviously pleased her a great deal, a wonderful lady.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And her job then was sort of administrative secretary?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, yes. She did all sorts of things. She saw that the kitchen was running properly. We had an Indian cook, and people in India I guess and the British like a lot of curry. Here, it was in a rather hot place, and yet somehow ,the curry just—it worked. I couldn't believe that it—that it would be—that you would want to have curry in a hot climate, but we did. We had some very, very good food. We had wonderful yogurt, which I liked, and it's called leben there, L-E-B-E-N. I think it's the same name in—this must be the Arabic name. The same name in Lebanon too. But I have a yogurt spoon, a silver spoon that large, odd shape for dishing label yogurt out of a dish. I remember Agatha gave me that at one time. The—now, I'm sort of going all around.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  I was going to ask, you mentioned Max Mallowan. What was he like? Had you met him?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, Max was a wonderful man. I had not met him before at all. He had not been to—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  He had been to—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —Istanbul. No, no, he hadn't. David Talbot Rice was in charge of that and—but Max had been working on Assyrian things. He's, of course, written a tremendous amount. [00:20:01] He wrote the book on Nimrud, and I'm very pleased and honored, too, that he asked me to write a chapter, which is in the back of the book on the cleaning of the ivories. He has written for The Cambridge Ancient History as a great scholar at Oxford. I went to see him—well, I—twice, I stayed with Max and Agatha later on in their house just outside of Oxford. And they—but Max was—I think he was German ancestry but had been in England and may even been born in England, I don't know. Mallowan is, I believe, a Scottish name, again, too. The—and everyone knows, I guess, that he had met Agatha after she had divorced, separated from Christie, although she had kept Agatha Christie. Christie was her first husband. She had kept Christie as an office name all the time. We would—now, I'll come back to her in a moment. We would—when we—when the top layers of the soil had been taken away from the room that we were going to work on, the ivories, then—then a tent was put over the area because the sun would be quite hot at midday. I don't remember it ever rained. I do remember we had to plague of locus once, and that was all very interesting I thought. But other than that, we had bright sunlight every single day. [00:22:00] So, a tent was put up so that we could work comfortably. Once the pieces of ivory were uncovered, there—and not all of them were found just in that one room. Some of the—a few of the very large pieces were found in other rooms. The workmen, once they came upon something like this, would immediately call us to come because they would isolate it, but without trying to lift it at all. We were to do that. The ivories were all wet because the soil was a kind of clay-like soil and damp. If the ivory was immediately uncovered and most of the mud was removed from it in a very short time because of the heat, it would just fall in pieces. There would be nothing but a pile for ivory dust or fragments.


CARROLL F. WALES:  Because the celluloid or whatever is in the—binding the ivory together as animal product, of course, would—had been destroyed over period of time because these go back to 900 BC at the time of the Assyrian empire. And the—so what we did when the top of the ivory was uncovered, we would then coat it with polyvinyl acetate, which is a synthetic resin, which would strengthen it, impregnate it, and keep it firm.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Even before you had attempted to clean it, you just cleared it? [00:24:02]

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, we had cleared—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Cleared the mud out.

CARROLL F. WALES:  We cleared the mud off, and if it was—seemed like a fairly solid piece of ivory, there were some that were quite thin, some that were thicker depending on what they had been used for. Many of them were semicircular, long pieces, quite thin, and we think they were backs of chairs, backs of furniture of a bed or something. Others were isolated, single finger—figures, which might have been on the tops of some of the chairs—finials I guess is the word—and or freestanding. I'm not quite certain how many of these things were used. But the—if we found an ivory that was fairly substantial or secure then working as quickly as we could, we would get as much of the dirt and mud off because we didn't—that would interfere with our thorough cleaning later on. We get as much as we could off but then we would cover it, and very often, we did have to cover it and have some mud showing through. But that was perfectly all right as long as we preserved, saved the ivory. Now then the ivory in many cases, somewhere there were these long semicircular things, chair parts. I would uncover one side. All the back was still covered with thick and supported by the mud. And then I would put—in this case because they were connected sections, I would put a layer of Japanese facing paper, which we used in—it's long-strength, wet—wet-strength, long-fiber paper with the PVA on it. [00:26:07] Once it is solidified, set, it is—it's firm. Nothing can move—nothing can move that. So, we would cover that and then when that was dry, set, we would come to the back of it and take off that. Then we could lift the whole thing, put it on a bed of cotton wool, as the British call it and transport it. We had—of course, all excavations like this. You have big, flat, wooden trays in which whatever finds you have go on there with labels as to where they were found, photographs, whatever. And then these would go then back into the—as into the storeroom where we were going to work. Now, in some—I remember one very large, that is I would say it was about, oh, eight inches by 10 something like that, a large Phoenix-like, or griffin-like animal. And that we took out. As we did some other smaller pieces, you had to—you were working furiously to get as much done as you could because there were just hundreds of these things showing up every day. We would leave them. We would coat the top part of them, but we would leave the rest on a big area of mud. Now, here again, we found that we couldn't just let it—that wasn't just the way to take them in. The mud had to have a band of muslin around it because it could dry and crack and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Fall off—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —the whole thing could damage the ivory. So then we got them back into the—[00:28:01]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well, were supplies thought ahead? I mean did Max Mallowan—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —hold the—he anticipated?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. David did, yes because they had done a little of it the year before. Now, David Oates is married to Joan Oates who has—I have her book here on Babylon. She's also a scholar. She's an American, a wonderful person. I stayed with them, too, on one of my trips traveling later on when David was then at Oxford and teaching at Oxford. And the—and so, they had had a little experience and knew—Joan knew a great deal about this. She's, sort of, taken over that part of it. When we finally did—so yes, they had all of these things in readiness knowing what we would have to have. And then we—our day would begin quite early in the morning. I think someone would wake us up, come to our tent, wake us up at seven in the morning with a big pitcher and a washbowl, a big pitcher of hot water and that's—and it was cold in the morning and very hot during the day as what happens in these areas.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Very dry.

CARROLL F. WALES:  And very dry.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Arid climate, right.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yeah, and so we—so we washed. We'd go in, have our breakfast and then the—we couldn't walk to the excavation because it was a little far away where we were, so there was a Jeep that would take us there. We would go out and spend all day and then come back—I mean all morning and then come back at noontime and then go out again in the—I think we had a—I think it was more than an hour as I remember because that would be the hottest part of the day. [00:30:19] I think we took about a two-hour siesta or something and then back we would go and work until late as we could. It was something like six, but it wasn't—now there were many times—I'm rather a little fuzzy about this, rather odd because we would have—oh, yes, no, no, not at all. No, we would come back then. It was probably closer around five. We would come back to have a high tea because the Indian cook would always bake some sort of a small cake. I remember that Joan and I, David's wife—Joan and I got a lot of criticism because we would say, "We would like our tea in a glass with some ice." Well, the British thought that was a terrible thing to do. Just incredible that anybody—it didn't matter how hot it was, but they could not think of having iced tea. So, they had their regular tea, and Joan and I would have our iced tea.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Then you'd go back out?

CARROLL F. WALES:  And then—no. Oh, then after the high tea, it would be close to—it would be another two hours at least, maybe a little longer before we would have dinner. So, we did not go back to the excavation, but what we did was Agatha, Joan, myself, and whoever else had time enough would all sit at long benches and work on the ivories to remove as—because there were literally hundreds of these. [00:32:01] You go to the Baghdad museum or you could, and you'd see the best of the things. You see at the end of the dig, at the end of the season, there would be what's called a division. There was Tariq who was the Iraqi museum official who was with us all the time, a very, very nice fellow and spoke English of course. And then other people from the Museum would come out at the end of the season, and they would decide what would be—the best of everything went to the Baghdad museum. Duplicates and a lot of other very good things would go to the excavation, which most of them would go to the British Museum. You can go in the British Museum. You could see them. Quite of a few of them, I go to the Metropolitan Museum, and I see things that I had worked on there. Any—it was all in the agreement that any institution that had supplied funds for the excavation would be allowed a certain number of artifacts that Baghdad would release. And so, the—so these were the scattered around. I think Cleveland has some. I don't remember the other places. Boston museum has some. Whoever had contributed would receive—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  To the project.

CARROLL F. WALES:  —to the project would receive some. But—and of course, there were times when Agatha did not join us, but she would go in a little room that she had, and you would hear her typewriter going. And this, of course, was when she was writing things like Murder in Mesopotamia and then she wrote one about Petra. [00:34:02] I don't know that she wrote that at the same time. The, um—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did you get—you got to know her quite well?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes, yeah, a wonderful, wonderful person. And I got to know her more when she—when I stopped with them because they always invited me to stay with them when I came through. And then I made one trip with my—I took my sister to Europe for the first trip, and we went up and had lunch with Max and Agatha because it's not far out of London up to Oxford. And the—and that was a great thrill for my sister too. And the—we—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well, what was her—was she greatly interested in archelogy, and I assume she was—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, yes.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —the whole idea of it—solving—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Agatha had always said she loved the desert. I always remember her saying that. There's something about the desert that appealed to her a great deal. Again, she was a person who was very quiet. In a group of people, she would say very little most of the time, but she listened. You knew that she was taking in. It's almost as though she could hear several conversations at the same time. I don't know that she could, but it would seem that way. And she—we found that we both were born on September 15th, and so we exchanged birthday cards. I kept up with some of the news, and she wanted to know what I was doing at various times. Then she—then later on, Max made a trip, a tour to give lectures at various places. He gave one at the Fogg Museum, and so I believe they stayed with Zepth Stewart, I think his name was. [00:36:13] He was the head of—oh, dear me—I don't remember which house now but anyone—anyway, he was a good friend of this. So, I went over and picked them up and brought them down to my house, and I lived in the south end. I invited George and Margaret Stout to have dinner with us, and so that was a very pleasant evening. Agatha never drank, never smoked, but she loved to eat. When she would—when she and Max arrived, I was warned that—by David and Joan. They said, "You're going to see lots of wonderful food" because the food was very good in Iraq I must say. "But you're going to see—" I remember what they brought. One of the things they brought was a huge stilton cheese, and that was great. We could get—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  How to keep that?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, they had refrigeration of course, and so they could, and it didn't last very long. The—we—we would have one day off during the month, during the week, and that day was always spent in going to see another dig, another excavation or a tell or something that was close by. So, we—that was really great.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Something that looked promising.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. We had a Jeep, and we could go on a trip. Oh, yes. Now, one thing I did leave out was after we had had the high tea, which was around five 5:30, I guess, we would then have—yes, we would then have a little time to get ready for supper to wash. [00:38:12] The donkeys would have to go over to the Euphrates to load up with big tins of water. There was a room, the shower room, and once a week or more, I guess if you insisted, you could take a full bath with water from the Euphrates. Otherwise, you could always get hot water from the kitchen and so on, and that was provided for us. There were Bedouin—there were Iraqis that were working there who would bring us water, night and morning or in noontime, I guess too, to the tent. The—then after we had had our supper at eight, or dinner at eight, we would go back and work for a couple of hours in the room of the find. You see when you're working on a dig, when you're there, you don't have very much time to yourself. There's no thought of doing any reading or anything like that. You—but the work is so exciting. You are busy every minute that you're not sleeping or eating, you're working. And then I think everyone was in bed by 10 [beeping]—oh, dear me.

[Audio Break.]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, you mentioned I think one time when you were on the Nimrud dig, you also went to Persia, and how did that come about? [00:40:03]

CARROLL F. WALES:  I thought—I had never been to Persepolis. I always wanted to, and I always wanted to go to Persia, too. And so, I thought, Well, it's just a little beyond Baghdad so why—and since my fare was going to be paid back and forth Istanbul to Baghdad, why don't I just extend my trip and I'll pay the difference and go on to Tehran, which I did. I stayed. I knew some consulate girls who were—had been in Istanbul who are now in Tehran. So, they got me a room in the hotel across from the embassy, and of course, the embassy was where all our—right across the street was all—where all their hostages were—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Much later, yeah.

CARROLL F. WALES:  —later were much—were taken. But I thoroughly enjoyed being there, and they—I remember one night, we all got in the car and drove somewhere. In Tehran, you can see in the background the mountains towards the north, and so we drove somewhere up in that area the foothills where there were Americans living, working. I don't really know if had anything to do with oil or not. What I didn't mention in the—it reminds me, I didn't mention in the Nimrud things that the oil people, the British oil companies that were working all around where we were at Nimrud were also very helpful and very interested in what—in the excavations. They would come by very often and see us. I don't remember any names or anything like that. But in that—so we went up there. It was all very interesting to see—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  In the mountainous area north of Tehran—

CARROLL F. WALES:  The mountainous area north of Tehran, right. And then from Tehran, I flew—the only way really to get there in the limited amount of time I had—I had allowed myself about a week. [00:42:10] I flew from Tehran down to Isfahan, and in Isfahan again I stayed with a young couple. They had met in the consulate in Istanbul and were married and now he was a consul general in Isfahan. So, I stayed with them.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And it was—I suppose your particular interest were the mosaics, the marvelous—



CARROLL F. WALES:  The Islamic mosques, oh, they're quite incredible. There is so much desert, not very much green that you see anywhere, trees and that sort of thing. And then you have as a sharp contrast these—green, of course, is a holy color for the Muslims and that is very prominent, green and blue and beautiful domes, beautiful facades in some of the mosques. And then from Isfahan—I stayed there for one or two nights, I don't remember exactly. From Isfahan, I flew down to Shiraz, and Shiraz has an incredible covered bazaar, and I saw many, many rugs. I didn't know very much about them at the time. I didn't buy any at the time. But from Shiraz I then took a car out to Persepolis, and I spent one time at Persepolis. I arrived there late afternoon in time enough to go to see Persepolis because the little—the small guesthouse at this—near the ruins is within walking distance of Persepolis. [00:44:01] So, I was fortunate enough to see Persepolis with a late—with the sun going down, which was very, very interesting. And then I got up in the next morning, and went back again, and spent part of the morning in Persepolis, and then came back—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  At Persepolis, were there many visitors at the time?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, I did not see many people at either time. Of course, again, this was—although it was warm there, it was not really the tourist season because this was in March and a little early for many people to do much traveling. So, there were not very many people around. It seems to me that evening when I arrived, there was hardly anybody there, and of course, I had no trouble at all getting a room in the hotel. I hadn't wired ahead, but the taxi man had told me that he knew there would be no problem getting a room in the guesthouse. So that was a great experience. Before I left, he took me on a little tour of other places close by in which I saw some of the tombs, which are cut out of the rock but up high. You would have to have a ladder or some means of getting up to those. In other words, they were not at ground level, these were all very interesting. I took quite a few slides, I remember, at the time. So then I came back to Shiraz and from there, I flew back to Tehran. And I was—once in a while, you have an experience that isn't quite as pleasant as it might have been. It always seems to be politics that—bureaucracy or something that is the reason for this. [00:46:04] I did not realize, and my fault in this case, that I was supposed to have an exit visa to leave. I couldn't get out of the country without it. Well, I had counted on that one last day to go again to the museum and to see more of Tehran.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Which you found to be an interesting city?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, a very interesting city, very, very much so. In fact, I found all three cities interesting—I suppose Isfahan because of the mosques and the tile decorations the most, Shiraz too. They all have a certain character. I had seen so many Muslim town cities in both Turkey, in Lebanon, Jordan, all through those areas that I felt somewhat at home in these places. I love to wake up in the morning and hear the [inaudible] in the tower. They just all sounded like some—

[END OF TRACK wales92_4of9_cass_SideB_r.]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  December—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —eight—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —Eight, 1992.

[Audio Break.]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  We were talking about you're coming back from your trip to Iran. You've mentioned being in Tehran, a memorable experience for both of pleasure, of sounds, and sights, but also I think you indicated that you had some difficulty of getting out of the country.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Yes. That was because I had not known or realized that I was supposed to have an exit visa, and you have to go around to more than one office to get it. It took some time because, of course, the time that I wanted to go to the office, they were closed. So, I had to wait, and it spoiled my day that I had hoped to spend in going back to the museum and to seeing a little more of the city. But finally, I did make it and then I got to the airport in time to take my flight back to Baghdad. From Baghdad, I—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You were still—this was at the end of your Nimrud?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, no, this was the beginning of it.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  The beginning of it?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, it was. I flew directly there because I had—the schedule was such that I was taking a week or two off from the work in Istanbul to do the work at Nimrud, but I did have time before that. I was still on winter leave or vacation so that is why I went first to Persia. So then, I came, and I flew to Baghdad and stayed at the Baghdad house of the British School of Archeology. [00:02:04] It was a day or two that we were there getting supplies, and it's a wonderful house, very typical I guess of what you—I may have repeated some of this.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You've mentioned this. It's built around a courtyard.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Built around a courtyard, yes, and it's two stories and a balcony, of course, are going all the way around and then the interior part was all open to the sky. Of course, it was quite warm even at that time as the spring of the year, but it was very warm there. So, after getting all our supplies, everything ready, meeting some of the members that I had not met, some of them that came from England, we took the overnight train from Baghdad up to Mosul. That's where the British consul and his wife met us and we—and took us to their house for breakfast, which was all very pleasant. And then from there, we drove out to the dig, the excavation, which was a short distance away, and we lived in tents.


CARROLL F. WALES:  I haven't said any of—we lived in—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Yeah, you've mentioned this. We've gone over the Nimrud experience, and so it was—you were out there for how long in Nimrud?

CARROLL F. WALES:  It was about five weeks, I think, altogether.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Very intense work you've described then.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Very—right. Very long days but such exciting work, interesting work and discoveries, of course, being made every day as the excavations went on, not only the foundations the city that was being excavated. [00:04:02] It already had been worked on and have been worked on for a long time. Layard did this—had started part of this back in the 19th century. It was quite—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Layard, how do you spell?

ROBERT F. BROWN:  L-A-Y-A-R-D. He was a great British archeologist in the late 19th century. And Professor Max Mallowan had taken over or was his successor.


ROBERT F. BROWN:  Now, was it—as you left Nimrud, is that when you went to Syria and then down Jordan?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, I did. I—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You went [inaudible] from—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, no, let me see now. Actually, when I left Nimrud, I had to go back to Istanbul to continue the—to start the summer's work. It was at a later time during the winter that I'd gone down to—that we had gone straight across Anatolia on the Taurus Express to stop at Antioch or Antalya as it's called and—I'm sorry Alanya. Antalya was on—is more to the east.


CARROLL F. WALES:  Alanya was a Turkish—is a Turkish word. I hope I'm right on that.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Mm-hmm [affirmative].

CARROLL F. WALES:  Anyway, it was the—it's the site of the ancient Antioch, and one of the large Byzantine mints or coins. We stayed just overnight there. We saw the walls in the city and then went—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You didn't happen to see where the mosaic that you'd cleaned at Worcester came from, were you?

ROBERT F. BROWN:  No, no. I don't know exactly where in that area those came from. They call them Antioch mosaics, but of course, they were ruins that were all around there. I'm not certain of where they came from. [00:06:03] Then we took a train South. I believe our next stop was Homs, which is a very interesting city, but we stopped there mainly to go out to Palmyra, which is a little distance to the east in the desert. Of course, the ruins there were quite extensive, and we stayed. We stayed, as I remember, in a very tiny hotel. I guess you would call it guest quarters or something. It was quite primitive. People were very friendly, and I had—we drank quantities of very hot, sweet tea and talked to the people. They were all very interested and very hospitable and so on. I remember that, I believe it was, the hotel owner was talking to us of how he thought things were a little too free, a little too open in the States. He said, "You even have dances," and he said, "I can't imagine anyone—" and this was his expression "—to play dance with my wife." [They laugh.] He said, "No one dances with my wife except myself or the close family." But we said, "No, that's—it's the custom has been," and so on. From Homes, we—it was in Holmes I believe—well, it really started back in Antioch soon after we had crossed the border. The—well, that would have been our first stop in Homs. They didn't return the passport, my passport. Constantine's passport was given back to him, and I wondered why they kept holding it. [00:08:04] When you arrive in these countries, you leave your passport at the hotel where you're staying, and they, evidently, give the information or the police come by or whatever and then you will pick it up when you were ready to leave, usually the next morning or whenever. But in this case, it didn't happen that way. I think we stayed two nights there because there things to see and walk around the citadel and so on. They said—finally, they brought it almost the last minute before we got on the bus, with no comment at all. And then we went from there south to—it must have been—it must have been Beirut, I suppose, was the next stop. We had no trouble at all, and we had a nice, nice hotel, better quarters because it's a larger city. Beirut was a beautiful city at the time, close to the waterfront. I remember one day, we took the bus north up to Tyre and Sidon and Byblos I mean not Sidon. And then we—one of our objectives was also to go to Baalbek. That means a toll—a it's called a dolmus taxi. It's a cooperative taxi. That is they usually wait until the taxi is filled up so that there are several people. Taxi is filled with people all going in the same direction, and of course, the total expenses divided up, so it's a cheaper way to travel. It's like a minibus I guess, except it's a taxi, you might get there a bit quicker. [00:10:02] You go—I remember there was snow in the mountains. We went to—there is—there are some mountains between Beirut and Baalbek. Baalbek, it was cold there because we could see some snow and the—a very impressive city and quite incredible, the enormous buildings and some of the columns that are standing. People—of course, we had to take pictures beside them because you look very, very small beside these—the tallest columns that I have ever seen, the ones that remain standing.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  In these places, would you try to contact archeologists or other professionals?

CARROLL F. WALES:  BROWN:  Well, at this time, being the winter, it was too cold. There was no one there—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  There was no one in—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No. We did in some other places. In Petra, we did for instance but not here. It was in the mountains. It was quite cold, and there was some snow in the ground. And, of course, there was no point in staying any longer than the time that we needed to see the ruins. And our taxi driver had—I believe he had waited or there was done ready to go back because there were really no places to stay right in there. And so then we went back to Beirut and then from there, we went down to—oh, we went to Damascus, which is close by. It was in Damascus when I felt that someone was following me, and I mentioned it to Constantine. We could look and he could turn around or go in another aisle and say, "Yes, somebody is following us." And so, this—we were in the grand bazaar. We had been to the Great Mosque, which is very impressive, although so much of the—so many of the mosaics had been damaged or destroyed over a period of time by neglect, I suppose, partly. [00:12:09] But that we were in the big, covered bazaar shopping for some very fine embroidered, gold-cloth material, which later we made into vests and neckties and so on. The—so, I said to Constantine, "I'm going to turn around and ask the man if he's following us." We decided that was the thing to do, so we did, and he seemed a little hesitant at first. He spoke English. He said, "Oh, yes, I am," and I said, "Do you mind telling me which one of us you are following?" He said, "I'm following you." That surprised me because Constantine speaking several languages, you would have thought that—and being obviously from somewhere in that area would have been the one they might have been looking for. But we didn't get much more information out of him. He said, "No, I can't tell you why or anything about it." But he said, "You won't be troubled at all," and in the—we went back to the hotel and he—in the morning, there he was downstairs waiting for us. And so, I said—I said to him—I said, "I'm going to the consulate today to find out why, what this is all about." He said, "You're perfectly free to do that," and so I did. They didn't—they couldn't give me much help or information. They said, "This happens. Unless you are being detained, questioned, or something, you have to appear in an office or something, we can't do anything about people being followed." [00:14:12] And so, I—so then I went—we went back and, oh, then—so then I turned and I told the man who's waiting outside. I said, "If you're going to be following us all the time that we're here—and we're going to be here for two or three days. There's a great deal to see. I wonder if you were—why you're not our guide? Because I noticed, you get on every bus that we get on, and I noticed the bus driver knows immediately who you are. He doesn't ask for a ticket and just nods and so on." He said, "All right," so we actually used him as a guide. I remember the next morning—I'm jumping ahead of it, but the next morning, I came down, and Constantine was playing tavla or backgammon with him. [Laughs.] So, we saw as much as we could in the city, in Damascus. It's quite a beautiful city and the—I think it was the second day and he said—of course, we saw the citadel there. There's one in almost every one of these towns. There's a built-up area usually near the center of the town, a walled area, which is probably the original town itself and then the town outgrew the small area. So, he said—he said to me on the last day. He said, "You say you're an archeologist and yet—and interested in art, and yet, you've never been to the museum." [00:16:04] I said, " You're not a very good spy." I said, "We went to the museum the first day before you were attached to us." I said, "Where were you then?" and he said, "Oh, yes, I was with the Doug Hamsgold party" until he left. And then when he left, they transferred me over to you." I still could get no further information out of him.  So, the day, the afternoon, or whenever it was we were to leave, he came with us, and he bought us some—the special baklava. It is probably the best baklava I have ever had because it is not quite as sweet as you find in Greece and Turkey, and it is loaded, loaded with pistachios, absolutely delicious. So, he said—I said, "I'm not certain that—" I said, "It's not been to pleasant to be followed all the time and not knowing what's going to happen the next hour." He said, "I told you that I didn't think there would be any trouble at all." He said, "I was just following orders," and he said, "I'm certain that in your country, sometimes people followed," and I said, "Yes, but I don't think quite as obvious." He said, "Well, I want to tell you that I apologize. That we believe there was no reason now for your being followed." He said, "I can't tell you any more than that." So that was—it all ended perfectly all right, except that it was a strange feeling to know that everywhere you went, somebody was watching every movement.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Why? Was there a bit of a strain upon you, too?

CARROLL F. WALES:  A slight a strain yes, but fortunately, Constantine—well, he spoke English very well. [00:18:00] Fortunately, Constantine could talk with him, and he did—he joined us, and he didn't eat dinner with us. I don't know when he left. I had no idea because he was—he saw us to our hotel room, and I don't think we went out in the evening very much there, but the first thing in the morning, he was always downstairs waiting for us, so I don't know when he slept or if someone took his place or what. But—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did you feel it was rather sinister? Were you—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Not at all, not, no, no. It was just—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You weren't a bit worried to speak out?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, no. I did want to know why or what, whether I looked like someone that they're looking for, whether it was because I had a passport that—I had to have a new passport in Istanbul, and it was a very low number. Since it was originated in the consulate in the embassy in Istanbul, whether that had anything to do with it, the fact that I came from Turkey and not directly from the States, I have no idea what it was all about. Then our next stop was—we went down to Jerusalem. We were on our way to Petra and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  In Jordan.

CARROLL F. WALES:  In Jordan, right, and we had taken the—we went to Amman in Jordan. We went out to Jerash, which—a very fine, very important Roman ruins.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And how would you—did you—were you—had you rented a car or were you—how were you getting—

CARROLL F. WALES:  I think there were buses from Jordan because that is such a tourist attraction.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And you were trying to see ancient sites?

CARROLL F. WALES:  And we were trying to see a lot of the ancient sites, especially where there might have been mosaics, or because they were particularly well known, and because I didn't know that I was ever going to back to that part of the world again. [00:20:06] And so, I tried to see as much as I could in those—in this countries. And there is always—although, no. I should say there was at that time, something of a problem of staying either in the Jewish areas, Jewish countries, or in the Muslim countries. So, we felt if we did a tour and stayed only in the Muslim countries, we could see a great deal and have no problems with the wrong stamps in our passport. We were in—so, in Amman, we took the—it's called the Hejaz Railway, which is the railway that is taken for the pilgrims that go to Medina into the Holy City to Mecca. We took that down to—from the capital of Jordan which is Amman, we went down to a little town Ma'an, M-A—'A-N. This was the last little outpost before you get to Petra. We had got some information about Petra—I might have mentioned, I might not have—from the Gish sisters because one of them, as I had said, when she came to—when they came to Istanbul had a bandage on her ankle. She said she sprained her ankle at Petra, and I told her that we were going there, so she gave us a few tips and so on. it was either Dorothy or Lillian. I don't remember which one. But we stayed in the—in again, it was like a guesthouse, not really a hotel but very pleasant. People are always accommodating in these countries it seemed to me. [00:22:03] And then the next day arranged for a—oh, the—oh, I didn't mention the train ride down, which I think was one of the breeziest ones I've ever had. You could actually see through the floor in places wide cracks and see the track underneath or the ground underneath.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Now, this was very antiquated system.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Very much so like a Toonerville Trolley in the way it bounced along. There was not a great deal to see at that time because it was a lot of desert country, but also because it was the spring, the early spring of the year, and before we were ready to go back to do our work in Istanbul. So that we had met a young lady who was traveling alone, American, and this was quite unusual, not expected at that time anyway in—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  In the Middle East.

CARROLL F. WALES:  In the Middle East. But she joined us because we talked to her, and she said, "Yes, I'd love to be with you because we're going to the same place," and so, we took the taxi to the outpost. It's a Jordan's army outpost right just before you enter Petra itself. Again, we stayed overnight there in the—in the barracks or the guest quarters that they have for—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And the young—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —tourists like ourselves.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —woman with you?

CARROLL F. WALES:  She was with us, and they were very polite and very—they said, "We will put the young lady on the top floor where the women's quarters are, and you will be down in the dormitory area where the men's quarters are," you know, but we'll have breakfast together and so on. [00:24:09] Of course, we had—we knew that we should bring some supplies with us. We did—dried fruit and bread and cheese and a bottle of wine. We had been used to doing these things because we, very often, would not have lunch. We would buy such things and have lunch on—at the excavations or wherever, parks or wherever we might be and then we'd have our dinner at night. We—so the next morning, we arranged for some—to do a guide to take us to Petra, which was a short distance. It might have been more than a mile. It didn't seem to be all that far because I was much younger then. But you—the landscape begins to change as you get closer and closer to Petra. There were more mountains. There are what seemed to be gravesites. There were buildings that were now empty, but they would have big, open doors, no carving, nothing on the outside of here. And then you come to what's called the Siq, S-I-Q. It is a very—it's narrow. In some places, you can touch the walls on either side with your hands. In other places, of course, it's wider than that and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  This was—

CARROLL F. WALES:  This is the entranceway.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —what—some ridge or something like—

CARROLL F. WALES:  It's as though you had a high mountain, but not a mountain that slopes out but rather—or rather like a high wall and a cut right through from top to bottom, right, because you look up, and you can see the sky. [00:26:13] In a few spaces, as we went along—it takes—I don't remember now exactly how long it took us to go through, but it was certainly 15, 20 minutes, maybe a half hour because you wander along the path. That—part of it was where—oh, there was a water source that came through there. They might have carved out some of that. I don't know. Or a lot of it, I think, or some of it was hand—humans had had to cut this out because it was a good entrance that could be protected easily from the outside world. And you—in some places, there would be a larger opening to a wider area, and you look up, and you see light because it was not dim inside but it was—you had no sunshine that could get in possibly but—then finally, then finally you come to the end of this—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Passage or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —passage. You look through, and here on either side of you are the tall walls that you are going through and then ahead of you, you see a—it must be three, four, five-story—I don't know how high—building, all carved—the façade of a building. That is the first thing that you see when you enter Petra. And it is—it's a reddish sandstone-like material that is there and the—they're all carved right from the rock itself, the stone. [00:28:13] There were no freestanding things that were not part of the original stone at one time. And then you—the odd thing is that you go inside this as in many of the others, and you will find nothing but straight, flat walls with no carving, no decorations, nothing at all. They were—that is where the people lived or as in this case, it was a temple. It's seen very often. When they give you brochures of Petra, you will see this building, and you will get a look at it as we did as we entered, which is all quite exciting. And the—so from there, we went along, and so it opened up, and you have a very large valley ringed around by mountains and low hills. There are an incredible number of buildings all with very elaborate carving of columns, of architectural decorations only on the outside of the buildings. The only people that we saw there in the beginning were Bedouins or local people with their goats. They would come in there because there were some areas where there was grass, although most of it was nothing but rock. [00:30:06] One place that's built up a little higher than some of the other areas inside this valley was one of the many places where Abraham was about to slay his son as—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Would you say it was the tradition?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That was the tradition, right, and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But this was all isolated, very isolated—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Very, very isolated —

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —sort of a—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —and it had been like a caravanserai. It had been a stopping place for caravans that would be coming from the east towards the Mediterranean, and they would be well protected and then, of course, while they were there. But even before that time, it—the Nepotians—not a great deal, I guess, is known about them or wasn't at that time but perhaps there is now—that had lived there because it would—it could take a great number of people. The area is so large and the—all the tombs are now empty, the ones that we saw. We did go to one section where a British archeologist—I can't remember her name—at the time, was doing some work. She invited us in for some tea I remember, but otherwise, there was no other activity of any kind. And only—and hardly any tourist besides ourselves because it was not really the tourist season. [00:32:00] But it was quite exciting. We, actually, found it all so interesting and almost other worldly that we—and there's quite a bit of walking. So, we only did a part of it one day—the weather was good—and we came back to our army dormitory and then went back the next day. We said, "We don't need a guide now because we know our way," and they were perfectly willing to let that happen. They didn't want us to get lost the first day and insisted that we have someone. So, we did come back on our own for the next day. So, we had two very fine days at Petra, and I certainly recommend it to anyone who wants to see a bit of the unusual—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  These were all things that Constantine had not seen either?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, he had not been to any part of this.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Then you go to Petra to Jerusalem there?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Then we went to Jerusalem.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What had you expected to see there as you—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, we had seen—we—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  In your travel, do you do—did you a lot of reading beforehand as [cross talk]?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yeah, yes of course. And the—again, we stayed only on the Muslim side, although—that is we did not go into any Israeli territory at all. We stayed in a little hotel just outside the city walls, but we went, of course, to the Holy Sepulchre, one of the first things that we did, and the—the—and walked around the city a great deal. We went to the Via Dolorosa. I saw the Dome of the Rock and the—in the temple area, and saw a great deal of Jerusalem. [00:34:09] Because there's only a small section of it at that time that was under the Israelis and nothing actually that we wanted to see was in the Israeli section. We climbed the Mount of Olives and then we could have a good view of Jerusalem from there. We went to Bethlehem, which is not that far away. I had always thought it was some distance reading the Bible, but that's really quite close by. And that—it was quite an experience seeing Jerusalem, quite very much so. And then we finally—we came back and we went to—we had to fly to Cairo because that was the end of our trip, Egypt was. We couldn't go over land or we—it would take too much time to go over land from there, and we'd have to go by train and by bus. So, we flew to Cairo, and it was the first time that either of us had been in Cairo. We liked the city very much, although I had been to Cairo three times and I—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What is it—what was it about Cairo, for example, that you particularly would have felt like—

CARROLL F. WALES:  It was—the mosques are very impressive. We were not—you find that in some Muslim countries—Cairo was one of them—where you don't and also in Syria—you don't go into the mosques quite as freely as you do in Turkey where there more tourist attractions and where you don't go in when the people are praying. [00:36:14] But—and they—the five times a day that the mosque is used for prayer, the guards outside say, "Will you please wait?" Otherwise, all during the day, you can go in quite freely. But that's not the case in some of the other Muslim countries where they are open at certain times for people, for non-Muslim people to go in but not quite the openness that you find, so. But we did manage to see the great mosque in Cairo. We went to the old city, to the Coptic area, and I remember buying a number of pieces of Coptic fragments, embroideries, weavings, and so on. They were quite plentiful because they had survived Egypt being so dry that they had not deteriorated that much. We, of course, went to see the pyramids and the—and we had our first ride on a camel. We climbed to the—I don't think they allow it now but at that time, you could. We climbed to the top of one of the pyramids and incredible view from the outside and quite a strenuous climb. And then—and we went to Memphis, which is a short distance away. In some of these caves or some of these—yes, they were. [00:38:07] They were really caves. They were tombs, I suppose. They—you would—in the—you would either have a torch or a light of some sort with you. In some instances that—where there it was fairly close, the interior was close to the outside, they would have large mirrors in which they would catch the light and direct it inside so that you could see the painted paintings, the decorations. It's very, very impressive.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You, in some of these cases, have a feeling of the west having looted and taken away a great deal or was there just so much that the general feeling was still preserved. The—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  Because—

CARROLL F. WALES:  It's—it's—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And was it a sensitive subject at any time?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I don't think it was quite so much in Egypt because it still is in Greece as far as the—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  The Parthenon.

CARROLL F. WALES:  —for the Parthenon the Elgin Marbles. I do remember somebody asking Constantine. This was at a party, and this lady and her husband had been to London, and they had been to see the marbles or the carvings in the British museum. And so, she said to Constantine. She said, "I don't know how they pronounce this is—is it Elgin or Elgin?" She said, "What did you call them?" and he said, "I call them Greek." [00:40:02] [They laugh.] That stopped the conversation for a moment. It was nothing unpleasant or anything, but everyone got out a good laugh out of it and—no, I don't think we felt it quite so much in Egypt. The archeological museum in—


CARROLL F. WALES:  —in Cairo is certainly one of the greatest museums in the world. It's quite incredible. It's—the time we were there, there seemed to be a little bit of housekeeping that needed to be done, but they have so—such great quantity of Egyptian remains of early Egypt. We saw King Tut room at that time before it—most of the things had traveled, been to the States after that. But we saw them first there, and it's very, very impressive. No, I didn't feel that there was anything that we had—that we had taken away. Perhaps I just didn't happen to talk to the right people, I don't know. Then we were—we had planned to go to Luxor, and so we took the train. The overnight train seemed to be the best way to get there. It's—even though the train was very fairly new or modern, still the sand and the fine dust seem to seep in everywhere. I remember that was something of a problem, but we slept all right and awoke the next morning in Thebes in Luxor. We were going further south, and so our room were equipped with mosquito nets because it was quite warm. [00:42:03] Cairo was quite warm, too, when we were there. And we—the next morning when we got up, the hotel where we're staying, there seemed to be a whole delegation of people that had arrived. They were all Egyptians as far as we could see, and we seem to be the only Americans. Again, of course, this was not the time when many tourists go to see this part of the world. But we were talking with the—or Constantine was. He was the more talkative one than I was, I guess, at the time—with some of them who spoke English. And they—Constantine said, "They wanted to know where were going, what we were going to do." He said, "I told them we wanted to see the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens." He said, "Do you know—?" and they said, "How are you going?" We said, "Well, we're not quite certain yet," but I said—he said, "Do you know they have invited us to go with them?" It is an Egyptian dental, dentist group, and they're on a tour here. They have invited us to go with them, which was wonderful because where the—we got in the bus with some of them. And all during the tour, they had—of course it was broken up into two or three groups, because there were, I don't know, two or three buses or busloads. All during the tour, they would have the guide who speak Egyptian, spoke Arabic to everyone. They would have him stop and say a few words in English, so we knew what we were seeing. [00:44:00] It was very, very pleasant, and we're very, very—a very good day that we had in seeing these things. We didn't go down to Aswan. We didn't think we had that much time. So, we came back and then from—we came back to Alexandria, and we found that we had—we're running out of money. We've flown in, and we decided we had to take a boat back. And so, we saw Alexandria, which it's interesting but a little disappointing, I thought. I somehow expected more but of course where the Great Library was, and it's just a field of ruins. There's absolutely nothing to see there at all.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Largely a 19th-century, colonial city?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, I would say so more—not as interesting as—oh, I do remember though when we were in Cairo, when we came back—oh, no, no. On our way down, of course, because we didn't come back to Cairo. There was an air raid, and we—all the lights had to be turned out. They knocked on the door and said to turn out the lights and so on. I guess it was only a test of something anyway. It was not—nothing very—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  There wasn't war?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, no, no. I don't know of any reason why this was. But—so we went to Greek shipping lines in Alexandria, and Constantine told them. He said, "Now, we are archeological students." Suddenly, we've become students. Well, we were more or less, but he said, "We told—" He said, "I told them that and talked to the Greek people in the office that we had to get back to Istanbul," and they said, "Well, we don't go there, but we got to Athens." [00:46:10] So, he said, "Well, that's all right." I said, "We have to go the cheapest possible way that we can because our money is running out," and so, it was all arranged. We went steerage. We went—which I had never done before—on top of the deck. It was a beautiful night. It was warm and, of course, filled with Greeks singing and dancing and so much food they were giving around to everyone. I remember it was a dollar and a half we paid for a deck chair and a blanket so that we could sleep on top of the deck, which I don't think any of us did very much because there seemed to be so much noise, children and animals and—but it was—it was a great experience. So, we flew in and took—went home by steerage. So then, we finally landed next morning in—

[END OF TRACK wales92_5of9_cass_SideA_r.]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  To recap some of the things you did during those years in—when you were steadily in the Near East, other colleagues other specialists? You've mentioned several already, whom you're about to know or who worked with you or who were also in the area? You mentioned a Larry Majeswki at one time—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —in Rome, and—what—how did you get to know him and so forth?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Larry, I met when he was a student at the Yale art school when I was working in the—as an apprentice and assistant to the chief conservator Andy Petryn in the Yale art gallery. And then Larry went to—Larry went to the—won the competition prize to be an intern at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 1953, Larry—we needed someone else to help Paul because we were taking on a few other work projects in other Byzantine churches, smaller—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Paul Underwood?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Paul Underwood who was the field director who couldn't spend as much time there. Now, Ernest was the field director, but Ernest also was a craftsman, and he paid very strict attention to what everybody was doing to make sure that they were doing the right thing. Although most of the boys were well trained, still there was not only the restoration work of the decorations, but also the architectural restoration of—to make certain that the roof was properly covered, that any loose brick work was taken care of, and any earthquake breaks were filled up, and so on. [00:02:06] Ernest was very busy, so he needed someone to help him. So, I suggested Larry and talked to Larry, wrote him, and he said yes, he would like very much to come out. So, in 1953, he came out for a part of the time to help—to be there when Paul wasn't there and also did a fair amount of work in both mosaics and frescoes, too, as well as riding around from one place to the other to where all of the work projects were going on. But those early years were very, very busy times. And—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  He helped Ernest Hawkins, too, you said—

CARROLL F. WALES:  And he helped, yes.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —on the structural?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes, on whatever needed to be done. In the meantime, Constantine and I were, for the most part, working on the frescoes, which was quite a large undertaking. The mosaics had been worked on for a long time in the Kariye Camii but not the frescoes, so—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was Majewski's training similar to yours or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  It does right. Larry is—was and still is quite a craftsman as well as being a very good painter. He had had a little training at Yale, although it's mostly in the art school, but he knew a great deal about materials. And then he had won the Metropolitan scholarship, and so he got even more training there. He was just the sort of person that would easily pick up and understand what problems might be—might turn up in any kind of a work situation. [00:04:11] During this time, during this later time, I remember that the—a mosaic was discovered in Hagia Sophia, which hadn't—well, it had been known about. The reason that—I think that it was Cyril Mango who had said that there was supposed to be a mosaic in a certain area—it might have been Ernest, I don't know—from earlier writings. And so, they made some tests up in the gallery and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  In the gallery of Hagia Sophia?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Of Hagia Sophia. They found that there were near, there were a lot of mosaic decorations in that area, but in one little bay, there was—it was discovered that there was something that was covered up because it had been a figure. So, that was a little suspicious because the decorations themselves were not always whitewashed or covered over. But when you'd find an area that was whitewashed or covered over then either the decorations had completely disappeared or there was a mosaic still existing underneath there, and probably a saint or a scene—mostly the saints.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  It was usually quite easy to tell where the Turks had covered over something?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes. There's no problem.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  They used a kind of characteristic yellow you said.

CARROLL F. WALES:  They put yellow paint over things because the—well, the yellow over some of the mosaics was similar to the gold of the mosaics. They didn't mind the mosaic showing through, but they—in Hagia Sophia, there were many large, domical vaults and domes, stoneware in the small chapels that had a gold background, but in the middle of the gold background was a gold cross. [00:06:13] The Turks, of course, could not allow that in the mosque, and so they would cover that. And the—at one point later because some of the whitewash didn't stick very well to the mosaic cubes, that would tend to flake off after a while with some moisture, condensation, and so on. But they found that they could paint large medallion designs, sort of abstract flower designs, geometric designs, and they could paint those over where the crosses were. It looked a lot better than trying to put yellow paint on alone or even to try to do any whitewash, and so—but then again, after a point—period of time, these become thinner, more transparent, and the image of a cross would begin to show underneath. So, that gave us a clue so to where some of these things were, and it was now a museum so—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But there was this one important case where you found a portrait.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Found the portrait of the Emperor Alexander who was a very short-term emperor. It was less than a year's time, as I remember, a few months or so, but this was all very exciting. I believe Kosko stopped helping me for a moment, and went and did a little work there, but then everything was under control. Larry, of course, was there all the time and Ernest. And so, that was uncovered but that—this—then it brings up the period of—I don't know if I mentioned anything about photography but—[00:08:00]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  To some degree, but you had mentioned—

CARROLL F. WALES:  To—yes, right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —that you took a lot of photographs.

CARROLL F. WALES:  We took a lot of photographs. Of course anything, any time that anything new such as this mosaic appeared, we had to take photographs before, during, and after, so we had a complete record of such things.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And all this was controlled from Georgetown from Dumbarton Oaks?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, right. Well, controlled by Paul Underwood who came out and by Ernest. You see, Ernest had been working there as the deputy director for Professor Whittemore before Paul arrived—before Whittemore died and then Paul Underwood took over. So, Ernest was, in many ways, more than just a deputy director. He knew the city, he knew the decorations, he knew masonry work, particularly the mosaic directions, stonework, and so on very, very thoroughly as a craftsman would know it. And so, that we had some—they had some very good people, very—specialists at this time. The work was winding down in the Kariye Camii. There were a few other things that had to be done in other places. But most of our work was getting done, the mosaics and the frescoes by the time that 1959 came around—and I knew that by the—near the end of that year, I would probably leaving—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Because there were no other—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right, because there weren't—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —other art?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right. We did—in the spring of that year, January and February or in the winter really, Paul Underwood had gone to Mount Sinai in Egypt where there is a very large monastery and closure that was built on the foot of Mount Sinai itself. [00:10:17] In the enclosure is Moses's Well and the Burning Bush. It's a very holy place. It has been for both—for the Muslims, Jews, and Christians. There is a—perhaps the only place where side by side there is a Byzantine church, a Christian church, and a mosque. Of course, the Bedouins who have worked for centuries taking care of the running the monastery and the enclosure are doing a great deal of the work. They were the cooks, there were—they kept things clean. There was a small garden because they—this area where Moses's Well was, was like a very small oasis. There was a water supply here, and you found these in different wadis or different valleys as nearby. There was the Forty Martyrs and so on. Wherever there was a group of—church or a group of houses in the early times, there would have been a source of water because this is all mountainous desert. We—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You went there then for the first time?

CARROLL F. WALES:  So, Paul—well, first of all, Paul had gone out because this is—there is a 6th century, a Justinian mosaic in the apse of the church. [00:12:01] It is the figure of Christ in the center. It's the Metamorphosis and the tall figure of Christ in the center. It's in the—it's in the apse of the church. Paul had wanted to make studies of this, so he had the scaffold built, and he got up to examine the mosaic, which of course had never been cleaned for centuries, probably not since it had been first put in. And much to his horror, he found that in many places where he touched the wall, the wall would give a little. He knew it was a masonry wall from the outside, and he realized that the mosaics and the setting bed were separated, had separated in a certain area nearly all the way through the figure of Christ and a little to either side of it.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Separated from that—from the masonry wall?

CARROLL F. WALES:  From the masonry and on the back where the moisture had got in. There didn't seem to have been any earthquake breaks at that area, but of course, the—it could have been any slight movements that would have done that. But there was definitely a separation. And so, he came back, reported all of this to Washington and to Dumbarton Oaks and said that something had to be done or he was afraid that then sometime in the future, a good part of the mosaic would collapse. It was now held up because it was in a curved surface, and it was just like a keystone in an arch I suppose. It was being held together. [00:14:00] But the weight of the mosaic cubes and the plaster in back would cause it to—and more of it, more could come loose. So, it was decided that Constantine and I would go out, before we started to go out to Mount Sinai to restore this.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Now didn't the Byzantine Institute have some concession or right to—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, they got the—they—of course, Paul Underwood told while it was under the Egyptian control, it was part of Egypt at that time, the Sinai Peninsula was. But the Greek Orthodox under the patriarch were the—the people who ran the monastery. There were only Greek Orthodox monks there. It was like the Vatican in a way. It's its own little enclave and yet while the Vatican is part of Italy, this was part of Egypt. But the Egyptians realized that it has—that it was a holy place for many people. As I said, that there was a mosque there and a short distance away just before you come to the monastery, there was very important tomb of Harun or Aaron who was the brother of Moses. Moses is considered by them—Musa is considered by them to be a holy figure in the New Testament. So, this had great interest and concern for all three.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, the institute then went to the Orthodox church—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, to get—well, we—Paul informed them because he had to get permission from the Egyptians and also form the Greek Orthodox, the patriarchy in Cairo to go out there to make the studies. [00:16:02] And so then when he came back and told them that this was in need of repair as soon as possible, they agreed. It was arranged that Constantine and I would go out, we've—so we flew down. In the meantime, we had a scaffolding constructed for us so that when we arrive, we'd have everything ready as much as possible to go to work. And the—there was no electricity, so we had to use the pressure lamps. We did find that—I remember when I took some photographs—I wanted to take some photographs—I remember that in the buildings in some of the pyramids in Egypt where they had used mirrors to reflect light in. There was a window right nearby at the dome, the base of the apse. The base of where the decorations were above the marble revetments, there was a window right there. So, I said to Constantine, "Do you suppose if you stand in the window and reflect the light in a certain area—?" We tried it, and we found that we had quite a bit of light in that section. It was—they were large, two or three-feet or more square that you could have a good light on. So, I decided to try and to see if I could photograph it. Of course, I did, and they turned out very well. They were quite stark because all around them is completely black and then you had this mosaic standing out, but they did—they did turn out, the color photographs much better than I expected. [00:18:07] But we—so we flew to Cairo, and we're told that we should get lots of supplies, food supplies. The monastery would give us certain things, but they did not—they were not equipped for any guest at that time of the year. And not for any time of the year mainly because you had bring a lot of your own food with you because you were quite a distance away from any kind of civilization. There were small buildings or outposts of the oil people who were working in that area. We went to Cairo, again, and in January, Cairo was quite warm. But they told us that we would need heavier clothes, much heavier clothes because we were going to a much higher elevation. And it—while it did not snow there it was very, very cold, and that was—it was true that it was. So, we—the—the taxi driver that the patriarchate used because they made trips there every so often for feast days to take certain supplies out, and they suggested that we buy long underwear, which we did in Cairo. We—when we got to the monastery, we found that for some reason, one set of the underwear, of the long underwear was left in the hotel. So, we just tossed a coin and said—to decide which one would wear the tops and which one would wear the bottoms. [00:20:05] On the next trip out when Pericles [ph] came again, he brought the other set for us, but fortunately, we did have sweaters and—but it was—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  There were pretty rugged conditions?

CARROLL F. WALES:  It was rugged conditions, no doubt about it.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did you find the material—the mosaics to be very exciting?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes it's an incredible mosaic, and it's in the National Geographic of course, the picture of it and now that it's been cleaned. The we—we had talked about the situation, tried to get as much information from Paul as we could, and so we knew to a certain extent what supplies we should take with us. Because once we got there—it's a—it's a day and a half's trip to get there, and you're very, very by the time you got—arrived there. We—from Cairo, we drove to Suez and spent the night, and in Suez, I picked up even more supplies. That is we took a crate of oranges. We took bread, cheese, a lot of tinned things such as ham, shrimp, sardines, bananas of course. I forget now all the things we had. We took some coffee, but they had coffee at the monastery. We—and in the middle of the night or something like two or three o'clock, we went to bed early that night in Suez. The middle of the night, they—Pericles woke us up and he said, "This is the time we can cross by boat ferry." It's one of these things with a string across and a kind of motor that pulls you, and it's an open thing. [00:22:05] It's not covered at all, but they will—they can take one or two cars. So, that is the time you can cross the Suez, the canal because there's no ships going through. While it was dark, we crossed the Suez and then we started south and went for some distance where there were roads where the oil companies had built, I guess, most of the roads. And then we started to go inland and as—after a very short distance, you'll find that there are no roads. There are what they call tracks. There are—in certain areas, there were electric light polls because of the oil—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Exploration—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —exploration things would need—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —being—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, they would need some of that.


CARROLL F. WALES:  But even—then after that, there were—then they disappeared. We didn't see those at all. We—but Pericles had done this trip several times. The—by the way, the taxi trip there, which would include your going and coming back providing you only stayed one night. If you stayed longer than that then Pericles would charge you more because he will be missing another fare. But he had to spend the night. He couldn't possibly come back because it was an eight or 10-hour trip to get there. As I remember, it was $125 for the trip down and the trip back. There were no buses. Those—this was the only way that you could go. [00:24:02] He was not the only taxi driver, but the monastery recommended him the most. We slowly began to go higher, and we wondered how Pericles would know where he was going. It seemed to us to be just a flat plain, here and there a small hill or a more rocky place than others. Sometimes, we followed along beside a riverbed, a dried riverbed, and he knew. He was always looking for certain mountains or certain parts of a landscape that he knew where the road should be, but it was—it's a grueling trip to do. It began to get cooler all the time as we got closer. There—there's about three-quarters of the way, there is a small oasis, and there is a good water supply there and of date palms. There was a monk there who had a small chapel, and so we stopped and I forget. I think he gave us some dates or figs or something like that and some hot coffee or tea, and we rested a bit there and then continued on, and finally got to the monastery. We had a room not very far from the kitchen. That didn't mean it was any warmer at all, but we found the scaffold adequate, but a little shakier than we would have liked, but they had all the wood. Wood is very scarce in that area. They did the best job they could, and it was quite high up where the—where we were going to work. [00:26:02] It was a bit scary when we saw the area but we had brought the—more or less all the right equipment and tools that we needed and we—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  How did you proceed? Did you—

CARROLL F. WALES:  We—it had to have been—Paul had taken photographs when he was there, and it had been photographed many times in its—in that condition. We'd found that at one point—I'm not certain now. I'm sure it's in the record—that someone had realized that there are few areas of these areas were loose. And so, what they had done was to drill into the masonry and put bits of copper, which would be eight to 10 inches long spreading out from this center. It would form a cross or maybe with the more than the four pieces. But that would spread out to help hold the section in place. This, of course, was rather unsightly but at least it was—it had—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  To a degree certainly—

CARROLL F. WALES:  To a degree it had—yes, it had helped and of—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So your problem was how to get—push the mosaic back to the matrix?

CARROLL F. WALES:  As much as we could but only to a certain degree. You couldn't push one section without another, and so what we felt we had to do was to pour some kind of a quick-setting mixture in back that would reattach to the plaster and would—and to the masonry. And so, the—I don't have the formula at hand now, but it was a casein glue mixture that we used. We would—we made a kind of map of the whole area, and we took out mosaic cubes where we felt it was necessary. [00:28:10] Now, we had a piece of molding clay, and we would—as we take the cubes out, we would set them in that as a dentist does, I believe, when we he was making teeth. And we would—so that we could put these back exactly the way we took them out. They were not—they were not covered in any way from the top, so we could see. We knew exactly if it was a part of a little design, a part of the robe for instance of the figure of Christ. It, obviously, must—we—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You took an impression on this clay and then set them in the clay?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right. Yes, yes, exactly. And then we—using a funnel and a small pitcher or sometimes we used a syringe type of thing. We would pour the mixture in slowly, and we were pleased when we would find a few feet or so below moisture beginning to seep through. So, we knew that we were beginning to fill an area in back of these.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You were driving out moisture.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Driving out the moisture, and we were also providing another wall in between the two things, which we believed would hold the setting bed of the mosaic cubes and reattach it to the wall. Of course as we did this, we would gently push back some of this and put certain props up to hold it, but not to give it any extreme pressure. [00:30:01] We didn't dare to do that. It would have been good if it had been a small area, and we could've pressed the whole thing right back but that couldn't happen. What I have done I have told Professor Weitzmann, and I told Paul, and I repeatedly have mentioned it to anybody that was concerned at that time that what we did—we did this. Fifty-eight different holes were opened as I remember, and made a diagram as well as taking a photograph of this, but I made a diagram of each place that we opened and filled again. And I have said repeatedly, and I still am concerned that it should be looked at and inspected again to see if any part has come—separated a little more or other parts of the mosaic have been separated. I'm glad that I'm going on record saying this again because I have not seen it mentioned in print anywhere, but I have written it to people. Because this is a Justinian, a 6th century mosaic in very good condition except for its attachment to the wall, which I hope will always be the way we left it, but I don't know. We did not—we found that in the time that we were there when we couldn't be on the scaffold when we wanted things to be set before we went on again some things that we pushed back with the props. [00:32:08] We would—we went to some of the smaller monasteries that—there was a chapel, I should say, because there were usually only one or two monk sometimes not even one monk. They were just chapel in hillside at various scared places at Elijah's cave, which is not—it was halfway up Mount Sinai, at the little chapel of Saint Cosmas and Damian, two very important saints in the Greek religion. We brought back a number of icons that needed some attention. We did much more of this later on when I went back with the expedition to do because we didn't have the time to do all of this. But at least we knew, Paul had mentioned this and the Greeks were quite in favor of—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  How long were you there on this first—

CARROLL F. WALES:  We were there—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You arrived about January, you say?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, it was two to three weeks as I remember that we were there. And the—our food was running out and Pericles was not making any more trips. The—I forget if there was a telephone. I believe there was telephone connection to the monastery, but I'm not certain. I don't know, but I think we had told him about the time that he should come back for us. The—but as I say, our food was getting a bit low, and suddenly, Nikephoros, who was the monk who was really in charge of looking after our needs or anything that the monastery could do to help, he would be the go-between. [00:34:13] Suddenly, certain food was beginning to appear, and he said, "Would you like some of this or some of that?" We—much to our surprise, he produced it, and we wondered where it could possibly have come from. So, finally, Constantine found out the secret. It was— Nikephoros had quite a cache, quite a stock of food that DeMille had left when they were making the Ten Commandments. They were all in these—it was almost like army supplies. They were all in the green sort of tins—I saw a few of them—at least the ones that I saw. But here were tinned peaches, tinned ham. I forget all of the things, but they—and spaghetti, lots of such things.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, this had varied your and allowed you to get on?

CARROLL F. WALES:  This helped us. They made bread at the monastery, so that was a great help, and they always seemed to have tea and coffee. Of course, there was no milk. There was nothing like that. But we did—we managed to survive on the DeMille's food and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But on that spring though, you were having to leave. You were—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. Then of course we—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Explain.

CARROLL F. WALES:  When this was done, we came back to Istanbul, and we did the work in the spring. During the spring, I—Bob Bradley back here knew that the work was being finished. Well, Bob—I don't know if I had mentioned Bob and his mother came to see us in Istanbul. [00:36:04] Perhaps I did. I don't know.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  No, you hadn't

CARROLL F. WALES:  But Evan had said that—he said, "I'm going out to see them" and before they finished, Evan turner said this. He said, "I believe Bob would like to take his mother on another trip, and they're thinking of going to Turkey. They have never been there." They did come out, and it was—we're very pleased to see them, but this was much earlier when we were doing the work in the Kariye Camii. The—but Bob knew that the work was winding in Istanbul, and he said that a firm in Boston called Oliver Brothers who was been here since the 1880s and [18]90s in the city and before that in New York. It was the family concern, but that the only younger member did not want to continue, and the brothers were thinking of selling it and that because Bob knew them so well, he had first chance at getting it. He thought that it might be wise. He thought that might be a possibility because Constantine had—he had met him of course. Constantine had said he would like to come to the States too.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Were you in—you were anxious to return or were you—

CARROLL F. WALES:  And well, I was not that anxious.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Or you didn't mind.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, because at the same time, the Fogg Museum had written to me. Betty Jones and John Coolidge had said that there was a position for me at the Fogg Museum if I would like to return there. So, Bob had said, "Take that, and if you—because Oliver Brothers is not quite ready to sell yet but—" [00:38:00]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  There was no reason, no way you could have stayed on and—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Probably not. I felt that because I had been to Nimrud and because the British School were doing work in various places, I and Constantine could have easily gone to Cyprus to work. In fact, that's what he did while he was waiting to get permission to come to the States. And there were other people, although I can't think now just what other opportunities there were. But there seemed to be smaller jobs in the city itself, but Dumbarton Oaks had to raise money for these projects, and they had used up a great deal. I suppose that actually they—since they didn't have the extra money. They felt that some of the smaller projects were not that important to hire someone full time to be there. So, all in all, it was—although, I loved working there, and it was—all the work was so exciting, but with the two opportunities waiting for me back in the United States. When Dick Buck heard that I was coming back, he also said that he needed someone at Oberlin, and I told him. I wrote to him and said that I had accepted the job at the—and was thinking of the job at the Fogg, and he said, "Well, probably that's your best bet but," he said, "if you'd like to come out and see," which I did when I got back.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You got back when, in the middle of—

CARROLL F. WALES:  I got back at the end—of 1959.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And you went then into Oberlin to look at that?

CARROLL F. WALES:  And I went out—even before I started to work, I did go out to see. They had invited me out to see Oberlin.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was that an important—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Very much so.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —place?

CARROLL F. WALES:  And it is—it is now. [00:40:00] It's one of the central places where many small museums get their work done. There are a number of places that were—that a small museum cannot afford to have a full-time conservation department, and so they used one central area. I think Williamstown in Massachusetts is another one. So, there would have been—it would have been a very, very good job of course—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was Bob, someone you had worked with before?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. He was the one who had sent me to Worcester to work on the Antioch mosaic, and also had sent me to Wesleyan to work on that job, and, um—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You were quite compatible, congenial?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes, very, very, very much so. But, of course, the Fogg Museum was my first choice because I had enjoyed my years there very much. And I knew it would be good working with Betty, and I knew Jack Washeba of course. He had come to Istanbul when we were there. Jack Washeba was sort of Betty's assistant in some ways and then of course John Gettens. George Stout of course was then the director at the Gardner Museum. But there were all of these connections that I have found extremely active.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, you just settled in—

CARROLL F. WALES:  So, I did settle in there, and I worked there just about a year and a half, I believe, when the younger of the Oliver brothers died suddenly. Fred Oliver, the older one said, "Well, I am not—I'd like to finish off the things that I have, but I would like to sell the business." So, Bob said that he would buy it, and we had a long discussion, and I decided yes. [00:42:00] Bob said, "It is a very good position. It's good to be your own boss," and so on, and so I bought the Oliver Brothers with Bob. Bob said when Constantine comes over, which we had all been working on, and through Bob and John Nichols Brown we got him here within a year or two. I think it—well, I think it's 1960 another year when—he was in Cypress when we got—finally got him a green card, a visa, a specialist visa. Because the work in the—in Providence restoring the paintings, the wall paintings, and they couldn't see to find anyone who had that much experience, and so Constantine came over. He worked for three years in Providence on a Dowler Mansion and some other work of various other things that he did. He would come up every weekend and we would—because by that time, I had resigned from the Fogg and had—taking over Oliver Brothers at 30 Ipswich Street. And—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  The old Fenway Studios?

CARROLL F. WALES:  The old Fenway Studios.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Is that where they've been for quite a while?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. In fact, Oliver Brothers were the only occupants of the two. They had two studios, part of the basement and then a full studio upstairs. They had moved in as some of the first tenants back in the—in 1905 or [190]6. I forget exactly, but it was quite early. So they had always been at that location. And so, we just took over from them, kept the same—the two—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  This was about 1961 then you and Bob Bradley? [00:44:03]

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. It was somewhere—it was—yes, it must have been late '60, somewhere in that area. They—it, of course, was a very good business, which we never had to—we never had to advertise. The card file alone would be quite impressive with all the people that have been—had their paintings restored by them. Vose, we had done work for Vose in the beginning for quite some time and the—it was quite a challenge. As I say, Constantine would come up weekends when he wasn't working in Providence and helped me in the two days. Also, he would begin to get a little knowledge of paintings on canvas because he had worked on almost every other support and medium, but canvas painting was—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, how did you finally return to this work? Did you—or did you miss greatly the mosaic and fresco?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I missed some of the traveling, but as I will say later, we—well actually, to backtrack just a little, but I won't go into any detail I guess now. The first year or that the—that year that I was at the Fogg, Professor Weitzmann at Princeton had talked with John Coolidge and said, "I understand that Carroll has a month's leave. Can you possibly give him a month's leave without pay so that we can have him for two months at Mount Sinai?" [00:46:00] So, it began then and from then on, for the next number of years, we were working either at Mount Athos or at—in Spain or in the—and I did of course go to Mount Sinai. So that—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Very good—

CARROLL F. WALES:  So, it was very good. I just reversed roles. I was now back in this country as a base and going back to Europe again every summer or except for the Sinai trip, Constantine went with me on all the others. The—we—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So at Sinai, what you eventually came to do is to restore icons?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, I went alone to Mount Sinai to work on icons on the—it was the Princeton Michigan where George Forsyth was professor at Ann Arbor. And Weitzmann from—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Princeton—

[END OF TRACK wales92_5of9_cass_SideB_r.]


ROBERT F. BROWN:  Things changed. There were—Betty Jones was the senior conservator—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —at the Fogg.

CARROLL F. WALES:  —she was the chief conservator—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And John Washeba was—

CARROLL F. WALES:  He worked—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —a paper specialist.

CARROLL F. WALES:  He was a paper specialist, right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Yeah, and did you fit right in fairly easily?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. I had to—I got my training working on paintings, and of course then had not worked on paintings that whole decade, so I had to go back. I, not only had to go back to that, but I had to learn or relearn and catch up on new ways of doing things. The new synthetic varnishes were beginning to appear, and also to see the procedure, the way the Fogg did things. We—I had to learn a little more about inspecting paintings. We made periodically—once or twice a year, a trip would be made to the medical school, to the business school because the Fogg took care of all of these the paintings—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  All the Harvard—

CARROLL F. WALES:  All the Harvard-owned—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —collections?

CARROLL F. WALES:  —collections as well as the museum itself. And these—there were a lot of new things. I had been used to working more or less for myself by my own boss more to a certain extent. Now, of course, I had to fit into a group where we all work together, and it was a fairly small area at the time. We had one large room for restoration of paintings. [00:02:03] Now, of course they've done over the whole conservation departments. It's much larger and much better. But at that time, there was an even smaller room for paper restoration and then John Gettens and—was in another section close by where he did pigment analysis, and some of the objects work were down there. That is any wooden repairs or any metal repairs, bronzes, whatever that had to be done were done in that section.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well, did Gettens function in part as the chemist? Did he—

CARROLL F. WALES:  He was the chemist, right, and would tell us the properties of the solvents, the materials that we're using and make tests if we were a little uncertain as to medium, and so on. Although, of course, Betty was—had been working there for some time and very, very knowledgeable and—but still you sometimes needed cooperation on certain things. Certainly if it was going to be put in a report, you had to have some proof of these things.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, I take it—for the long run, you prefer not to work in tandem with a team of people, and so therefore, when the opportunity came to purchase with Bob Bradley the Oliver Brothers firm, you were happy that you went along?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. I think so because I—the only work that I had done was pretty much on my own.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Yeah, even in Istanbul, you were the boss. I mean you [cross talk] to work with—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. That's right. But being the boss always meant that you liked to—you wanted to talk to other people. [00:04:06] Ernest was so knowledgeable in working in buildings because—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Ernest Hawkins.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Ernest Hawkins. Because, again, you're not working on an isolated piece of work that you can move around, take in your hands, and so on. You're working at something that's part of a building. It's a whole new way of looking at things, and the support and back of all this is as important to make sure that that is strong. So you—but still you could—you were your own boss to a great extent. You could do as much or as little or change from one section to another at your will, as you felt the inspiration for or the need for working in a certain area more than another and you had to make these decisions. And of course, it was very, very exciting and always something new. So, I suppose, yes. And, of course, I never—although it was wonderful working at the Fogg, I suppose that I never have been sorry that I didn't go into business for myself.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Mm-hmm [affirmative]. Mm-hmm [affirmative]. Now when you first moved into Oliver Brothers, Fred Oliver would apparently still come around now?


ROBERT F. BROWN:  What was he like?

CARROLL F. WALES:  He had a number of paintings that he had been working on for some time. He would take the train down from Rockport where he and his wife lived and work on these during the days that he would like to finish these off. Of course, we had a lot of space over there. There was no problem with that, and I learned a great deal from him. [00:06:01] Some of the earlier techniques were fine except for one thing. They were using—they had always used the natural resins, dammar, copal, and so on, which are not the best kind of varnish. Seldom are they used today, I believe, because they become more insoluble as they age. It's a cross-linking, they call it, of the molecules of the varnish. They will—they were darkened, and it's what is called the Old Master glow. It's usually a varnish that has been exposed to light. It will darken and in some cases, the—some of these varnishes if they were kept in the dark would darken even more. They were not—they were hard to remove. It took stronger solvents, and that's not always a good thing too. So, we were—we were looking for newer and better materials, the synthetic resins, which are much clearer, will that way, easier to remove with milder solvents. Of course, the Fogg was always experimenting as Bob was, too, in finding new ways, better ways of doing restoration work. It was no longer a time as in the past when private restorers would keep all their secrets to themselves. But now, you wanted to tell other people if you had made a discovery of something that you felt was safer and better and is the—and the—and many of the other—most of the other restorers would feel the same. [00:08:00]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  They did.

CARROLL F. WALES:  There was an IIC, a—


CARROLL F. WALES:  —the Institute of International Restoration that had been established and then there was an American chapter of it. We would have meetings in various cities from time to time and give talks. I did it three different times, once in Los Angeles, once in Chicago, and once at the Fogg on—the one at the Fogg was on work that were done in Istanbul and the one in—I hadn't mentioned that. The one in Chicago was on supports because there was still—there was—there always has been, I should say, some question about putting a canvas painting on a solid support. Many people think that it—the whole thing looks more like—looks hard. If you have a panel painting it has a certain look, you expect that. But when you tried to do the same thing to a canvas, they didn't agree. Well, we had made some experiments, and as Bob had found, there were times when a painting was so heavily cupped the paint is. That is the—the—the way that the painting was done, the medium or the type of paint or the way it was handled caused the paint to curl up on the edges many—where it would crack. Now, one could get that down flat because it had what's called, I guess, a plastic memory, it would not stay down flat on a piece of canvas. [00:10:00] At the same time if you have a painting with many tears in it, an additional canvas, which is the Orthodox way or had been of relining, is not strong enough to hold these things on a flat plane. And the surface, again, becomes disturbingly uneven, and with the tears, they would begin to show through. Well, we felt—Bob felt and so did we, and continued to on certain things that were so damaged that they needed a solid support then it justified in doing this. And so, I gave my talk on that and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was this—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Caroline Keck was the moderator of this, and she had asked me if I would do this. She said, "We're—I'm going to have a panel. I'm going to have someone from the Museum of Modern Art talk about using fiberglass as a support." Because when it is used, it becomes translucent, almost transparent when it is wet with the wax that you're using as adhesive, which means you could see any canvas marks or any writing or any sketches on the back when you turn the canvas over. Where if you put an ordinary canvas on, you would not—you would cover this up. You'd have to take photographs and all that. And now, the same thing, of course, with—on a solid support. And the other was Alain Boissonnas who was working at Knoedler's Gallery and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  How do you spell his name?

CARROLL F. WALES:  B-O-I-S—Boisanais—A-N—it seems to me there's two n's but I'm not sure—A-I-S, Boisanais. [00:12:10] He was Swiss, I believe, a very, very nice fellow.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  He was the third person on this—

CARROLL F. WALES:  He was the third person on this who taught about the Orthodox, the usual way of—oh, I'm sorry. Also, in that—and I forget which one of them now talked about using—or they had mentioned using honeycomb panels, which had bulk without weight for—but in other words, it was a panel of various ways of backing a painting with Caroline Keck as moderator. I think it went very, very well and I—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, this means that your people who are in this work are communicating with each other a great deal more than they had when you began—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Always, yes.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  — in this profession?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, exactly.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  That was a good thing.

CARROLL F. WALES:  That was a very, very good thing because we—and now the—they continue and when I—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, you were isolated. Even though you may be alone, through the organization, you were in touch—

CARROLL F. WALES:  You were, you were all the time. The first meetings that we went to, they started with a small group and there were about 50 or so at the most, I think, where we would go—the chief restorers from all the various museums or in some of the art galleries. Now, I don't know. The last ones that I went to, there were so many people that I didn't know. [00:14:03] It seemed to me there must be 500 or more, perhaps probably there are. But it was a small group. We knew each other. Many of us had identical training and the—it was a wonderful time to be starting out and be doing restoration. Of course, it's improved a great deal since then all the new techniques and new ways. There have been some problems. Some people think that wax is not the best adhesive. You see, in the—up until the time of using wax, during the 19th century, glue relinings were the thing that were done. But glue is something that will dry and crack. It will lose all its adhesiveness, and it is extremely difficult to get off. When a great deal of our work in the beginning was to undo and then to do properly glue relining, we found that you would—to get the glue relining off, you would have to do a lot of scraping. This causes a certain amount of vibration, which is not good. And then I'm not certain who, I know Bob Bradley was the first who told us about it—was to use an enzyme a meat tenderizer. It—you could put it on the back. You put it through the canvas that had been attached with a glue on the back. It would penetrate, and it would gel the glue, soften and gel it so that then you could peel back the canvas, put a little more on the surface of the enzyme if you needed to, and remove it much easier, safer without so much scratching. [00:16:13] Of course, you had to be very careful that you didn't have an excessive moisture, but it was the safest way and still is used—safest way of getting a glue off the back of a painting.

[Audio Break.]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Continuing the interview with Carroll Wales, this is Robert Brown the interviewer. The date is January—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Nineteen.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —Nineteen, 1993.

[Audio Break.]

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, in 1960, in the fall, I resigned from the Fogg Museum to take over Oliver Brothers.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  I see. Well, I'd like to ask you a bit about the Fogg Museum position.

[Audio Break.]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —about the time you left the middle East and about 1959 had come to the Fogg as an assistant conservator in about 1959.

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right, yes. I left Istanbul in the fall, and started at the Fogg, and was there for a little over a year I believe. Of course, it was very good to be back and see people that I had known, some that I had gone to school with. Betty Jones was in charge, and she and I had taken courses together many years before that. I had to change my way of thinking a bit from working in a building to working on an isolated work of art in the studio and in a more constricted space, but it was all very, very interesting. [00:18:00] Betty was always learning new techniques and new methods, and this was in the early days of the use of plastic, synthetics such as polyvinyl acetate and B-72, B-67, and so on.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, these were all things you had not—

CARROLL F. WALES:  That this—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —worked with?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right. I had to—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Why had you left Turkey and the Middle East, was it—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Because we had—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —did you finish most of your work?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. The work in the Kariye Camii had—was finished. I had been there eight years, and they had been working on the mosaics and marble and the masonry work or the construction [ph] work for some four to six years before that. There were smaller projects, some of which I worked on before I left, but the—and, of course, Hagia Sophia will always have certain things need to be done, but all the main uncovering work had been done. And so, since I had two positions offered to me, when they knew that I was leaving Turkey, at Oberlin and at the Fogg and also the possibility of buying Oliver Brothers, a privately owned—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  This all converged at once?


ROBERT F. BROWN:  What led you not to go to Oberlin, which of course was headed by—you mentioned—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Dick Buck, yeah.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —Dick Buck who you had worked with before?.

CARROLL F. WALES:  That was very tempting because it would have been—it would have been a sort of beginning, a sort of the—he was just starting up the conservation department there. It might have been a little more challenging while at the Fogg, Betty was well established, and the studio, all of that was organized, and they had a good chemist in John Gettens, and so on. [00:20:14] But the—I couldn't give up the job at the Fogg because I enjoyed my years at Harvard very much, most of which was spent in the Fogg museum. And that I didn't hesitate very long before I decided that I should take the job at the Fogg. I didn't know how long it was going to last because the—this Oliver Brothers possibility of buying it was in the background. Bob Bradley, of course, was the one who had known the Oliver Brothers for many years. He knew that they were getting older, that they wanted to resign in the near future. He thought it would be a very good business because it was such an old, well-established business. They started first in New York and then came up to Boston and in the late 19th century. I have records that go back to 1880s and [18]90s, and as I've said before I believe, sometimes Vose knowing our numbering system, which was often put on the back of stretchers if we did any work on the painting. They would call up and ask us if we would look up a certain number and tell them what was done and when it was done and so on.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Right, right. Were you quite tempted with the idea of being on your own as opposed to, say, working in the university?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I was because for the past eight years, I had been more or less on my own. Now, I was under the field director, obviously, and also the field director's assistant who had charge of all the work that was being done, whether it was structural or mosaics or frescoes. [00:22:14] And yet, I was in charge of all the fresco work that was done, so that I did feel a little more independence. Of course it was—all, a great deal of what we were doing was, in some cases, the first time it was done or first time for me because there were unique situations and problems of water seepage and some of the consolidating with the plaster, difficult to remove. Working on vertical walls in the building is quite different from working on small paintings that you can move around, turn over, and so on. So, it was very challenging. It was also very exciting because we were uncovering things that had been concealed for many years.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, when you've got that here, the idea of being on your own, again, was also attractive, too?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, it was and Betty, of course, made it clear that there was a certain amount of work that each of us had to do to keep the laboratory going and working. And yet, we were encouraged to do any independent research or work that we wanted to do.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What was the work that you did at the laboratory at Harvard? What—? I mean what—who was the client? Was the university the principal client or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, it was.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —for the museum?

CARROLL F. WALES:  At that time, we couldn't do very much outside work unless they were—unless there was some Harvard connection. [00:24:02] If it was for a professor or for someone who had donated a lot of money then we were allowed to do it. But you see, the Fogg is a nonprofit institution and doesn't pay taxes, and so we were not supposed to compete with private restorers. But in order to keep the lab solvent, we had to work for the Harvard Medical School, the Business School, of course the museum itself, and the few private people who were connected with the museum. Now, from all of those sources, we would get funds, and those would help to keep the lab so that the college, itself, would not have to contribute as much money too. Of course, it was also—as everything in the Fogg is—a source of information for students. We were expected to give talks now and then to museum classes, to people who were studying conservation, and so it was—it was challenge, and it was always interesting. Of course, we always had very fine things to work on and different things from the museum to the various schools so that it—I enjoyed my years—my short time there very much. But then—



ROBERT F. BROWN:  In 1961, was it that Bob Bradley and you bought?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, it was late '60s.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Late '60s.

CARROLL F. WALES:  In the late '60s when the younger of the Oliver—two Oliver Brothers that were living, the younger one died very suddenly. [00:26:08] And so, the older one said, "Well, I don't want to keep on, and I would like to come in for the next few months or so and finish off whatever work I have but turn any new business over to you." He was speaking to—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  This was Fred Oliver?

CARROLL F. WALES:  This was Fred Oliver.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And where was the firm located?

CARROLL F. WALES:  It was at 30 Ipswich Street. It's a large studio building. It's on the street that leads down to Fenway Park, and that it—Oliver Brothers had taken over two studios at the time, I think, within a year or when the building was constructed in 1905. We had a first-floor, large studio, one of the largest—there were different sizes in the building—plus a basement, which took up one-third of the whole building. And we needed that when we did large paintings, which we did very often in the next few years.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, the facilities were quite adequate?

CARROLL F. WALES:  The facilities were adequate, very tall windows. You'd come on a little—you go upstairs for the first floor. As you come in the door, you'd go upstairs, walk along a corridor and then you would come in and look down to the studio. You would have windows that reached the two stories. And so, there was wonderful light. It was the north light, and of course, there were many artists in the building. There were very restorers at that time. Now, I believe there are quite a number who have taken over the studios. But there were a number—Gardner Cox of course was there and Bob Hunter—[00:28:04]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Probably Ives Gammell.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Ives Gammell of course—


CARROLL F. WALES:  —a number of people that—Peter Pizzati [ph] that—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  That worked with Atkinson, yeah.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, right, yes and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did you then and Bob Morton, Bob Bradley—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Bob Bradley—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —come in and work together?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No. Bob Bradley has, for many years, been working out of his home in Arlington, Massachusetts. He had a very good business, still has. He said that we would buy this together and then if eventually Constantine came over because he—Bob had met him when he and his mother had come to Istanbul during the last year or two that we worked there. He was very much impressed with Constantine and his knowledge of restoration and so on. He knew that the work was finishing there, and so he thought it would be a very good job for us because Bob said, he had all the work he could handle in his own studio, so he'd be quite willing to sell his share to Constantine when and if he came over which—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, there's some sort of thought of Constantine coming over?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right from the very beginning—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  When you began, you were—

CARROLL F. WALES:  I was alone.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You were alone, and in fact, Fred Oliver would come in now and then?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, he would and a wonderful man. I learned—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was he fairly up in years at that point or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes. Well, he was certainly in his 70s. He would take the train in from Rockport where he and his wife lived, and I learned a lot from him. Some of his methods were—had been improved on, such as using synthetic varnishes rather than dammar, copal, some of the natural resins, which are—they're harder to remove after they have set for a while. [00:30:05] They will turn yellow over a period of time, aging and light, and they—we now believe that there are—that the synthetics ones are much safer, better to use on a painting. But I learned a lot of old techniques from him, and he was a wonderful man to talk to. He was also quite a good artist. He has done a number of paintings, and Peter has even worked on one that someone owns, a portrait that he did. I shall always remember him with a great deal of affection, a very, very nice man.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What was his—what had his training been? Did you ever—

CARROLL F. WALES:  I think it was just because it was a family business that each—they—he and his brother were not the original Oliver Brothers. It was their father, of course, and but they—and there was a younger one. Fred's brother had a son Emerson Oliver, but he didn't want to continue the family business, and so that's how Bob had a chance to buy it from them. It had such a good reputation. We never changed the name. It's sort of like buying Sears, Roebuck I suppose. You—the name itself is very important because the card files we had meant that we never had to advertise. Of course, Constantine and I both had certain—some reputation of our own in the few years, relatively few years that we had worked and our connections with the museums, and so on. But we had and still have the company has card files of most of the large families in Boston and the neighborhood that have very fine collections of paintings. [00:32:12] I'm not going to name any names because this is all confidential. But we often had, and Mr. Oliver would—had said the same, that he was only happy when he had about 30 or 40 paintings to work on. And we—in later years, we did have to turn away certain projects that we just couldn't take on. There were times when there were four of us. We had hired two additional people to work with us, and still we couldn't keep up with the amount of work but then of course, we were also away, oh, up to a third of the year back in Europe or here in the States.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  How could he possibly have handled 30 to 40 paintings at one time? Would he have—

CARROLL F. WALES:  He worked much slower than we did for one thing because he used to laugh and say, "You know, restoration is very slow and very costly." [They laugh.] But—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Now did—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —another thing, of course, was—there are always several answers to things like this. Another thing was that people were—seem to be all of a sudden becoming conscious of the fact that they had valuable works of art, and that they were getting—the objects were getting older. They needed attention and so that—and with more and more museums opening and that they have—these people would bring us things or they would bring us things. Sometimes, someone would come in and say that, "My mother or my grandmother has a painting, which we think needs repair" or that perhaps we had—Oliver Brothers had worked on at some point, and after 20, 25 years still would need additional work. [00:34:10] So, we—the—it was a time when people, as I say, began to be aware of their treasures and that they needed work. So, there was more work I think when we started than there would have been say a quarter of a century before that.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Mm-hmm [affirmative]. Mm-hmm [affirmative]. Because before that time, I've heard Ram [ph], Vose, and certain during the Depression there were lots of quiet sales of paintings.


ROBERT F. BROWN:  They certainly weren't—most people weren't in a position to think of restoration, were they?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, no, they didn't—and many people are surprised at the fact that something can be conserved or restored. Restored is a bad word sometimes, but they—we've had people bring in a painting with a small tear in it and they wonder if they should discard it, that "What can we do? It's ruined." Well, we would tell them that a damaged Rembrandt is still a Rembrandt, and that many of these things can be repaired and need to be repaired. A painting is perishable just as your clothes, your rugs, or anything else in your house. And the materials have to be treated properly," and many, many of them were not. They're put in a room where the sunlight might hit them or they might be put over a fireplace, so of course with that steam, heat, and so on, there's a tendency for things to dry out. There are a little—you turn the painting over, and you find that in the corners of the stretcher, there are small holes where there are supposed to be wooden keys they call them. They're little flat pieces of wood, and you're supposed to tap these out in each direction, and that keeps the canvas stretched. [00:36:06] In fact, this framework is called a stretcher. But many people aren't aware of that. They never look at the back of the painting, and you've got stretcher marks and all sorts of things. And then sometimes where a painting has been hanging for 50 years, something gives way, and down falls the painting, and also has to have repair work.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, you have people then, it sounds like could be Bostonian. They were your particular clients?

CARROLL F. WALES:  They were, yes.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, their essential conservatism of keeping something—

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right. Yes, something in the family—and it is true that in so many cases, you know people that have no idea of the value of the things because we always have had a policy of ensuring things when people brought them to us. We'd give them a receipt, tell them what we‘re going to do, the price, and all that, and ask them what insurance should be put on it. And in many cases, they hadn't any idea, and we got people to take out a special fine arts policy added to their insurance on certain things that were extremely valuable. Those, of course, did—we don't do appraising. Most restorers don't, but we would send them to Vose if it was American painting. They would appraise the things, and very often, the people would be quite surprised that they had something of that value.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Mm-hmm [affirmative]. If they were European things, were there people here or would you refer them to someone in New York or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No. There were people here that—there are certain ones that—there was a Morris Bernstein who is an expert on icons both Greek and Russian. [00:38:01] And Michael Filadis [ph] knows mid-European and Dutch paintings perhaps better and—because Vose would always say that they preferred us to bring them anything that was American or English. So, that it was divided up amongst the people whose specialty that painting would fit into.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was much of your business referenced from dealers too?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. We had, of ,course quite a number of dealers that were worked for and also quite a number of institutions and some—well, I can—I suddenly think Al Jakstas who was a very, very good restorer in the Boston area. He was a restorer at the Gardner Museum in—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Jakstas?


ROBERT F. BROWN:  Can you spell?

CARROLL F. WALES:  BROWN:  J-A-K-S-T-A-S, Jakstas. He worked in the Gardner Museum for many years and then he was offered this job at the Art Institute in Chicago, and so he left this area. He did all the work for Amherst College among other things. He left us or referred us to a lot of his clients, and we took over Amherst. So that—and because of my connections in the Fogg and because of the various classmates, and so on, who would go and to some other museums, that I had built in references right there and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  With Betty Jones, you—I assume had a quite amicable relationship with her, is that right? [00:40:05]

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes, Betty is a very good administrator as well as a first-rate restorer. She left the Fogg after a while and went to the Boston Museum. Before that she had been in Washington so—and as I say—I've said, I knew her when we were both studying—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Yes. How—can you recall how—why Constantine Tsousis, why you wanted him here and how it came about?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I think because while he had not gone to a restoration or a conservation school or studied it directly, he—first of all, he was—had been a tailor, so he knew materials and that knowledge helped him a great deal later on when he knew how to work with canvases. He just—it was just his nature. But—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You mean he'd apprenticed as a youth—as a tailor and as a—

CARROLL F. WALES:  His family, yes. His family, right. He and his brother had a tailor shop. And then he got interested through a friend of his who was working for the Byzantine Institute, and so he thought that he would like to do something like this, and so he did. He started working for them, and he just had such a—such an open mind or alert mind in watching how other people did things and then almost immediately improving on it. And his—he was—his interest—later when he came here, he soon—he soon learned more about American art in furniture, especially American furniture, which he happened to like more than I did because I had never stopped to pay that much attention to it, I suppose. [00:42:05] But he could solve problems. I know very often Bob Bradley who, of course, is so knowledgeable, and he knows so many tricks. He always said that there isn't any corner that he hasn't been in in restoration at—because you always had to improvise or trying to find a solution of something that has almost never happened before. Certainly, it's not happened to you. At that time, there were a lot—not as many books written on restoration and how to solve certain problems as there are today. But Constantine would instinctively find the right thing. And even Bob would send us things at times that—and I remember the Boston Museum once or twice, not very often because they had their own restoration department—once or twice would send us a particular problem of tears and so on, that they knew we could—they could eventually do. But we could do it perhaps a little quicker because we—Constantine seemed to enjoy a challenge no matter how—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, he had a remarkable—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —difficult.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —facilities?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Remarkable, yes.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, you were rather keen to get him over here. Was he interested in coming to America?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, he was. I in—you see he had—he was the one that came to work with me as my assistant when I first arrived there. He had been working with the other fellows on mosaics, but they knew that I needed an assistant, and he was one of two people that they suggested. And, of course, there's also the fact that he knew two or three languages helped a great deal when we were in Istanbul. He was the most likable—not likeable, knowledgeable one of the—and had had a little more education than most of the other boys that worked there. [00:44:18] And so, he would fit in almost any situation. And here, we—the work separated almost without any discussion or anything. Each one of us could do the amount of restoration starting from the very beginning—the cleaning, the varnishing, the retouching, the repair work, the whole thing. But because he liked to do certain aspects of it, such as the cleaning and the backing, I preferred to do the final touches, the retouching and getting the good surface and also talking with people, and so on. So, the work divided very, very well. Neither one of us—we would always consult with each other, which was because we understood each other's work, although we preferred to do the type of things that we were doing. So, it was just a perfect meld of talents.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Now, how—did you have difficulty of getting him here to this country or how did that come about?

CARROLL F. WALES:  We certainly did, yes. The—again, Bob Bradley said that it was at the time—it was soon after there had been riots in Constantinople of the Turks against the Greeks. It was not played up too much in the papers but—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So that was an—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —so the—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —additional reason he felt—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right, and there were quite a number because he—although he was a Turkish citizen and had to be. [00:46:03] His father had to be when they moved there in the '20s, but he—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And he moved there from Greece—

CARROLL F. WALES:  From Macedonia.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  From Macedonia?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right. And they—his father was an architect or a—I can't think of the words [inaudible] but—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  A contractor?

CARROLL F. WALES:  A contractor, a contractor, right. So, he knew a great deal about—his father was called chaus, which means chief because the Turks that relied on him for doing a lot of structural work. But what did you ask me?

ROBERT F. BROWN:  I was asking how you got him and how he—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yeah. So the—so he said, "Yes, he would like to come to the States." At the time, I had been there eight years, I had been back to the States, but there was so much interesting work. As I said before, we had done a number of things outside of Istanbul and with the British School and—

[END OF TRACK wales92_6of9_cass_SideA_r.]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —not there necessarily—well, in quantity—

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right. And then I suppose, of course, that since I have been strongly advised by anybody that I had talked to, and that's mainly Bob Bradley, and so on, and Betty, and other people.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Because they had been in touch with you throughout?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes. And that I must come back to the States, and I must accept the job at the Fogg. Of course, it was a great opportunity, and I'm so glad that I did it. And then the possibility of opening my own studio, I had no idea really what all that would entail but—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well, Constantine—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —I made the right—but so Constantine said no. He said, "I want to go to the States. I don't think there's much of future here and certainly not any length of time." And so, Bob said that the Providence Preservation Society was just beginning. A lot—a great amount of restoration of the houses particularly on Benefit Street, and that there was one house in particular that had wall paintings. They were oil paintings on the wall in the Dowler Mansion, and that they needed somebody who had the knowledge of working on in such things and in a building. And there weren't very many people in the States that they could find to do this. John Nicholas Brown was the—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What was he?

CARROLL F. WALES:  —treasurer of the Byzantine Institute. He came often to Turkey to see the work that we were doing, and so he knew Constantine very well. And he—and he had also been undersecretary of the navy at one time, and so he—and plus having the name that he had has a certain amount of influence. [00:02:09] But—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  He helped to finance the Byzantine Institute.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, in a way, yes. The—oh dear, I can't think of what I was going to say at that moment, but he—oh, the—another reason that Constantine wanted to leave was that a number of the Greeks were feeling very much in the minority status. And after these—the riots and demonstrations, many of them, many of them moved out. When I was there in the '50s, there were many, many Greeks in Istanbul. Now, there are very few I believe. So, many of Constantine's relatives, in fact almost all of them now, I believe, have left and are living in Greece or some of them have come to Canada. So, Constantine felt there was not very much future for him there, and he wanted to leave, another reason. But John Nicholas Brown and Bob together managed to get what's called a specialist visa for Constantine. Because when people started to leave, of course, a lot of people wanted to come to the states, a lot of the Greeks and Armenians, Jews, and the minorities. And that meant that the corridor was being filled up much faster, and he would've had a long waiting time before he could even apply probably to come to the States. But with this, he could come as a specialist if no one else in this country could—to fill that position. [00:04:00] Between Bob and John Nicholas Brown, I think, it was found that there actually wasn't anybody who had the experience that Constantine had had working on wall paintings. So, he came to Providence, and worked there for some three years on the Dowler Mansion plus doing a few other things in addition. Of course, he got to know all of the—many of the prominent Providence families and their collections of paintings, and all this helped us later on when they needed a restorer, that is when Constantine had finished there and had come to Boston. Now when he had finished his work, he was supposed to leave the country and then he could apply for what's called a green card. In other words, after a certain number of years if he had that card, he would eventually become a citizen. Again, he was supposed to leave the country and apply and come back in on the green card. But somehow, I don't know what happened, it was arranged that he did not have to leave the country because he had enough work waiting for him but he was not a specialist only. His card was changed to a green card. [Laughs] So, that we were very lucky.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  People with influence in high places that's where—you suppose?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I think so. I don't know exactly the particulars, and it was all done very legally, no doubt about that. But fortunately, he didn't have to go out of the country and wait for weeks or months or whatever to come back in again because of his talent. Because there was work that still had to be done even though he had finished the one project that he had been brought over to do on a specialist visa. So— [00:06:04]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And by then, was he working actively with you?

CARROLL F. WALES:  He would drive up from Providence every weekend and work with me after I had taken over Oliver Brothers because I was alone. Bob was still in Arlington working in his own studio. However, he came in very often, and he was—I was constantly on the phone with him whenever there was a problem or any information that I needed. But otherwise, I was alone in the studio. However, Constantine would come up, and it would be two day—we worked seven days a week, both of us in the beginning. Then, eventually, when he had finished in Rhode Island, in Providence, he came to Boston and the two of us started working together. At that time, Bob had said that because he had all the work he could take care of in his own studio, he would very gladly sell out his share to Constantine, which he did. And then Costa and I became Oliver Brothers, and within a matter of five years or so, he became a citizen. So that's the early part of our connection with Oliver Brothers. I remember one of the first—we took over a number of things that—although, Fred Oliver had wanted to finish what he had been committed to do. There were a number of things, and people seem to be bringing things constantly to us, and so there was plenty of work on hand to be done. But one of the first things—one of the first things that was brought to us, and this pleased us a great deal, Bob Vose brought us a painting to work on. [00:08:06] And that pleased us a great deal because he knew of our reputation from—not from work that we had done for him, of course, but through Bob Bradley and whatever literature had been printed on the things that we had done.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And this was because you were—through Mister Oliver but on your own?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, on our own. And we—that's, right. We were taking over Oliver Brothers, which they had had very good relationships with and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And what sort of thing was this that Bob—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —this was a panel painting, a panel painting because he knew that I had been at Yale for a year working on panel paintings. He knew that we both had worked on icons a great deal, and now this was not a Byzantine Icon. It was a Dutch panel as I remember. But he felt that there were many good—there were many good conservators working on canvas paintings, but not that many perhaps who knew about wood support problems. And—but that—there was quite a bit of encouragement to find that the oldest, and I think probably the best art dealer in Boston almost the first or second week that we were in business brought us a painting to work on.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Now, this was before you were partnered with Constantine or this was—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes that actually was before he came up, right, in the very, very beginning. I think that gave me a lot of courage just to—and of course, we've had wonderful relationship with Vose Galleries ever since then.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What are other—can you describe any other particular customers you developed at that time?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, we worked—over the years—worked on quite a number of big families, big names, I guess, you would say. [00:10:08] John Macwan's son had a collection of paintings. We worked on those for a number of years. The—I remember one—we worked for—not William Taylor. I think it was his father, publisher of the Globe, and we worked on a number of things for him. I won't say exactly what kind of things these were because that's confidential but then—and at that time, of course, the museums, the Gardner Museum, the Boston Museum, and even the Fogg Museum were sending us things because they could not take on a private restoration things, so we were getting very good references. But I remember one day that someone called up and said he had a Marin painting that he would like to have restored. That we had done some work for the family and that—well, he wondered if he could bring this painting in. I said, "Yeah. Why, I said yes of course." He said, "I live in Dover," and he—and I said, "Would you tell me your name please?" He said, "Yes, John Quincy Adams." [They laugh.] And I mean where else could that happen except here in Boston I suppose. But, of course, he a direct descendent of the family and—


CARROLL F. WALES:  But such things as that did happen.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And were most of these things fairly old or were there certain paintings, say, early 20th century that had simply infused? [00:12:06]

CARROLL F. WALES:  And most of them were old. There were a lot of China trade paintings of course, a lot of family portraits by big names, a lot of—well, I suppose those were the two big categories—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  That you—

CARROLL F. WALES:  That the—because there were a lot of—like the Forbes family for instance, there were a lot of things that had been accumulated or bought in the 19th century [inaudible] even earlier and had remained in the family for all of these years. Many of them never had had any work done on them at all. There were not so may of this century, but occasionally there would be something. It was a mixture, but most of the things were—had some considerable age to them.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But by your standards or Constantine's, these were very young work, weren't they, compared to—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, to—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —you had been working on?

CARROLL F. WALES:  —what we had been working on.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  In monasteries or in Istanbul?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes of course. Of course they were. But they were also different. We didn't work on canvas paintings, you see, in any of those places. The—this was a—these were new materials to us, but as I say, that anything—I remember Bob had sent us more than once. He would have a painting that was so badly torn and that had not been given attention soon after the damage was done. It might have been put in a closet or attic or something. And that is not good because then the canvas tends to shrink a little more, and it's not as easy to join up the tears or to flatten it out. It becomes more dry and brittle—as it would have been had they brought it to us soon after the damage was done. [00:14:00] But Constantine had a way of working with materials, almost like a surgeon knowing what they were like. I remember just as sort of an aside, but I had got some silk material in Persia many years ago. I had large pieces of it and smaller ones. I had thought it would be nice to have with the smaller ones two lampshades made. So, we took it to someone in Brookline, I forget her name now. It was one the best lampshade makers I—that we knew of. She had said, "I can't work with material like this" because I didn't want it straight up and down. I wanted tapered so that the top part would be narrower than the lower part because it would just fit Sandwich Glass lamp that I had. She said, "I don't think and I don't dare to touch material like this because I cannot compress it near the top and have it fit right at the bottom." So that was a little disappointing, but Constantine had talked with her, and he came back. He began thinking about it, and he said, "I'm going to try and see if I can do something. He did. He made two, and I have them now. He knew just how to—the limit to what he could do in stretching material because he knew the material from all these years of working on clothes. I remember even after that, he wouldn't let me buy a suit of clothes unless he saw the material and would know how long it was going to last, if was going to hold the press, and so on. But so in restoration, you get you get all kinds of canvases, and you have to know how to treat some of them properly. [00:16:09]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Is much of it rather course material?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, not necessarily. The very finest perhaps is a French canvas, and it's—oh, that can also be very tricky to work with. Because it will tend to shrink if it gets very much moisture on it, unless you have heat and something like wax right handy to keep it from moving. Because once it starts to shrink, it means the paint is going to ridge up, and you will have a crackle pattern that you shouldn't have there. So, you had to look at the canvas. Most of them have a—well, it's a canvas weave that you find if you go to an art store, and you want to buy a good grade canvas to paint on. Of course, there were some times that no priming was used on the canvas. This, of course, is very bad if—we have found if you are going to—if it is going to be modern artists for instance, what I' trying to say, will sometimes take an unprimed canvas. They leave some of the canvas showing in places as part of the composition. However, as in one case that we did not work on because we couldn't do anything about it, some coffee had been spilled on an area of the canvas. Now, it could be removed from the painted area, but it had stained the unpainted surface, and because there was not a priming on the canvas, the threads were permanently stained. [00:18:04] We knew of no way to get them out short of covering up that area with a layer of paint, but the—so there were various grades and kinds of canvas. Also, it depends on the—how the canvas was prepared. Most canvases have a certain amount of size in them. It's kind of a glue, and that's one of the reasons why they have to be repaired. Because over a period of time with atmospheric changes, they dry out, they shrink, or if there is any water damage, they could expand a little and then dry again. There's no—when you look at them, you don't look just at the—at a painting, not just at the painted surface, but you look at the support that it's put on and how the two blend together—what the artist has done as well as what kind of treatment it has had since it has left the artist's studio.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Now, so for you and Constantine, working so much with canvas was a fairly new experience. Although you would have had training at the Fogg after—you know, around 1950 when you were doing your work there, is that correct?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's true, oh, yes.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You had worked there.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes, I had worked there and with Bob, of course, too, and so that I had for—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And Bob Bradley, you mean—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Bob Bradley.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —even before he had gone to the Middle East?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes, indeed. Yes, indeed. I did.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But you came back though. You had been several—some years—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —when you principally had been not working on—

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right. I've been away from all of this, and not only did I have to relearn some of the things that I had known, but I also had to keep up with what any new procedure was. Bob was constantly looking for better ways and safer ways of doing restoration work. So, there was a considerable amount of, as I say, relearning that I had to do. [00:20:07] But with the basic ideas of restoration in back of you, it was a matter of learning the properties of the new materials that—or new to me that I was—now had to work with.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And you were learning them principally through Bob Bradley?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes, indeed. Oh, yes, indeed. Right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You might say he's been your mentor for a long—

CARROLL F. WALES:  He has, indeed. Oh, yes, I can't—he is the—I don't know of anybody who has the knowledge that he has of restoration, or of the history of restoration, or what has taken place, particularly in the Boston area in the museums or in private practice, and so, on paintings.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Those days in the—let's say in the early mid-'60s, did you fairly regularly attend national meetings of conservators where—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  Or was it something that lay in the future?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, it was—when I was at the Fogg, I remember Betty saying to me. She said, "You know this fall—" or yeah, I think it was that first year. It was that first year of course. She said, "The American chapter of the IIC," which is the International Institute of Restoration. She said, "The American chapter is going to be in the Boston area, and the Fogg has to do a certain amount of entertaining, showing around," and so on. She said, "I wonder if you ever talk to people about the work you've been doing?" She says, "I know you have a lot of slides because I have seen many of them." I said, "No, I haven't done anything about that. I had just only been back a short time." [00:22:03] So, she arranged for me to give a little, sort of informal, which hadn't been scheduled in the program at all, but she made it fit in. Of course at that time, there were, oh, perhaps as many as 50 of us in the American chapter, the restorers from all the larger museums and galleries in the States. When we would go to the meetings, we would all know each other. Now, of course, when you go to such things, there's more than 500 people at times and that—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did you—even though you've been abroad for several or some years, you knew most of the people?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right, yes. There were some of them that had come to Istanbul. There were—some of course—well, there were people like John Gettens and Dick Buck and George Stout that I had worked under and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was this partly owing to the fact that the Fogg was the principal training ground—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Exactly. That was the reason, yes.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —until midcentury let's say?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, right, right. So, I did give this talk. Well, actually, I explained slides, I suppose, and there were spectacular things because we were doing, working on spectacular projects, uncovering things that had been covered up for 500 years and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You're speaking now of the—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  — Kariye Camii?

CARROLL F. WALES:  The frescoes in the Kariye Camii mainly, certain things we had done at Mount Sinai, and the work that I had done in Iraq, all of these things when I had been in Europe. This was something quite new to most of the restorers who had only worked on paintings, portable paintings here in the States. [00:24:03] They were all quite excited about it. I remember Carolyn Keck saying, "I want you to have lunch with me tomorrow," and I didn't really know Caroline Keck very well, or either one of us—Sheldon. I was told she was quite a formidable person, but we were always very good friends. And later on, which I will mention, she had me give a talk in Chicago on a certain work that we're doing. So that this was—I was delighted that they were so interested in things, and I had begun to use with the help and the knowledge of people like George Stout and John Gettens, some of the new synthetics or plastics. And they—of course, the American group found this all very interesting that such things could be used in what would almost be called archaeology. So that was the first time that I had ever talked or I hadn't given much—written very much of speech because I could just look at the slides and tell them what we had done and then answer a few questions and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What do you mean—it could almost be called archeology—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Because well for instance in Iraq when we were taking the ivories, uncovering the ivories, that was an archeological project there.


CARROLL F. WALES:  But what we had to do, as they did in the armor or any—or no pieces of wood or anything that remained, but there would be bits of metal, different—and particularly the ivories. So, we called that more of an archeological thing. [00:26:00]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And you applied some of these new-class synthetic things?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, we did to consolidate those. Because once the ivories—as I mentioned I think before—once they hit the—after being buried for a thousand years or so, they—the whole cell structure had been destroyed by all the moisture. And they needed to be immediately consolidated, which we would impregnate them with polyvinyl acetate to hold them together. I remember Layard—so that then later on they could be worked on safely and kept together. I remember there was a statement that Layard who was the great English archeologist in the Mideast before the time of Max Mallowan that I worked with before. He had said something about uncovering a few bits and pieces of ivories, which almost fell to dust, to powder as they looked at them. Not realizing at the very beginning that they had to be consolidated or held together by some kind of an adhesive before one could do any cleaning or before they had time to be exposed to the atmosphere.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, this—your revelations to the national meeting of this sort of thing was of extreme interest to the—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, it was. I didn't know a great deal about synthetics, but I had been told their properties, and soon learned that they did—that they did work. It was the best way of treating things. A few years before that, we wouldn't have had these materials of course.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, during your years at Oliver Brothers, did you regularly attend these meetings? [00:28:02]

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes I did every year. I gave two of three talks—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You have to—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  So you need—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right, yeah.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  The—you wanted to say a bit about your participation in one of the meetings of the conservators group in Chicago. About when was that?

CARROLL F. WALES:  This was in June of 1966. Caroline Keck had called me and said that she was going to be the moderator for—in the technical session at the AIC, American Institute Chapter to be on the technical session on the repair of tears in paintings on a fabric support. She wondered if I would join with two other people that she had chosen, and that I would talk about using what she calls here an aluminum sheet—in other words, a solid support but using a very, very thin light piece of aluminum.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And this was a fairly new technique?

CARROLL F. WALES:  This was a fairly new technique, which Bob Bradley, again, had originated. I said, yes, that I would. Now, this roundtable discussion organized by Caroline, the first speaker was Alain Boissonnas who had—he was a conservator in New York. He had done a great deal of work for the Wildenstein Gallery, in New York, and later—he a Swiss restorer or from Switzerland, but he had later offered me a job before I had taken over Oliver Brothers, a very nice fellow. [00:30:00] Now, his specialty was using a glass fabric. Now, glass means fiberglass. It—we used it at times. It has very good properties. Glass fiber is what's—was used at one time for curtains, drapes, and this is in the beginning of using synthetics. But—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  In the 1940s or [19]50s, something like that?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, something like that, right. I don't think that it's used very much now. For one thing, it is—when you used it on a painting, you had to reinforce or you had to—yes, you had to reinforce. You had to put tapes on the edges because the glass fiber if it gets a certain amount of wear becomes friable. It will split along those edges, so it was not—I think it's seldom used today. But one of its great advantages was that it was not a solid support. Some people object to putting a canvas painting on something that is more solid. They don't want it to look as though there was a—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  A panel.

CARROLL F. WALES:  —like a panel painting. The other great advantage of using the glass fiber is that when you look at the fiber before you treat it in anyway, it is opaque. You can't see through it at all. It's—most of them there. It's a whitish material. But when it is wet as it would be if you iron wax into it, it becomes translucent, almost transparent. That means that you can look through the fabric, and you can see any canvas mark, any signature, any sketch, anything that might be on the canvas. Not only that, but you also can with magnification get some idea of the type of canvas, how many threads to the weave, and so on. [00:32:03] All of this is of great information of not just the front of the painting as I've said before but also the support. And so, that's why it was used a number of times, but it does not hold up as well as another piece of canvas, which is the Orthodox way or it has been for many years of relining, backing a painting.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And was—did someone speak to that conventional relining?

CARROLL F. WALES:  And so, Alain Boissonnas talked about that. That was his expertise that he had been using. Oh, that's what he used in this case. The other one was Jean Volkmer, V-O-Like-K-M-E-R. She was a conservator at the Museum of Modern Art. She talked about mounting paintings on honeycomb panels. Now, a honeycomb panel is used more today—perhaps then than it is today, but it still is used. We used in a large project later, which I'll talk about the Tamayo paintings. A honeycomb panel is usually, but not always, two thin pieces of Masonite with a honeycomb liner—a honeycomb filler I should say. Now, that honeycomb thing can—it can be paper or it can be a little, tiny, aluminum strips. In in this instance, you have a solid support, which will not tend to bend or bow as it might if you just used a piece of aluminum or, heaven forbid, a piece of Masonite alone. [00:34:05] This honeycomb panel gives you the solid support and it—and is—because of the honeycomb in it, you could use it for larger paintings without adding a great deal of weight to the painting what you've done.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, it doesn't bow or warm—

CARROLL F. WALES:  It doesn't bow—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  The honeycomb itself prevents that.

CARROLL F. WALES:  No. Well, that prevents that because you've got two pieces of aluminum—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, that this person—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —with the filler.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —spoke of that thing then?

CARROLL F. WALES:  And so Jean—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And you spoke about—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Jean talked about that, and I talked about using a very thin sheet of aluminum, which if you did not use aluminum of any great thickness, and did not plan to use it on a large painting, there would be no problem of any bowing or we never found that it did. It's easy to use. What we would do, we would have aluminum cut to various thickness depending on what we were doing and the—we would take the aluminum and then go over it with a very coarse steel wool to give the surface a kind of tooth. And then on that, we would apply canvas with a synthetic varnish such as PVA or B-72 so that—if I said canvas, I meant Muslin, a layer of muslin, which had been preshrunk of course. You put that over it and so that—when you put your painting on, you have a separation between the back of canvas of the painting and the metal. Also not that it would—there would be anything bad that would—could happen with that contact as far as we knew. [00:36:12] But we just felt that it was insulation layer and would also help in removing the canvas if you needed to from the muslin. This work—has worked very well particularly—we didn't advice doing it in every case, but particularly in paintings with bad tears or bad—what is called cupping or ridging of the paint. You might be able to flatten that down under heat and pressure, but just adding another canvas in many cases is not—the other canvas, the additional canvas is not strong enough to hold flat the paint, which has what's called a plastic memory in that it tends to revert back—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  To revert—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —to the way it has seasoned or dried.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well, how did the—did this—was this received by the—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, it—there always even then and always has been some discussion about using a solid support on what is meant to be a canvas painting. Many people would say, "Oh, I just have to go in a room and I can tell you immediately what can—what paintings have been relined with the usual additional canvas, and what had been put on a solid surface. It destroys the canvas effect, which it's supposed to have. But, of course, one answer is when artists first paint their pictures, and they're properly stretched, they have a fairly solid-looking thing. But again, I can understand why using another canvas could be more desirable. [00:38:07] There are times when perhaps it would make something look a bit harder than it should. On the other hand, as I've said, there seems to be no good way of treating a very badly damaged, torn, or paint disfiguration unless you put it on something that's going to hold it fairly flat.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  The rigid backing is the better one. But were these meetings in those days fairly amicable or were there—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes, indeed.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —growing cliques or factions or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, no, no, no.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was there—

CARROLL F. WALES:  They were very—people would want to know why this was done if there was another way of doing it. I know in the talk that I had said that I did not think that it was something that should be done on every painting. That there were certain times when it seemed to be the desirable way of treating something, and that it always depended on the kind of painting, the degree of damage, and if this was the best solution that we could arrive at. So, we had three different ways of treating things. And then, of course, nothing was said because everybody knew about the Orthodox way of adding another canvas and wax to these. And that was the usual way of treating painting that need to be re-backed. These were just three different ways of handling or solving a certain problem. [00:40:04]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Mm-hmm [affirmative]. Mm-hmm [affirmative].

CARROLL F. WALES:  Then I did give a talk a number of years later. I'm not sure they even have the date of that year when we had meetings in Los Angeles and then I talked Orozco and Tamayo frescoes that we had worked on. I just showed pictures of those with the Orozco ones. We did those. I'm skipping ahead a bit here, but since I'm talking about it, in 1968, we went to Dartmouth and worked on the Orozco frescoes, which are in the Baker library there. These—because they were in the library, and they were within—they were low enough down so—although, it didn't come to the floor by any means, but they were low enough so that people could touch them, and sometimes there were stains. There were some minor damages, but they most of all needed a cleaning. a few places, again, there had been a kind of—some moisture had come through and that had to be consolidated, those areas and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, by and large, your work at the—your participation in the American Institute of Conservators was, occasionally, you'd give reports on the work you had done.

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right, and talking with people and then of course—then of course—where do I have it here?

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But you were—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes, yes. Then of course in 1966 in November, a group of us—I forget just how many. I don't think there were quite 20 but almost—went—volunteered our service to go to Florence. [00:42:09] It was right after the disastrous flood when the Arno overflowed. And, so again, we all knew each other. Von Sonnenburg who was the restorer at the Metropolitan Museum—I believe he's back there now after being away for a number of years—he was there, and the Philadelphia restorer. Larry Majewski at NYU had called us and said that he was getting together a group of people. He wanted them to volunteer their services to go to Florence and help. We would get no pay, but we would get all our expenses over and back. Alitalia flew us over, and then, of course, they would put us up while we were there, and feed us, and so on. And so that was—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was that among the first work outside of Boston you had done since your return?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yeah, it was with one exception. In—and that was Montreal, and I'll talk about that just as soon as I finish with the Florence.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  All right, let's talk about Florence then.


ROBERT F. BROWN:  What was the mission there?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, there were—it—we went—when we first arrived, we went to I Tatti and the—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  The Berensons.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Berensons in just outside of Florence. Programs were talked about as to what had to be done. There was so much that had to be done, and people from all over the world actually as well as all parts of Italy that were volunteering to come, almost too many people, but then there was so much work that needed to be done. There were—it was—the paintings, the frescoes that the water—it was not just a matter of the water damage. [00:44:11] But when the basements were flooded, all the—these little oil, all the oil that was used for heating spilled out into the water, and that was extremely difficult to leach out of things like marble or even frescoed surface. The portable paintings were moved away as much as possible, moved higher as fast as they could when this happened, but even some of those were damaged. Certain things like the Cimabue Crucifix, which was in Santa Croce was badly damaged before they could get to it. But many other things were treatable over a period of time.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Had you known Florence, had you known—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —it a bit?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I had been—I had spent part of a winter in Florence when I was—one of the early years that I was in Istanbul working. I had gone by myself to Florence because I had some—there was a young couple, people that I knew in or when I was at Wesleyan University. He was teaching there, and he and his wife had come Florence, too, on a Fulbright I believe. There were a lot of Fulbright people there at the time. They knew that I was in Istanbul, and I said that I planned to spend part of my winner in Europe, and so they offered to put me up with them on the couch in the living room. [00:46:06] So, I—that was very enjoyable. I remember that Jean would go out in the morning—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And what was the name?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Snow. Nicholas Snow, Nick Snow. His father I think before him was a teacher at Wesleyan and Nick had done some teaching there and Nick was also quite a good painter. But I remember when his wife would go out in the morning to get rolls for breakfast because you didn't get them the night before. You got them in the morning when they're freshly baked. Actually, they didn't last until noontime because of the way they were baked. But they were delicious the first thing in the morning. Of course, every time that she made a trip out, and sometimes I would go, we would stop on the way. You couldn't move out of the house anywhere there without there being a public building or a church or a monument of some sort that you had to stop and look at for 10 or 15 minutes. It was just great fun of course. So, I knew Florence quite well, at—before I had—before I had gone there.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What task were you given then in '66?

[END OF TRACK wales92_6of9_cass_SideB_r.]

CARROLL F. WALES:  —water came up to a certain height, the lower part of the open frescoes were. And the—so we didn't—I didn't do any work on marbles, that is marble revetments or columns where the danger was that—Bill Young who was head of research on objects in the Boston Museum, very, very knowledgeable, a very fine person was with us of course. What they were afraid of was using something that would take off the surface oil and discoloration, but would not penetrate enough to leach out what had gone in to the porous surface.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, that it might—

CARROLL F. WALES:  So, they might come back—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —reappear?

CARROLL F. WALES:  —again and then you would have to go on over this. Also because what you might be using might help to drive some of this in rather than to pull it out. So that—but that was something that I knew, that we knew nothing about and didn't have anything to do in.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But three were some people who did.

CARROLL F. WALES:  There were people there, of course, who did. I do remember one incident, which I—for whatever it's worth, I think I might as well put in. And that is that one day, we were in—we usually knew a day or two ahead what we were going to do or if we're going to be on a project for more than one day. And then sometimes some of us with a certain amount of expertise in an area would say, "You can't go back to what you were doing yesterday because we have a little more of an emergency in this other place." Well, one day, we were told that the synagogue needed people to work almost immediately there because so much of the library, of the manuscripts, the books had been water soaked. [00:02:17] They happened to be in a lower area. When we went in the building, in the synagogue, they had put up—where there had been pews or benches for people to sit on and so on, there were books and books and books all standing on edge with them opened a bit so that they would tend to dry out. Well, this was very bad because as they dried a little, they would fall forward and then things could be crushed or damaged. It would be even worse. So, they had already started working there, and they needed a lot of help. We—they had—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  This was typical? You might be on a project only a day or two?

CARROLL F. WALES:  On certain things.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Because you were—they were so frantically trying to—

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right. They knew that some of the frescoes, the wall paintings could be given a little more time. They knew that certain paintings and certain objects, wood, leather, and so on, where we—we worked in the Bargello for a while on a wooden shield and the leather that covered it had just floated free from it. In fact, our pictures of LIFE magazine when we worked on that is the December 16, 1966, LIFE magazine. Bob Bradley, and Constantine, and I are in there working on this leather shield. Now, we knew that some things like that while they needed treatment if you put them in a plastic bag, which would contain the moisture that was already there, they could stay for a while until you could dry them properly under care and treat them if there's any sign of shrinkage or something like that, so—but— [00:04:12]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Whereas other things had to be like the books and—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Treated almost instantly. Space heaters were brought in so that the atmosphere could be warmed up a bit. A great deal of the right kind of blotting paper, which you could interleave some of these books so that you could—flat in this case, of course, so that you could partially dry out these manuscripts and books slowly and change the blotters—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Blotting—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —all the—blotting papers. You had to make the rounds constantly to do these things. Now, we were—we thought we were going very well with this. Other people had been working there before us, and they just needed additional help, and so. We said, "You know, we are running out of interleaving material. We need more blotting paper," so they said, "We can get it, but we can't get it today. We will get it tomorrow." So, we went to the—told the people of the synagogue and said that, "We cannot do what we can the rest of the day, but tomorrow we will have a load, a shipment of the blotting paper brought to us, and we will continue then because we're having quite good luck with this." They looked at us, and they said, "I'm sorry, but you can't work tomorrow. Tomorrow is Saturday, which is the Greek Sabbath. [00:06:02]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Jewish Sabbath then?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Jewish—I'm sorry, the Jewish—the Jewish Sabbath. So, all work stopped as—I mean the space heaters were there and what we had done, but it's curious. We have run into such things before with the Muslims, with other people, so. But it still is—it seems to me the good Lord would excuse something [laughs] that in this case was of religious nature. It was a matter of saving it but then that's not for me to say, I guess. Anyway, there were little problems like that.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Were you thinking it put art conservation of objects in perspective, then, did it?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right, right. We had—I know at times, we had—someone when we were in Istanbul—I may have mentioned this—had a given us a Jeep. Because we needed transportation at times going from one project to another or even picking up some of the fellows in the morning to make—this would ensure that they would be there on time. Even transportation for some of them would be something of a handicap—I mean paying for it to get back forth because the church was out near the city walls. Now, this Jeep sat on the docks in customs for a number of months before it could be released because there was on precedent for someone being given a Jeep that could be used in the city. We were working for the Byzantine Institute. They were paying us, but we were working on a Turkish monument, which we would get only publication rights, but otherwise, of course, it was Turkish property. They were going to have a fine museum when it was finished, and yet the customs—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Because there had been no precedent—

CARROLL F. WALES:  There had been no precedent for that. And the same thing had happened in in Cairo when we had gone to work at Mount Sinai. [00:08:10] I believe a Swiss concern company had offered to furnish us with aluminum scaffolding because wood is rather scarce in the Mount Sinai desert area and would not be as strong, as manageable as aluminum scaffolding. That had to be brought back at the end of each season to the customs people and left there and then taken back again the following year because, again, there was no precedent for such a thing. They might think we're going to sell it or something. Again, we were working for the church, but it's these little things, which bureaucracy sometimes interferes with. And then we did have trouble in Greece when we were at Mount Athos in getting all our work permits. This, again, was to a certain extent but not exclusively, in the fact that—and often we ran up against this in working in a foreign country where there were small restoration centers being started out that they felt that they wanted to do their own work. They didn't want outside people to come in. Some of this is understandable, but if you can convince them that your intent is good, that you're not going to take over, you're not going to do anything that they don't approve of, it can be worked out, and in every case it was. But there were little, little unpleasantness—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  I think you've—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —at times.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —alluded to that. You're a bit of a diplomat, aren't you? You mentioned an example— [00:10:02]

CARROLL F. WALES:  We had to be.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —in business here in Boston, you were the one who talked.


ROBERT F. BROWN:  You're the one—

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right. Of course, here in Boston, there was a matter of prices were going up little by little. Mr. Oliver had never charged a great deal, and it probably had never increased its prices at all. But then when we came long, a was a time when all prices, all such things were more than they had been in the years before. So one had to be a little diplomatic and convince the people that this might have been the going rate 20 years ago or even 10 years ago but was—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So that was the period—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —with the expenses being—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Tremendous inflation.

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right, that's right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Twenty or thirty years, right?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right. So and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  In Florence was there a—did you work—was there and overall administration and was there a national—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, there was an overall administration and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Who headed that?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, that—there was the CRIA, the—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  The Committee to the Rescue—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Restoration of—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Restoration.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right, which was formed, an international group. However, this had—whatever was done had to be told to and complied with the Italians. The Italians, always good restorers because it's—housekeeping is part of their taking care of the great heritage that they have. But we found that not only were they—wanted to be exactly certain of how we were going to do something, and if it was a sound way of treating it. And not only with us but there were even discussions and a little—well, no, I will just say discussions with restorers that came from Venice, restorers that came from Rome, wherever they came from. [00:12:07] Italians are suspicious, and it's a good way to be. There's less chance of any damage being done if there's complete understanding of why a certain treatment is used and if it really is the proper treatment to be used, so, but—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But you would be discussing it with these people?

CARROLL F. WALES:  With them, right, yes. They would say—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Not only with the people in Florence but others would come in?

ROBERT F. BROWN:  That's right, yes. Because some other people from other nationalities or other restoration departments would have their way of doing something. Now, is their way better? Is it not as good or is more efficient or whatever, all had to be thrashed out before one will really went to work. And that was time consuming at times, but I don't think we ever had any great—no great problem that I know of. I know the minute we arrived on a project, we were immediately put to work so that there were certain obvious things that had to be done.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Had to be done.

CARROLL F. WALES:  And only one way of doing them. But anything such as I did sit in or did know something about some of the marble problems and the wall fresco things to make sure that we weren't—that we were removing everything possible, and we're not doing something that later on would have to be redone. But it was a great experience, and I know that we all helped a great deal. There was a nice feeling over all of this in that so many people offered their services all over the world to come and help to save these great works of art. [00:14:00] And I—for years and years afterwards, all of the or many of the restoration departments in Italy were still working on projects that were related to the flood. Many of them still—we saw a room—when we left, we saw rooms of things that were put in the plastic bags until—some of them even frozen until they could be properly treated. So that because of all of this, because of great world concern, most things were saved. A few, a few damages were already done before anyone could get at them, but in most cases, I think, only because only because of the great amount of help was so much done.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Were you ever to any degree involved also in the longstanding effort to—in restoration in Venice and—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  And installing the—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. No, I did not. I know that Bump Hadley, the director at the—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  The Gardner—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —the Gardner was the chairman, was head of that, and except for Oliver Brothers contributing, we had nothing to do with that. We were much too busy at that time when that began—it still is going on of course—that—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  In other work.

CARROLL F. WALES:  In other work in Spain or in our summers in Greece and or own work here at home, and going to University of Wisconsin and getting them going.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Maybe we could review some of your work outside of the Ipswich Street workshop. You've mentioned various particular commissions you had in Boston aside of the studio. For example, the restoration, I think, of certain murals or other work in buildings in the Boston area. [00:16:06]

CARROLL F. WALES:  In the Boston area, yes. The—in the Boston area, in 1965, we took some 20 paintings from Faneuil Hall, all of the smaller ones around the walls and worked on them a few at a time in our studio. They were repainting the hall at the time, and these were portraits of some landscapes, and so on, mostly portraits though. We worked on those in the studio, and in September 1965, we went to the House of Representatives and worked on the Herter murals. And—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Those Herter murals, those were turn-of-the-century paintings?


ROBERT F. BROWN:  This is Adele and Tim Herter?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Christian Herter did those, right, yes. And there had been—on one side, there had been some water damage when the glass-type roof had leaked a little and certain streaks had come down over them. But they had not—any of them been cleaned, I guess, perhaps since they were—since they were done. And so a scaffold was put up, and we worked on them when the house was not in session. And then we're allowed to continue as long as we got there before the house started to be in session and were as quiet as possible. And we're—we had aluminum scaffolding of course—up over the speaker's seat and all along that side. We're screened off so that we couldn't see them, and they couldn't see us, and so that we could continue working on those. It was a matter of getting nicotine deposits and dirt and dust off the surface as well as the repairing any damages due to water and so on. [00:18:17] Then in 1968, we went to University of—to Dartmouth College, as I've mentioned, merger worked on the Orozco thing.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  How did—who called you in to do that work, do you recall?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I—it was a Mr. Lathrop. I don't remember his first—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Oh, I see, Churchill Lathrop.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Churchill Lathrop, a wonderful man.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  He is very—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right. Now, I—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  A professor there who had known Orozco when he worked on it, right?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, exactly, a wonderful—right, yes, we knew him very well. And so, I suppose he had heard of work that we had done on fresco, and so. Sometimes, we would—if people didn't know us directly, they would call up either the Fogg Museum or the Boston Museum and in some cases, they would call NYU and Larry Majeswki, the restorer there.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did you find that Orozco had done his frescoes quite well?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, we did.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, technically, they were well done.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Technically, they were well done. It was not anything that he had done that caused any problems. It was a few markups, a few cases where people had thrown—well, there was one kind of a liquid what it was—although, I don't think anything. Food was not allowed in the place, but it was a few instances. Well, perhaps, the cleaning people had done a bit of damage but nothing very spectacular. [00:20:01] There was just the one place that I remember that, again, had some seepage of moisture through the walls that had caused some damage. But again, it was mostly that the surface needed going over and getting rid of dust and dirt, which is what we did. There was not a great deal of retouching that had to be done. I'm looking at pictures in my notebook in the Dartmouth paper in November 19, 1968. The—there are pictures and quite a write-up on what we did that time. In 1969, I did something, which is not in the restoration line really, but I—the Brooklyn Museum had—was offering a tour of 20-some people. I think we were almost 20, mostly retirees, and so David Saltonstall had called me and asked me if I would be willing to take a tour group. I had never—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What was he? Was he at that museum?

CARROLL F. WALES:  He was—no. I think he was in charge of the Ferguson company that was arranging the tour for the museum. Now, what—Because I got a very nice letter from David after it was all over with, but I—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Oh, taking members of the Brooklyn Museum?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, not necessarily the museum, but—although a few of them were. Most of them were people who had been—who had retired from whatever work. There was a librarian there. There were—not all of them elderly, but a number of them were. [00:22:04] It was—it was a nice group. And this was in—this was in 1969, and we flew directly to Istanbul and then we went and had several days there. Of course, I showed them all the work that we had done in various places.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  This is the first and about the only time you've done this sort of thing?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, it is.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  A guide for an—

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right. It was very strenuous and—


CARROLL F. WALES:  It is. I will—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  I wish you'd illustrate that.

CARROLL F. WALES:  I will. I will. The—I'll give you the itinerary first. We flew directly to Istanbul, a few days there, and of course, I knew good restaurants. This pleased them a great deal because they said, "No else had paid that much attention to food as well as to the monuments." And from there, we went by bus south. We went to Bursa, which is a short distance away from Istanbul. It was, for a very short time, one of the last outposts of Byzantium after the fall of the city. It's a very, very nice place up in the mountains. Then we went from there to—I think I'm getting this in—getting this in the right order. We stopped at Troy briefly, and there's not a great deal to see there unless you're an archeologist and know what—and even then there's been some discussion as to—[00:24:10]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What do you—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —what periods and so on. But the—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Why would you have stopped there because of—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Because it was Troy, because it's still spectacular even though the land extends a bit further that it did at the time of Troy because then I think the water—the Dardanelles, the strait came in closer to the city than it does now. But you could look across the plain and then you could visualize how the—where and now the battle must have been fought. Of course, if you wanted to—you could buy fragments of the Trojan horse.


CARROLL F. WALES:  Yeah. [They laugh.] That of course—


CARROLL F. WALES:  —was pretty a farfetched. But then from there, we went down to Pergamon and Ephesus, which are two of the great ruins that—well Pergamon is up on the hill, a very spectacular place and one of the finest amphitheaters on the side of the hill. One of the largest and finest that I have ever seen in reasonably good condition, too, of course. The—the great monument is in Berlin that was taken—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You mean the altar?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right. It came from there. But then to Ephesus, which is down on the plain more and this, of course, very, very—a long road with ruins on either side but some of them quite, quite spectacular. It's a very—it's—tour groups always stop there if they—whether they're coming by land or whether they are coming by ship. [00:26:06] They will always make a point of going to Ephesus and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did you find it rewarding taking these people around, or did they try your patience or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —they had tried my patience at times. There was one woman that kept falling down, and so I always had to be careful with her. I really needed another person at times to help me, and this was mentioned in the letter that I got later on. And that—but in each place that we went, that is the larger places, there was a guide waiting, a local guide that was—had been assigned to us by the people who had organized this tour. They would take over and get us into certain museums and sites and also add their bit of knowledge to whatever we were looking at, and that, of course, was a great help. And then—but then back to the characters. You had to change film for them sometimes. They would misplace something. When—we had a numbering system so that I would get off the bus first of course, and I would count them as they came out and count them as they went in. And there was one woman, a delightful lady but she—no matter how many times I told her that she must wait with the rest of the group, she would see something that looked interesting, and she would just stray out and look at it. I felt like I had a herd of sheep or something that had to be controlled all the time. Still, they were a very good, compatible group. [00:28:00] For the most part, I enjoyed it, but it was something of an ordeal partly because I was on my own a great deal of the time. Now, from Mount Ephesus, we went down to Sardis, which is just—oh, we went to Izmir first of course, which is the old city was Smyrna, and there's a magnificent harbor. From Izmir, we went out to Sardis where Professor Hanfmann from Harvard had been doing a lot of excavation work, and Larry Majeswki, of course, was the restorer that had gone and worked on a number of things such as some of the mosaics that had to be worked on and lifted and so on.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  That was a job that that you almost took, right?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That was a job that I had a chance to take and couldn't because I had already signed up to go to Istanbul at the time.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  How long were you on this tour with these people?

CARROLL F. WALES:  It was about a 10-day tour, as I remember.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Now, it was very compact, compressed.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. Oh, between September 24th and October 15th. And then the—they had expanded the tour a little almost the last couple weeks or so before—well, not that—maybe a month before we had planned to do this. Because I had known about it some six months earlier, and I spent the whole summer reviewing and reading and talking with Vermeule at the Boston Museum—because I had known him when we were in college together about certain places that I was not too familiar with, although I had visited them—Aphrodisias and Priene, and Meletus, and so on, along the Ionian the Turkish coast. [00:30:09] And then from Izmir, we flew to Ankara. Oh, so as I started to say, they had added Cyprus to this tour. Well, I did not know Cyprus that well, but fortunately, I knew some of the people who were still working there, so they showed me around a little more, and so that went on very well. But we flew first to—from Izmir to Ankara and from Ankara, we took a bus down to Cappadocia, which is incredibly interesting and unusual place. it is—it looks like a landscape on the moon in that there are volcanic mounds and peaks, and so on, that had been hollowed out and used by the Christians in early times and decorated with Byzantine frescoes. And it's—the landscape itself is really quite incredible. And then from there, we went down to Kayseri, which is a very important Turkish city, very, very interesting.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Turkish Muslim—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Turkish Muslims city, right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  — of Ankara.

CARROLL F. WALES:  And one of the things that we saw there, not only the Kayseri mosque, which is very impressive but also some of the Seljuk. That's one of the Turkish tribes. Some of their architecture, which is decorative brick structure, and they make patterns in their brick walls. Much of this was somewhat new to me. [00:32:00] Of course, I had done a certain amount of research on it, but I had not seen such an extensive amount of it. And then also near Ankara are some Hittite ruins, and these were of great interest to us. Michael Wood in his program In Search of the Trojan [War] seems to think that—or have evidence that some of the Hittites had something to do with the fall of Troy, but that's another subject. But the Hittite carvings and some of the fortifications on the walls on the—there's one particular lion gate, which is very impressive were all very interesting to see. Very often, some of these things while there not very many ruins remaining but just foundations are especially interesting I find in the surroundings or why they picked a certain area. Sometimes high enough for defense and also because spectacular views, and you can just imagine how impressive it must have been in ancient times. Of course Ankara, itself, has a great museum there of archaeological material. And then from there, we flew down to Cyprus. We flew to Nicosia, and this was at the time when—it was right after the Turkish-Greek War. We were right on the edge of the Turkish section, but the Nicosia has a fine museum. [00:34:02] We had to go by UN convoy through the Turkish section to come to some of the Greek sites on the other side. For instance, we went to the east to Famagusta and then we went north through the Turkish section to—oh, dear, I can't think of the name now—on the north—but up to north to see the cities there and then back to—and then eventually back to Istanbul where we flew home. But I got a letter when I got back from David Saltonstall. He was the vice director for administration at the Brooklyn Museum. He says, "Dear Carroll, you have apparently walked off with the honor of being the most popular person ever to lead a Brooklyn Museum study tour, and I'm enormously grateful. From what I hear, you had to perform services beyond the call of duty, and it has taught me never again to send a trip out without a secondary helping hand, and I would underline all of that. [They laugh]. I would love to talk when we have a moment and so on. Best regards, David Saltonstall."

ROBERT F. BROWN:  This was—it was indeed something you did—you wouldn't want to do and nor did you do again?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, I didn't do it. I didn't do again.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  The one and only time?

CARROLL F. WALES:  One and only time. Well, I never had time again to do it but I did—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  [Cross talk]?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, I did need more help.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  I suppose you took it as sort of as a chance to have a subsidized, sentimental journey, right, around Turkey?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That I did?

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Yes, to you.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, I just thought it would be fun, and it was to—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But on the other hand, you hardly had time to look? [00:36:00]

CARROLL F. WALES:  I hardly had time no because I—you needed one person to look after the needs and to make—and to count the people. And I got—when I got—after a while when I got back, I got a very nice book, which I have here called Landmarks of Mapmaking from the wife of a surgeon in New York who was with us. She wrote in front of it in Turkish, "How do I get to Hagia Sophia?" and then under that—underneath that, she wrote, "Thanks for letting me be the 18th person." Because I would—meaning that I had counted each one as they came off to make sure—it's the only way you could do if you had to—knew by numbers. And, oh, I didn't mention one thing—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What did she mean by that 18th person?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, because she was nearly always the last one to get off the bus, so she was near the—but there was one little, typical incident, I guess, of when you went into mosques, you left your shoes outside. I remember when we went into Sultanahmet, the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, when we came out one woman said, "My shoes are gone. I can't find my shoes." Of course, that—it's something that doesn't happen very often in Turkey that people lose things because the Turks are quite honest people I've always found. And so, we didn't believe that anybody could have taken the shoes, particularly outside of a mosque. It just wouldn't be done. So, we called the Turkish man in charge there and went over everything very carefully. Well, after a little searching, discussing—discussion, and so on, we discovered that someone hadn't—one of the members had taken her shoes and put them on without realizing it. [00:38:13] And so, she had left her shoes there, which the other one didn't recognize, so—[laughs] All right, now—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Let's see. Now, what else should we talk about?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Now, I did want to—oh, I did want to mention which is sort of in between this. I'll go back just a little and then I will be up-to-date on—in my chronology here. In 1965, [19]66, David Carter who was—who was known in Providence when he was the director of the—Constantine had known him especially when he was the director of the museum there. He was the director of the Montréal Museum of Art, and he said, "They are doing some restoration work in the museum and also want a lot of the paintings worked on, getting in readiness for Expo 67, which is going to take place the next year. And would you and Constantine be willing to come up and spend some time working on things?" So, we found the best arrangement because we still—we had so much work to do in the studio. We found the arrangement was each month, one of us would go up for two weeks while the other one ran the studio in Boston and then when the first person had finished his two weeks and he came back, the other person would go up for two weeks. So, we did this for almost a year's time, and we worked on quite a number of very, very fine works of art. [00:40:00] Actually, Jack Washeba from the Fogg Museum was there working on paper projects as well, and so it was there. We stayed in a section of the museum. We had to get our meals outside, but the museum did put us up, which of course saved them some money. It was very convenient for us as well. Of course, the museum is right in the center so that it was easy to walk to the excellent restaurants that you have there and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did this work present new challenges or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, not necessarily. I mean, there were things that are similar to what I had worked on at the Fogg and also that we were beginning to work on in Boston. There were American English, the usual type of things. We didn't bring anything back to Boston to work in our studio because David had set up a fairly good studio, and we helped somewhat in suggesting the organization of it and things that they would need because later on, he hired people for full-time to take care of—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  To be on the staff.

CARROLL F. WALES:  To be on the staff.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Were there—you said English and American, were there also—? Or was this just before they began collecting things, French and French Canadian?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, no. There were some things but I think those most—for the most part came at a later time.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  The nationalism was not particularly present—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, no, it was not—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —at that time?

CARROLL F. WALES:  —at that time.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  There was not resentment of your being there?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Not at all. No, we saw none of that, none of that at all there. Of course, all the guards were French speaking and I knew a little French, but I could hardly understand what they were saying because I believe they speak a much earlier type of French. [00:42:04] But I had no trouble using my French when I needed to in restaurants and so on. So, that was a very interesting year of going back and forth and working for David. I remember Evan Turner, a good friend of mine, came by once while we were there. Later, he became the director at the Montreal Museum for a while. So then, the next thing, I suppose, would be in 1970 when we went in the early months of it to the University of Wisconsin. This was before the Museum was built, the Elvehjem Museum was built. There were painting—but Millard Rogers, the director who has since become the director at the Cleveland Museum. Millard said, "We believe we're getting funds, and we plan to build a museum, but in the meantime, there are things scattered around. Some of them need early attention, and some of them we'd like to have ready to go into the Museum as soon as we build it." So, we took back with us a few things that we could work on in the studio—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  In Boston.

CARROLL F. WALES:  In Boston. Or rather, he sent us things.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  How did you come to know about this, particularly the University of Wisconsin Museum or the collection?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Again, I'm—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Someone referred.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Someone referred—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —it to you?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, and I'm not quite certain who did at the time. But this—

CARROLL F. WALES:  I don't know.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —particular interest for the collection of Russian icons, is that correct?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. I believe, I believe that Madison called Chicago because Chicago is quite close by, and Al Jackstus was there at the time as a restorer. [00:44:11] I think that Jack—that Al might have referred us to Millard Rogers. I don't know. Yes, the Ambassador Davies who was an ambassador in the '30s to Russia had collected quite a number of—21 icons actually in his collection, and he had gone to the University of Wisconsin. So, he gave these to the university, and we worked on that collection most—we could work on a few of them because a temporary restoration room had been set up for us before the museum was open. We worked on some of those and then the rest of them we worked on in the studio. They had added two more. Someone else had given them two others, so there were a total of 24 icons, some very important ones, some very fine ones. Later after all the work was done, George Galávaris, G-A-L-A-V-A-R-I-S who is teacher at McGill University and a great scholar in those icons, has written a book and all of the icons are illustrated in the book. In addition, we also worked on—this was a little later when the museum was built and was opened. We worked on some of the large Soviet realism paintings, Russian paintings, the great enormous things, oh, five, six, seven-feet long some of them. [00:46:05] They show very—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Heroic figure?

CARROLL F. WALES:  —heroic figures, right. You don't see many of them, I guess, outside of the small collection.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Who was the person who was interested in getting them fixed up? Again, was this Rogers?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Again, it was Millard Rogers, right—


CARROLL F. WALES:  —who would do that and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Were there particular problems you faced here? Was it—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, there were.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —challenge?

CARROLL F. WALES:  There were a number of them because we worked for them for quite a number of years.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Yes, about 1967 to [19]74, right, you started—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, right. We went back and forth and would stay when the Elvehjem Museum was built. Then a lot of things were ready to be moved in and we—they showed us the facilities, a nice big room for restoration work and then we began to supply it with solvents with—

[END OF TRACK wales92_7of9_cass_SideA_r.]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Nineteen ninety-three, and we'll be starting very shortly. Okay.

[Audio Break.]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Now your—already a bit about your work at the University of Wisconsin for its new Elvehjem Museum from about the late [19]60s into the 1970s, beginning with work on the Davies collection of Russian icon. There was also though a very important Renaissance panel painting, which I think you and Constantine Tsaousis worked on. Is that correct?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. It was the Vasari, Adoration of the Shepherds it's called. It's 131 inches tall by 69 inches wide. It's a rather large painting on several panels put together. It's unusual partly because it has label showing all of the owners for 400 years since it was first painted in 1571. The Wisconsin—and the Elvehjem Art gallery considers it one of their most valuable paintings. It had been in one of the college buildings before they constructed the museum in 1970, and it had not been the under the most—under the best atmospheric conditions, and so there was quite a bit of flaking of paint. And so, we had it in the studio, brought it down to the studio room at the museum, and had it flat on the tables there for quite a number of weeks working on it, reattaching the loose paint before we could do any cleaning.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And is this very slow and painstaking work? [00:02:00]

CARROLL F. WALES:  It is, yes, because it's—because of the sheer size of it, it couldn't be moved around very much. Also because it is on wood and the—you couldn't put it in a vacuum press obviously. So, we had to use photographer's tacking irons, controlled heat, and Japanese paper, and wax to set down all of the paint blisters and to consolidate it before we could really continue doing very much cleaning to it.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well, this was simply a painting that the university had had for some time?

CARROLL F. WALES:  It was given to them in the 1920s. I don't have the exact date, but sometime the '20s, it was given to the university, and as I say, has a complete provenance from the time it was painted.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  How had you and Constantine happened to work at Wisconsin? Was—you were referred?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. I believe they called the Fogg Museum because I did not know Millard Rogers, the director at that time. I think, actually, it started with the icons. They wanted some—they—because they were not in the best condition. They had a lot of flaking of paint, again, all on panels, and because we've had experience in Mount Athos we're working on Byzantine objects. I think that was the reason that we were called out to look at the Davies collection. And then from there on, of course, we went and did many things with the museum over a periods of years.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well, see, your work for the Greek Orthodox Church even after you left the Middle East and you—was continuous there or every periodic—practically every year, isn't that correct? [00:04:08] You and—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —Constantine began working at Mount Athos, the series of monasteries there, which you'd already, I gather, done some work or visited in 1955.

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's' right. We'd—Constantine and I had visited then while we were still working at the Kariye Camii. But then after we had finished the work and I had come back to the States and Constantine too, Jack Thacher, John Thacher who's then the retired director Dumbarton Oaks, had the always wanted to make some contribution, to do something to help the monsters in Mount Athos in northern Greece. So, he called us and said that he had wondered if we would be able to volunteer our time to go to Mount Athos and do some work on the icons to see what needed to be done. He said that he had got a Greek photographer who'd volunteer his time. He had Joe Columbus who came not the first year, but later to work on textiles.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And he was—where was he from?

CARROLL F. WALES:  He was from the Textile Museum in Washington and then Fred Goff who was the head of rare manuscripts, papers at the Library of Congress. Many of these people were friends of Jack's and many that he knew through conservation area. [00:06:00] So, all of us agreed that we would be very happy to take part in this project. We would get all our expenses, but our services would be voluntary. So we—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And you and Constantine could afford that by then?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, we could and we felt that it would be a great experience, and it would make us very happy if we could do it. Because it would—it would only be for two to three weeks this first time. And then, of course, Jack had an in the back of his mind that if we could convince all the authorities because we have to get all kinds of permits do this, monasteries—permit from the monastery, from the foreign office, from the minister of fine arts, culture, work permits, all that sort of thing. And—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Is there any sensitivity in those days on the part of the Greeks that foreigners were coming in to do this work?


ROBERT F. BROWN:  Were they somewhat embarrassed that they—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, that—this we found in a number of instances and places that we have worked. Even though we want to be of help and don't want to infringe on any part of their work and because it would all be paid for from the States, which would be a great help to them. But still there was a little bit of jealousy here and there I think, and we ran into it to a small extent at Mount Athos, too. Still, we were on good terms with the restorer from Athens. In fact, he came out, and he did some work along beside us so—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Oh, you mean there was a man—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —who regularly would go—went out there?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, not regularly. I think one of good things that happened out of this was that the Greek authorities, the cultural authorities there suddenly realized the great amount of work that needed to be done on the icons and other objects in the monasteries. [00:08:15] I think we, sort of, alerted them to this fact, and so that after we left—we were there for five summers. After we left, they started a program of going there and continuing work, but the—at that time, their conservation center was not very large. They had a lot of things to do right in Athens in the museums there and so on. Of course, there were 20-some monasteries in Mount Athos and a tremendous amount of work that has to be done. Because the monks do not consider their icons, their objects of—as far as the artistic point of view, but instead, they are objects of worship. They would—if the icon got quite dark from all candle soot and dirt and so on, and the old varnishes darkening that were put on them, they would wipe some olive oil over them, which for the moment would wet them and make them a little more visible. But actually was even worse because it would attract more dust and dirt and really didn't solve the problem. And then once in a while, one of them would be broken, might have fallen for some reason, or perhaps a wood was so brittle it would split, and so they would take this out of the church and put it in this [Greek word], which is really a word for attic store room.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  How do you spell that?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, I don't know because it's a Greek word, and I don't think there's an equivalent for it except that it is—it's a large storeroom really, and we—they— [00:10:11]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  The problem for there, was it to warm and dry?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yeah, oh, yes, it was—it was—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  It was very uncomfortable?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right. As warm as any place in the monastery, but whatever changes would be gradual so—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  When you and Constantine first went there to work, what was the—what was it like? What was your impression when you arrived and were you warmly received or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes, indeed. Well, you see—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was Jack Thacher there already?

CARROLL F. WALES:  He came—he went with us, yes, of course, the first time and the—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And what was he like? Was he a rather dominating figure or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, he was in a way. Of course, he's a very good administrator but very much interested, a very warm person, a very generous person but a very strict person. Now, all of that was ideal combination. Fortunately, he had contacts with many wealthy people. He was a wealthy mean himself, and so he would—he could get contributions from many other people. He had good connections, and as I've said before, he was one of the trustees or one of the people who kept the work going in at Mount Athos—I'm sorry in Kariye Camii in Istanbul. I don't know if we would have accomplished all the things that we did if it hadn't been for Jack's interest and getting—raising funds for the work in both places.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Because he had plenty at home, didn't he, at Dumbarton Oaks? I mean maintaining and—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right, yes—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —curating there frequently? [00:12:00]

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right. Right. But when—this—the project at Mount Athos was right after he had retired as director. He told us that he had always had in the back of his mind that he would like to do something for the holy monasteries. He—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was Mount Athos—excuse me—rather little known then? Had very many people gone to it or—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —at that time?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. I think at that time there were that many people that knew about it. Now, of course, there are. The publications are being put out on the manuscripts on—not very much on the icons yet, but that would be a tremendous work because there are—each of the 20 monasteries have a large collection of icons, and that would take a great deal of work. Kurt Weitzmann has been there and done a considerable amount of work, and a number of other scholars off and on. It is—it's not easy to get to. You have to go by land, by boat. You can't go over land. It's a peninsula of land with the 20 monasteries on either side of the this peninsula. But you cannot go there by surface you—by land I should say. But you have to go to Ouranoupolis or Ierissos, the fishing villages on either side of the peninsula. From there, you have to take a boat and then you have to go to the central, little village almost to get all your permits. When we were there, the roads were very bad, most of them, they're footpaths or donkey paths. But there was a bus from the ship landing up to the little village where you got your permits. Now, in these last years that I've gone back, they—some of the roads have been improved, and it's a little more accessible. [00:14:04] But we—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  How did you or how did Thacher know where to direct you? Had there been anything like a survey done to determine which monastery had the greatest needs? Or was it a matter of which was the most willing to allow outsiders?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, it was a combination of all those things I think, plus the fact that the monastery that we went to which was a Serbian monastery, although—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —monastery? Which monastery was that?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Hilandar.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Hilandar?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Hilandar, which is a Serbian word. While it was Serbian, it was—most of the monks were Serbian. Like the Bulgarian one, like the Russian one, they were all under the Greek Orthodox patriarch. And the—it—no men are—or no women are allowed on the peninsula at all. This is said to be the—one of the first monks that—or hermits that was living there had said that he had a vision that he must come out of his cave, and he must get people and materials and so on, and build a church to the Holy Virgin. He had a vision of the Virgin, and she had said that this was her island—this was her land and that no women would be allowed to visit. That, of course, is still the still the case. So, it's not a tourist attraction in that respect. It's mostly for scholars and then of course the monasteries for the most part are not—they may be rich in artifacts, but they're certainly not as far as funds or maintenance. They have their own gardens. [00:16:12] They're always—a monastery is always built near a water supply, but they depend. And there are tracks of forest that they can sell off parts of to help the finances. They do depend on contributions from the outside. Very much like the Vatican, they're a little entity in themselves, although they're under the Greek government, but they still have a great deal of say in what can be done or should done there.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  How did you happen to go to the Serbian Orthodox monastery?

CARROLL F. WALES:  We went there—I don't know all the particulars but partly I suppose—because it was the closest one. That is the nearest one to the mainland and it was just a short distance from a little fishing village, a couple of hours by boat. I don't know. I think Jack, having visited nearly all monasteries, had some quite good friends there among the monks. He found that they would be quite happy if we came there to work, and so that was our first destination. And then I suppose he thought that perhaps later we might go to some of the others. We didn't actually. We stayed for five years, five summers—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But other restorers did work in other—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yeah, other restorers did work in some of the other monasteries—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Now, at the monastery or the Hilandar, what was notable and what did you decide? Did you survey what they had and decide which—where to begin?

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Yes, we did, of course, always, with the Father Chrysostomos, spoke English, was one of the more educated monks there. [00:18:09] He was always with us. He came in everyday while we were working, and he directed us as to what he thought was necessary to be worked on or restored for the church. We would also—when he finally showed us this attic room because there was one on one of the top floors full of icons that were no longer used in the church. And some of their best icons where there, some of them broken in two or fragments and so on. And so, we said that these were so important that they were just drying and crumbling, and that if we also could use some of our time to work on these things—it would be a great loss if any of them were completely destroyed. So, we made a compromise doing the things that they wanted to do and some of the things that we wanted or felt that should be done. Of course, Jack was in on all of this and we—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You mean he was very diplomatic, I take it?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, very much so, yes.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  He knew how to—

CARROLL F. WALES:  To talk with—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —create—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —with them right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  — to get them to agree to compromise?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes, yes.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What were—essentially, what was it about? Who had done these icons and about what time period are we speaking, for the most part?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, they go—they go back to some of the early period when icons were first—not to the very beginning. You have to go to Mount Sinai really to get such a survey of the earliest, 10th century and so on. These were probably all a little later than that or there was some, I believe, that were close to that period. [00:20:06] But then they went straight through from the 12th, 13th, 14th, all through that area, all through that time just before the fall of Constantinople. And there were—especially in the Serbian monastery, there were a lot of Russian icons there because, at one time, when Russia converted to the Orthodox religion, they had a very large monastery nearby, Panteleimon, and so that they had contributed, and they had icon painters there. And some of the monks in the earlier days were icon painters themselves. Theophanes was one of the leading ones. And since most—since nearly every case, the icons were not signed, the artist consider his name worthy to be put on them, but by—through stylistic study, one could tell pretty much if they were Balkan, if they were Russian, if they were Greek, or Constantinople, or Cretan, or whatever. As I think I've said about some of the icons at Mount Sinai, it was interesting to see that in the long phase of Byzantine icon painting, you get different styles as you do in European painting—such as a primitive way of painting, a Renaissance way of painting, a Baroque way of painting, even up to the Rococo. [00:22:02] And then, of course, if the Byzantine Empire had lasted even longer, we don't know what directions that they might have taken.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But you mean—the making of icons essentially ceased with the fall of Byzantium because—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, it didn't exactly cease because they were many icons and first-rate icons that were done after the 15th century in the manner or in the Byzantine manner. Because it was quite a strict code that they had to follow in painting icons. Color symbolism was very important. You knew that the virgin's robe was always blue, the color of heaven or purple, the sign of royalty. You know that Saint Peter had a short blonde beard, that Saint Paul had a high forehead and carried a book, and it was—there were inscriptions of their names and sometimes of the actual scene, but there were many people who couldn't read, and so they had to know what the scene was depicting. And so, it always had to be very much the same. There could be an artist would have little stylistic differences, but still the main characters were always dressed the same way, and the colors, the positioning of them, and so on, were so that—they were not pictures. They were just a visual stimulus to—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  To worship—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —to worship, right. So that when they—when you say that they're worshiping an idol, they don't consider that at all. They don't think of the icon as something they're worshipping. [00:24:05] But only it gives them the thought of the saint or the person that they're worshipping, and that's what they relate to.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well then, had most of those icons not been made on Mount Athos but brought as trick—as pious offerings to these monasteries?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I suppose. I don't know what the percentage would be, but certainly a great percentage of them were brought in, were given to the monastery, were brought in. Because they—some of them have such great, artistic style and you know that they couldn't have been done by—only by the monks because there were so many monks that were not very well-educated but—that—and yet at the same time, there are carvings or wooden crosses, various things that the monks themselves did. But then you go from that to the ecclesiastical robes, they obviously had to be done on the outside and brought in, and the metal crosses, much of the architecture, the—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  It was done on the outside of these, right?

CARROLL F. WALES:  It was done on the outside, right. Yes.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What was the kind of work you and Constantine found yourself doing for the most part? What was the problem with the icons you dealt with? Was it cleaning?

CARROLL F. WALES:  It was cleaning. It was removing thick, thick layers of varnish that had been one put over the other. Because when you wet a surface like that, it changes the surface so that it makes it—makes the figures or the design underneath a little clearer because of the wetting process. [00:26:05] The light doesn't reflect off the little particles as much, and so you begin to see what's underneath. However, then what you put on if it's not the proper thing and if you've not removed the dirt and varnish and soot and so on, you're right back where you were before and even worse because you've added another layer to it. And then as I say, some of them were damaged. It is fairly dry on Mount Athos, even though the sea is on either side. But in the monasteries, the icons are kept in the church, and there were candles burning all the time there, and so it's a fairly steady humidity. On the other hand, these are done on wood and various kinds of wood, not always seasoned and over a period of time and with the constant handling, they do deteriorate. So, we had quite a few problems especially—the cleaning was very important, but even more so was structural part of it. We had to make certain that the wood was going to hold together. We had to inject synthetic varnishes or use wax to help seal off the pores of the wood so that they wouldn't dry out or split in any other way. That was the most important thing to get the support taken care of.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Also, did you have to put batons on the back or anything?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, that we did not do. In fact, we removed some because they were restricting the wood. The batons are not always a good way. I think I've talked about this—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Yes, you have.

CARROLL F. WALES:  —at Mount Sinai.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You've explained, yeah.

CARROLL F. WALES:  But we had—you see at the monastery in Hilandar, only very infrequently was there any electricity at all and never during the day when we were working. [00:28:13] They gave us a nice, little room on the second floor, which had a lot of windows in the front so, and we put a long table in. But we needed something to heat wax, and so we got a—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What, a generator?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, no, not a generator. Just a simple lamp, a heating unit with a spirit. Spiritol [ph] they called it. It's like—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Like an alcohol—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —alcohol burner, that's right. And so, we found that even though under these primitive conditions, we could heat spatulas when we need to press down or flatten something after we had melted some of the wax. The wax we could put in a tin cup and put on top of one of these burners, so we could melt that. That has a low heating point—melting point, and we managed. Although, it was not an ideal way of working, but we did—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well, you also had the fact that the monks were going to be using these actively as soon as you had restored, correct?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Many of them—right. Many of them would go back into the church. In fact, we—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  They wouldn't be in the stable conditions you might expect in a museum for example?


ROBERT F. BROWN:  They were going to be handled as well?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Exactly. Well, some of—some of the quite important ones were under glass on stands because they were worshipped in the church. Then many of them were in the iconostasis. Again, they were covered by the silver covering that is put over these. [00:30:07] What I'm saying is that many of these were not going to be handled. The larger ones, and the more important miracle ones, and so on, were going to be put back into their cabinets and remain there. But at the same time, there were quite a number of small ones, which were brought from the—from the—back from the altar and back to the iconostasis, and put out on a special stand, a table where they would be worshipped for the particular saint's day that they were observing. So, that it was a combination of all these things. Then in addition, it's not just the church, but there are a number little chapels around the monastery. The architecture and the monastery itself is—it's one of the finest and one of the perhaps most Byzantine. It's like a small enclosed, walled, medieval city. You have the very large central courtyard, a small door that you enter into this enclosure. And the—in the—in the large courtyard is of course the church, and a few other buildings such as the bakery where—because they made their own bread, a place where they would make their wine and so on. But you could—if you knew the way, you could go by going up and down stairs. You could go completely around this enclosure without touching the ground, without going outside. And this, of course, was necessary because the monasteries are opened at sunrise and closed at sunset. [00:32:07] The big, heavy doors—and this is goes back to the early times when they needed this kind all protection from pirates from the sea or when there is any invasion of any kind to protect themselves, to protect the treasures that they had.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Mm-hmm [affirmative].

CARROLL F. WALES:  Now, the—so, we went there the first year and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  About what year was that when you and Constantine just went?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That was at—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Late ‘60s?

CARROLL F. WALES:  It was the late—it was in, I believe, 1970 when we first—the first year that we went there. And then I think we made such a good impression, and certainly, all of us were very enthusiastic about this. We've realized that there was years and years of work to be done, but at least, we could make a start and get other people interested in it. In fact—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did you train people? I mean—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No. But we did show some of the monks what they should do and what they shouldn't do as far as adding more varnish to them and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Or olive oil.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Actually, what they did because they realized the importance of some of these objects and that there wasn't room enough in the church to put back all the things that we were restoring. They, certainly, should not be put back into the attic room, the storeroom. They should be seen. Of course, we did get permission for first publishing rights on all of these. [00:34:06] So, Jack was able to raise a little money and had constructed a small building, the back wall being part of the wall of the monastery, but it protruded out a little into the little courtyard. He had constructed a small museum, and in this would go many of the icons that were not used daily in the chapels or in the church but were very important. It what something for people to see. In fact, many of the other monasteries have copied this idea and have been doing this since then.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  One function of the monastery was to welcome pilgrims and visitors?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, the—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  It was all in the tradition of having things out, a good many things out on display or for worship?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. It depended on how well received you were. That is if you were a serious student, or if you were a professor of course, or if you were of the religion, they would show you. I don't think any of us ever saw the complete treasure of the monasteries. It took us a while even with Constantine being Greek Orthodox and speaking Greek. They're always a little suspicious of—they were of outsiders. Because over the years, things have been found missing, small icons or pages from manuscripts, and so they—although, there is—when you leave Mount Athos, and on the boat before you touch the mainland, there is a customs that all your bags are searched to make certain that nothing has been taken from There, so they— [00:36:09] But what I'm saying is that it was not until the probably third or fourth year that we were there that we began to be shown—that we're then them shown more and more things, which were not seen by the public, the general public. Because they don't want people to know how—what some of their treasures are. They don't think perhaps it's quite that necessary because they've shown them all of the main things that are out in the church, and so on. Just as sort of an aside to that is that we were very fortunate being outsiders or, at least, I consider myself that not being Greek Orthodox. But we've made such good friends with many of the monks and convinced them that we were sincere in wanting to help them. We were fortunate in two different occasions. We had known the novices or the new—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  New monks or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —the monks who are eventually going to become monks. So, it always happened at midnight or very late at night, and they would come to our room—they'd warned us about this. They would ask us if we would like to come and watch the ceremony of a novice being ordained or created a monk. I don't know if ordained is the word. And it's very, very interesting in which the—this—all of the monks are in the small room and the person is covered with a black cloak, which eventually he's going to wear and then his civilian clothes are moved. [00:38:08] He puts on the monk attire and hat, and it's a ceremony of the monks chanting. It's all very, very impressive to see this ritual, which the public ordinarily does not see. Now as far as the visitors coming there, there are many people or many students. It's a free vacation in a certain way because the monks will not turn anyone away. It goes back to Abraham and the three angels that you must never turn away a visitor. He might be an angel. And so, they are expected or you are fortunate in being able to be put up for one night and to be fed for one day. But you shouldn't impose on them any more than that, unless you have a reason, scholastic, religious, and if the monastery is in agreement then, of course, you can stay as long as the monastery wishes you to. But it does—all of the visitors and we've heard this many, many times, too many of them disrupt the church service. They're not there to—as a tourist attraction. They're there to worship and be in retirement or kind of retreat, and outsiders do interrupt this many times.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Will you—did you get to know or was there opportunity to get to know several of the monks or were most of them too busy with their work?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No. Well, they were busy, but they would come by and see us. We got to know many of them and very well because, of course, we went there over a period of five years. [00:40:03]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And at some point, you've mentioned here, you gave a very nice—you had sent—give them, the monastery a gift, that's what I'm saying?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. When well in the beginning when we went there, we would take whatever we felt that they needed. Some of them after we've become good friends would tell us that they needed socks or they needed white shirts or their ballpoint pens, sort of things like that. But we—it was—so, I'll just finish a bit about Jack and our first years there and then I'll continue with that. The—Jack said to us. He said, "Would you like to continue going there if we can get the permits?" and he said, "I think we'll be able to raise a little money to pay a little more than your expenses." And we said, "Yes, by all means, we would like to do this." So, Jack Thacher was a very good friend to Mrs. Auchincloss, Jackie Kennedy's mother. So, one day, he told her about the project. He knew that on part of their honeymoon trip, I believe—but anyway, on a trip Onassis had taken Jackie around Mount Athos because it's a beautiful trip. I've done this, the whole thing by boat because the monasteries are situated on the sides of the hills. It's is very, very picturesque. Onassis seemed to have been much interested in the welfare of the monasteries, so he said to Mrs. Auchincloss, Jack did. He said, "Would—" He said, "we've been getting a lot of volunteer work on this. We don't have any funds started to help do the restoration, but we're working on it. [00:42:05] And since Ari, as he called him, owns Olympic Airways, wouldn't it be wonderful if he could send our group over one year on the Olympic Airways?" So, Mrs. Auchincloss says, "Well, you know my daughter Jackie, why don't you talk to her?" and Jack did. For two years, we were sent first-class on Olympic Airways from New York to Mount Athos. Of course, here we were flying first-class with all kinds of attention and VIP rooms and all of that. We arrived at the monastery and were greeted with a dish of beans for—[laughs]—that was—it was quite a change. Also, at the same time, we had started some work—and I'll talk about this in a little bit later. We had started some work at Tamarit Castle at the other end of the Mediterranean., so—


CARROLL F. WALES:  In Spain. So, for the last two to three years when we were working at Mount Athos, we considered those our medieval summers. Because we would go first to Mount Athos and work and live a quite primitive life. And then we would go to the other end of Mediterranean to Spain and work in a castle where we had a butler in a white jacket with white tie serving us dinner. So, from the monastery to the castle is what I was saying. The—so I guess, that that is it. Then—so for five years, we did—we worked in the monastery, most—nearly almost exclusively Hilandar because that is where we had started and that's where we were making a great deal of progress. [00:44:12] We couldn't really expand much, much more than that. We did not have all of the same people each time, but there was one summer that—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So you mean other people—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Other people—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  — other restorers?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right, yes. And one summer, we're very fortunate in—John Gettens of the Fogg was in Greece for one of the icon meetings I believe and during—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  The international—

CARROLL F. WALES:  International Committee of—was it?

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Of monuments.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, right. George Stout was also in that area, I forget for what reason. So, Jack convinced them that they should come to Mount Athos while we were there and also Larry Majeswki. So, we had—and two of Larry's students. Oh, the reason that Larry came was because two of his NYU conservation students were there that summer working with us. One of them is Paul—was Paul Schwartzbaum who's now head of—in Venice of the restoration department there. We've seen him a few months or some time, a year or so ago when they were doing the work on the Sistine Chapel and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, he's involved with that?

CARROLL F. WALES:  And—yes, he was involved with that afterward—but he was a student at the time. But it was—it was very—it was a wonderful time in having these. [00:46:00] As the article said that was—that wrote about this, it says that John Gettens was there studying the paint structures and obtaining samples of pigments for further study. George Stout was there who cleaned, consolidated a number of panels, and it was a most distinguished reunion of the old working team of Gettens and Stout who had of course were one of the founders of the of the conservation program at the Fogg Museum.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did you work somewhat with them at that time or were they just—

CARROLL F. WALES:  I worked—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —infrequently?

CARROLL F. WALES:  At where?

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Oh, on Mount Athos.

CARROLL F. WALES:  On Mount Athos, oh, yes, indeed.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Worked there?

CARROLL F. WALES:  We all worked in the same room. In fact, we—they said to us, "You, you're running this, you tell us what you want to do or you show us what we could do, and maybe we can make a selection," and so on. So, we all worked together in this room and it was—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What were the—perhaps you could briefly describe each of the two men at that point. What were they like as personalities? What about—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, they were wonderful people.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —John Gettens, what was he like? He was a chemist, right?

CARROLL F. WALES:  He was—yes, he was a chemist. He didn't do—actual—

[END OF TRACK wales92_7of9_cass_SideB_r.]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —it was Getten's primary—

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right, but he was—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —work while he's there?

CARROLL F. WALES:  He was also very interested in any aspect of these things and interested in the people as well. He was not just a scientist. He was a very, very wonderful man to work with. George Stout had left the Fogg when I was there. He was at the Worcester Museum then, but I worked under John Gettens for—all during my graduate work. In fact, he made—created some courses for me to work on as part of my master's degree. So, I felt very, very close to him, a very, very wonderful man. I knew his wife. I knew his daughter, of course, and it was a great experience and a great inspiration to me to know such a person. Of course, George Stout, we knew later on. I knew first when I went to the Worcester Museum and worked on the mosaic and then when he came to Boston and worked on—became the director at the Gardner Museum, again, was a great help to us. He also came to the Kariye Camii and worked with us when we had to remove some frescoes.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Yeah, well what—he was retired then from his formal position by the time he visited you at Mount Athos, wasn't he?

CARROLL F. WALES:  John Gettens?

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well, George Stout just about?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, no, that was 1970. He was still director at the Gardner Museum. Yes, right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What was he like having seen you, an old former pupil and the like?


ROBERT F. BROWN:  What was he like as a personality?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, well, he and Margaret Stout, again, were—they almost adopted us in a way I think. [00:02:05] He was such a great help when were at the Kariye Camii. That's when I got to know him best I suppose because he was there for a month or two telling us how to—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well, you mentioned how he helped solve—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Solve the—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —a really, really difficult structural problem.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Exactly. So that we took off large sections of frescoes, I've mentioned, I guess before and treated them then put them back on the wall. And it was his—all his doing that—and knowledge and expertise, and so on, because we had not done that sort of thing at that time. And then when he came back here, he was also a great help and inspiration and we went there often to have dinner in the top of the Gardner Museum where they lived.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well, was he a fairly formal person or approachable or how would—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, he was—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —you characterize him?

CARROLL F. WALES:  —perhaps a little more reserved than John Gettens. John Gettens was a very warm person, a very down-to-earth person. Now, that is you immediately knew that he was interested in every part of the work that you were doing. He was very easy to talk to and very easy to work for, and yet, he was strict too. If you didn't—if you didn't absorb what he was saying, he knew right away. You couldn't fool him at all. George Stout was a little bit different, perhaps a little stricter, not quite as much sense of humor as John Gettens had, but I mean these are little, little points. [00:04:01] They were both wonderful men. They were the beginners, the first people to teach us about materials, about—well, they had the inspiration, I suppose, of Edward Forbes before that, and his great collection of pigments and so on.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And they, in turn, had been teachers of Bob Bradley, the other person you saw?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, Bob, of course, studied under them with them—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So that these two men are the senior figures?

CARROLL F. WALES:  They were. They, certainly, were in my life and then—and even Dick Buck was—had learned a great deal from them as well. But they were two of the most important—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Probably John Buck had already got independent training before he worked there?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, I don't know. I think he got most of it at Fogg, but that I'm not quite clear about. I don't know, but I think so.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well now—

CARROLL F. WALES:  But he had already left, so I didn't know him except my contacts with him when he sent me out to do certain projects when I was still studying. But I was closer to both John Gettens and George Stout because I worked with them and under them directly more than I did anyone else and then, of course, later on even more so with Bob Bradley.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What caused you but then after five years to cease going to Mount Athos?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, we ran out of funds. And we had done—while, there was still a great deal to be done, we felt that we had done a lot all the major problems there. It was then getting a little more difficult for us to get permits to go anywhere else because the Greek Conservation Center suddenly expanded. [00:06:06] I think they felt that we had made our mark, but they would like to continue themselves. And so, it just—it—after five summers, it just sort of stopped. Oh, yes, and at the very end of that was when the colonels came, and there was an overthrow of the government. In fact, we had to leave. I think it was the last year. We had to leave rather hurriedly. There was no problem. We, Americans, were still—as long as we weren't English, we're still—because of the Makarios thing, we were—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You mean the English—

CARROLL F. WALES:  We were still considered very good friends. The soldiers when they were told who we were—what—they gave us protection, which perhaps we didn't need. But we did leave the monastery and got out of Greece as soon as we could.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Simply considered unwise to—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Unwise to stay there because I don't think anyone knew quite how it was all going to end.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But now the government, did it or—not saying the shape of or the form of soldiers, did it—was it very intrusive toward those monasteries? Were they generous—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  They just left alone?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, they were—they were pretty much left alone. Although there were—there were soldiers that were brought for the first time, I suppose, one to each monastery. I don't know. I know there was one at our monastery. They said it was for the protection of the monastery to make certain that no outsider would suddenly come there and take advantage of the disruptive times that were going on in Athens.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Mm-hmm [affirmative]. Well now, you already had worked, as you said a little earlier, at the other end of the Mediterranean at Tamarit Castle? [00:08:07]

CARROLL F. WALES:  At Tamarit right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Near Barcelona?


ROBERT F. BROWN:  How had that come about and what—

CARROLL F. WALES:  That had come about because Deering Danielson, the grandson of Charles Deering of Deering, McCormick, Harvester. Charles Deering had bought a castle at—it's just outside of Tarragona. It's the only early castle in the foundations to go back to 1100s. It's the only castle on the coast. Most of the castles are more inland and on higher elevations, and so on.


CARROLL F. WALES:  In Spain, right. We always flew to Barcelona and then we would drive down to Altafulla was the little town just—and in that town was the Castle of Tamarit.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  How had you been contacted or what—



CARROLL F. WALES:  But Deering Danielson was, I think, the economics—in the economics department of the consulate in Istanbul, and so we knew him. We met him when we went—we were both working at the Kariye Camii. We went a number of times to his house because I was sharing apartment with the cultural attaché that later became the consul general. But I was also invited to many of the consulate parties and because, as I've said before, we—the consulates would call us up and ask us if they could send important visitors out to see the work we were doing. [00:10:07] And so, I did know most of the people that worked in the consulate, and I knew Deering at that time. But Deering and I—well, he had lost contact with me. No reason why he shouldn't. So, when he—when he left there or when I had left there, he called NYU to see if they knew my address, and Larry gave it to him.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Larry Majeswki?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Larry Majeswki. So, he said to me—he wrote to me and he said, "I understand you go to Mount Athos each summer," and he said, "I wonder if you're on your way to home, you would stop at Tamarit and look at some of the problems we have in the church?" The church was really a cathedral, which was part of the castle. It—the wall of the—one wall of the church was the wall of the living quarters in the castle. There was, again, a small enclosure with a central courtyard—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But was this church a—wasn't it—wouldn't that have been the responsibility of the Catholic Church or was this a church—

CARROLL F. WALES:  It was a Catholic church, yes. And but it was now—it had been deconsecrated, and so it was—it was just part of the castle complex—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And his grandfather—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —had simply bought the shell of a castle or whatever it was—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Exactly, right and had built it up, restored a great deal of it, modernized it. And he had—he was a great collector as anyone would know if they go to the Chicago Art Institute and see many gifts there from Charles Deering. [00:12:01] Deering bought this from his grandfather, his grandfather's estate, and he continued modernizing it somewhat. His grandfather had added—had collected a great number of Spanish religious paintings, and they're nearly all on wood. One of the great problems, in any Spanish panel painting that one can see either there or in this country, is woodworms. It's a moist climate in some areas, particularly along the coast of course, and the woodworms seem to be—seem to like this. There must be something about the wood that they're painted on because you seem to find more of them there than you do, for instance, on Greek icons. So, Deering said that every time anything was moved or even without moving, you could see little piles of dust. He knew that the worms were having a great time there, and he felt that something ought to be done. So, we went there and we agreed. We stopped there on one of our last trips or later trips to Mount Athos.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  This would have been in the mid-1970s approximately?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right. It would have been—it would have been '72, in 1972 and from—so then we made our schedule. We still had Oliver Brothers to keep going, but now we were going to be away for nearly a whole summer between Tamarit and Mount Athos. But for 11 years afterwards, we went back to Tamarit to work at various times of the year, sometimes early spring, sometimes midsummer, sometimes late summer, depending on when Deering and his wife. [00:14:05] He had a Spanish couple that had worked for him for many, many years. The woman was—Mary Luisa [ph] was the cook and Fermin [ph] was the butler and also the did the shopping, and the taxiing around, and so on.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, you had to work there when they and the Danielsons were home there?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right, right. We had to coincide our trips and our—the time that we could be there. This, again, was very, very exciting work but quite different. Again, we're working in buildings as we had to in Turkey and as we had at Mount Athos. And—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What made it exciting would you say? Why is this?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Because I don't think any of us knew, including Deering, just how important and how fine many of these objects were. Because, again, they were under thick layers of varnish, and they were in bad condition, poor light in the church, not many of them have had not been moved. When they were brought in, sometimes an altarpiece or would not be—would be so large, it couldn't fit into a certain alcove, but maybe part of it would be put there and another part somewhere else. So, it was great fun to—when we started to restore them and stabilize the supports, it was great fun to refurnish the church. We were very pleased at one point when we had done quite a bit of this where some of them would fit very well to find an early picture. [00:16:05] There was a book that had been published on the church. A few of the things had been moved away out of their original place, and so we—before we had even seen the book, we had put them back because they would fit in a certain area. We found that in most cases, we had refurnished the church in the way that it had been in the beginning. Of course, the—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  In the beginning, you mean—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  — in Charles Deering's time?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Charles Deering's time right yes. Because—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Because the church when he acquired it with the castle was—presumably had virtually no art left in it though?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, that's true. That is true.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —correct?

CARROLL F. WALES:  But the church itself being mostly of a masonry construction—well most of the castle is of course. But it was a little stronger and that had—that had held up. That wall, which is on the seaside had—was stronger and had been constantly reinforced, was a little stronger than the part that was towards the inland a little more. They have—some of the walls had fallen down and not been taken care of as well. So that whatever was in the church—and it had been used as a church. I don't know when it was deconsecrated, but it must have been before the '20s because that's when Charles Deering took over, and so. But the main altarpiece had been there for, I don't know how long. I guess it was when the church was first—or the last time it was used. I don't—I really don't know about that but—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Because—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —many other things were never originally in the church. They were brought from other places and put there.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Is there much of a history on these things? I mean did Danielson keep meticulous records or had a—catalogued the collection?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. Actually, the—Barcelona we found later on—didn't know in the beginning that Barcelona knew almost everything that was there. [00:18:07] Because I think they had gone and looked at some of the things even before Deering had bought this castle complex. And so, they knew many of the things that were there, and some of them had been documented but not all of them. So that after a while, after we had started working on them, and of course, Barcelona, the conservation people came down and checked on what we were doing, approved, and all that. And the—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Why? Because they had some interest or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No. Because it was part of Spanish culture and Spanish property, although Deering owned it. He found later on that even though he owned it, he was not allowed to remove hardly anything there. He was hoping that if he gave the whole collection to the government, he would be allowed a few things out, but hardly anything was allowed out. But then as the years went on, everyone including—especially Deering maybe, realized that how important these were, and it was turning into a small museum, and more and more people were coming to see it. Even though he had a caretaker he had ever since he had owned the property and his wife—the caretaker and his wife lived near the entrance gate, and there were two guard dogs there at all times. Of course, there were—there was a walled enclosure all the way around. But he suddenly realized that he had—and since he was there only a short time, a few months each year, he realized that there was a security risk. [00:20:04] His two daughters were not interested in spending very much time there. They had their own families back in the States, and so he thought it was time that he got rid of the castle because of the danger of some of the things being stolen or—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  He didn't wish to invest heavily in security guards?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, no, he didn't. And—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What did he think of giving it to the state, to the government?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, that's right and he did. Eventually, it was sold, but it's a—it's what we would call a landmark so that nothing can be changed as far as the exterior of it. It was thought, at one time, it might be made into a parador, which is the Turkish—I mean which is a Spanish—what—a hotel like—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Hotel, inn.

CARROLL F. WALES:  —inn, right. Because they could do that in the main part of the castle, which had visitor's rooms and baths and all of that, and not have any effect on the church and the enclosure part of it. There's a nice little garden too there.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You had mentioned when you and Constantine worked there then there were very few other people, did you—what was Mr. Danielson like to work for?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, a wonderful man, full of enthusiasm, and he was difficult at times but—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  In what was way was he—you mean—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, in any—working in any foreign country, and of course Deering, his Spanish was just—he wasn't as used to speaking in Spanish as he was in English because he had grown up partly in Miami. They had always had Spanish servants, and he had spent a lot of time in Spain. [00:22:05] Before he had owned the castle, they had a place in—called Maricel. Maricel was the name of it, and it was in—oh, my, I'm not—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  All right. So, this was in Maricel, which was in Sitges?

CARROLL F. WALES:  In Sitges, right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  There in Barcelona?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right, and so they—so he had always spent a lot of time in Spain and that—and he had the chance to buy either Maricel or the castle after his—from his grandfather's estate, and he had decided on the castle. But he took us on a trip up to Sitges to see the earlier family house, which he knew the doctor and his wife who now live there.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well, now, did you observe Deering, did you get to meet a number of Spaniards there or did—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, we did.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What was their feeling at this time? I gather towards the time when he proposed to sell Tamarit, there were some hard feelings as you mentioned earlier—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, yes, because Deering had hoped that if there were 10 major works of art, he might be able—


CARROLL F. WALES:  —he might be allowed one out on one that wasn't quite up to the standards of the others. But they said that it was at the time when people were—countries were becoming very, very nationalistic, and I don't think they—perhaps they didn't want to have a precedent of allowing anything out and whatever. Almost everything in the castle was top-quality Spanish art, no doubt about it, first rate, which is one of the reasons, another reason why he felt that he must dispose of the castle if he wasn't going to be there longer periods of time. And also, to the upkeep of it, since we wouldn't be there forever. [00:24:02] And so that, it was—the work itself was—it was exciting because, again, every few days or so, we would have something new to show them that we had uncovered or partially cleaned. One of the first things that we did was to examine the altarpiece, and we found that it was that—what—it was at 30-feet high roughly I believe and with three or four section or layers. Now, in a large altarpiece like that, most altarpieces, they—each section is individually—each section—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Separately.

CARROLL F. WALES:  —is separately anchored into the wall so that the whole weight of the thing isn't on the lower sections at all. But what had happened, one could even see without getting up close to it on the scaffold, one could see that certain of those sections were sagging. When we got up there with—on a scaffold, we were a little bit frightened because the galvanized—the iron pins into the cement walls, into the masonry walls had rusted through. Some of them were just about to give way, which would've meant they would crush, fallen down on to the next layer. And perhaps if that wasn't strong enough to taken more down. Now, it was not just the semi-relief as panel paintings or the paintings themselves, but there were freestanding columns. [00:26:06] There were wooden sculptures in the round, all of which could be moved out of their niches and so on. And if any of these had fallen down, it have been great damage. So that what we did was to begin at the top and little by little take anything that was movable off the section until—and, of course, we took photographs, sketches, and so on, so we knew exactly where everything went back—would go back. We took all of these down and put them in the center of the church. And then we had some Spanish masons come in and put galvanized iron pins, drill them into the wall so that the whole—we would have photographs of only the framework, the skeleton of this whole altarpiece without any of the decorations there. We had—we had each one of these sections consolidated strong enough to hold up almost any weight that would be put on it. And then after we had treated this, we found in the back, for instance, there was a—one of the statutes was of Saint Peter. We found in the back of the altarpiece one day because you could just squeeze in the back, and we've wanted to treat that as well as we did the front of it with PVA and with the—there's a Spanish insecticide called Carcoma, which is also the word for woodworm I guess. [00:28:00] Unfortunately, at that time, DDT had been outlawed because DDT will kill for all times woodworms. So, what we could get was we only had a smaller percentage of it and it was not guaranteed to last forever. But in many cases, the wood was—one of the small altarpieces especially, the wood was so honeycombed with worm tunnels that you could touch it and your finger or thumb—you wouldn't dare to press in. It would be so weak.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  A mere shell.

CARROLL F. WALES:  A mere shell. And so, what we had to do whenever we could was to take these. We had large barrels like a big, metal trash barrel, the huge ones. We had two of them, and we filled those with polyvinyl acetate and toluene. We didn't know at the time how toxic toluene could be, but fortunately, we did wear masks most of the time, and we had a huge air space in there because of the large cathedral. But we did wear masks simply because we didn't like the smell of it. In fact, Deering and people in the castle were complaining a little. We had to seal off all of the doors and things on the castle and church walls to makes sure that the smells wouldn't go there. But we would use these barrels, and we rigged up a kind of primitive crane-like thing that we could lower the portable wooden pieces whether they're a small carved column or whether they were figure of a saint or of a panel. All of these things were lowered into this barrel because we had made tests before, and so we knew that it was not going to do—any harm would be done to that. [00:30:01]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  It wouldn't harm any painted surface.

CARROLL F. WALES:  It wouldn't harm any painted surface at all. Some of the things when you put them in, you could hear the air whistling out as the PVA penetrated into these places. These would stay there for an hour or two until we were certain that they were completely impregnated. In fact, we had the idea of weighing some of these before and after, and we found they had gained quite a bit of weight by having all of the solvent inside. But this, again, was quite a dangerous thing to do health-wise, but fortunately as I say, we—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  The PVA was to impregnate. The toluene was—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Was to carry it in, right. It's—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —was the carry the—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, the vehicle to make it soluble enough so that it wouldn't congeal almost at the entrance of the wormhole, you see.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And then the—and then you used the Spanish insecticide to kill?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right and then—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  That was—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, actually, the first step—the first step was if it was safe enough to do it. The first step was to put them in large plastic—we would have a large plastic bag ready. We would paint and soak as much of the insecticide, which did have a little DDT in it, the most—the strongest that we could get. But it was—because the Spanish had trouble with their own furniture with the woodworms, and so they used this as a way to get rid of the woodworm.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  As a regular way of killing the worms?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right, yes. But it wasn't as strong as we really wanted. However, we would be first soak them as much as we could with this insecticide and then immediately put them in large plastic bags and sealed it all up, a kind of fumigation—[00:32:10]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Chamber—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —chamber, right. And that, again, was not the pleasantest thing to work with. But we would seal these up and let them stay for at least 24 hours, at least a day. And then afterwards, after we had done all of these treatments, we would check each year that we went back to see if there was any sign of little piles of dust or any activity. I don't think there was. And, of course, another thing is that in certain of them, the worms had eaten all the cellulose out, and there wasn't much left for them to feed on anyway. But they certainly were not structurally—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  They ready to leave [laughs].

CARROLL F. WALES:  They were ready to leave and go to another feast.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You've kept with this kind of work, mostly working with wood for about 11 years it—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, we did, right. Actually, I think the last year, we started—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What? Seventy-two you said?

CARROLL F. WALES:  —from 1970. Let me see now where do—yes.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  I think you said '72.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, '72 for 11 summers, right. Right, yes. And, um—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Would various Spanish scholars and all drop in on you and look at [inaudible] your work—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, that's' right. Occasionally—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —usually have proprietary feeling towards these things.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, of course, of course.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  [Inaudible.]

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right. And a very good friend of Deering's was the mayor of Tarragona.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And his name?

CARROLL F. WALES:  And his name was Ricardo Vilar [ph]. And he—


CARROLL F. WALES:  V-I-L-A-R, Ricardo Vilar. He and his brother Pepe were important—well were businessmen in the city. [00:34:05] They had quite a lot to do with importing. That is his brother did. Of course, Ricardo didn't when he was the mayor. But they were very much interested in the projects that we were doing. Ricardo had—the mayor had a yacht, and we would often go out on that weekends and, of course, ate and drank too much and—but would have wonderful swim and sail up and down the coast, and so on. So, yet, we got to know lots of wonderful Spanish people there and were invited out constantly. This was a little bit of a problem to us at times as much as we enjoyed it because as you know, the Spanish people like to eat around midnight. Well, we had to get up the next morning at eight o'clock and go to work and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Why is that? Because you had to—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —daylight?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No. The reason was that we wanted to get a good early start. It meant that we could stop mid-late afternoon. And with the long daylight hours, we would then have—we would immediately head for the beach, which is right close by. You just walk out the gate and down around, and there was a little beach there. Deering had also put in, at one time, a small pool, but we didn't use that as much as we did the ocean.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Oh, I see, so partly for your pleasure, yeah.

CARROLL F. WALES:  So, this gave—we felt that—well, we needed because we had to change our clothes immediately once we got out of the church. And then we were doing—we had a lot of work to do in a short time and working with the dangerous, toxic fumes and solvents. [00:36:06] And so, we needed to give ourselves a good airing. It was such a temptation to see that wonderful sea out there so that that every day, we would have two or three hours because I think cocktail hour was at seven on the balcony of the castle.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You stayed there at the castle then?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right. And then dinner would be at eight, and we would—at noontime, you were allowed to come in with your work clothes. That is you might have to change trousers or something but at—and even shorts, it was perfectly all right. But at nighttime, you didn't have to wear a jacket, but you were expected to wear long trousers and a shirt and so on.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You were expected by the Danielsons?

CARROLL F. WALES:  By the Danielsons right and very often, they did entrain and then, of course, you dressed up even more but—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Would he review with you fairly regularly the work that was going on?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes, indeed. And, of course, we had made us a list of supplies before we arrived each year and then we went down to Tarragona, and so we knew all the shops. We knew what solvents could be found and what couldn't. There's always been a problem of that in wherever country we're working in that certain things that we're used to working with—we knew the qualities of some of the solvents. Once in a while, there's something that you cannot readily get, so you have to improvise or something else. But, oh, yes, Deering was very much aware of everything that—well, he had to be of course. We knew how much pleasure he got out of any discovery or saying, "Come and see how Saint Peter is being cleaned," and so on. [They laugh.] And things that—oh yes, so as I started to say, I think, once that we squeezed in back of the altarpiece to examine the back of it, and see also what we could do about covering that with Carcoma then PVA and so on. [00:38:15] We found part of the keys of Saint Peter because the keys that he was holding seemed to have disappeared at some time. But we found a section of them, and brought them back, and treated those, and put them in the proper place. The—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Did you—was this work visited by other people? I mean did the restorers come? I mean did—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, not many outside people did. Well, you see, they'd have to come by invitation. This was Deering's home, and it was not a public monument. He was not obliged to show it to anyone except the Spanish authorities, of course. But he did have a lot of friends, a lot of visitors, and, of course it was a great showplace too. In the last couple of years or so, he had new lighting installed, and it became at that time, was a small museum. As I say, that's when he suddenly realized that he had too much to look after and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And he'd sell it.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Now he—now, of course, it has been sold and Deering died two years ago. But those were great summers both at Mount Athos and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Yes, idyllic, slightly melancholy because it was just before he had to give it up, and so.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, it was. We felt that it was like having a child maybe and then having to give the child up just when you were beginning to appreciate it because we were happy with the quality and what we had done. [00:40:07] We know we saved a lot of things and well worth doing. The whole—the whole situation was just—well, just ideal that—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Mm-hmm [affirmative]. You want to speak a bit about a couple of other extensive projects. One was—I don't know exactly the time you did it, but restoration of the murals done in the 1930s by the Armenian American artist Arshile Gorky at the airport in Newark, New Jersey.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, we did.



ROBERT F. BROWN:  These were the great murals still in place in one of the terminals at the airport.

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right. It was in—what's called—the old Newark airport. It was a—in the WPA days, Arshile Gorky had painted quite a number of paintings in this building. And they—when they had changed or altered or redone some of the airport, this building was no longer used by the airport authorities, but the government had taken it over. At one time, the military was there. Another time, it was used as a post office. It seems that when the government does this, they have a paint allotment, and they use it every year, and so that the walls were—we found when we started working—or Larry did actually. He was the first one—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Larry Majeswki.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Larry Majeswki.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  about when was this that they—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  This was—well, we went—we went there in 1976 to work, and the—Larry, again, had called us because one of his students was doing some research work on either WPA work or else on Gorky. [00:42:12] I don't remember which. But she went out to check this, and she told—she came back and she told Larry that she thought there were—she found records saying that Gorky had painted in this building, and it was no longer being used. Only a very small section of it was used when we were there. She said, "I believe there are still some paintings there." So, Larry went out and after penetrating through 14 layers of paint, he found in two areas evidence of paintings, a painted surface underneath. So he—these were owned by the port authority, and he recommended that Constantine and I come down and look at them. And then from there on—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was that why, through his friendship for you or his knowledge of your extensive work with frescoes?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, that's' right both, both the—both of that. Because as I said, I have known Larry ever since my year at Yale and then he was at—he visited once at Mount Athos and worked with us for a short time in the Kariye Camii. So, after making arrangements with the port authority, we found that there were two quite large Gorky paintings remaining. They were on canvas attached to the wall. We made—well as Larry had done, we checked all the other walls, and we could find no evidence at all. They evidently had been—perhaps separating from the wall, so they had been ripped off over the years—we're not—we don't know. [00:44:05] But there were two quite large ones, and in many cases, they—on the edges, you could see where they were beginning to lift and separate from the overheated rooms. So, we went down and it took—with long kitchen spatulas and ladders, and so on, we were able to remove in a large roll, the canvases—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  The canvas.

CARROLL F. WALES:  —from the wall as large a roll as possible, so there'd be no danger of cracking the paint. We removed these two large canvases and got the largest station wagon that we could find and brought them back to the studio and there—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  In Boston?

CARROLL F. WALES:  In Boston And then we had someone working on the backs of these to remove. Because they were in places, many places where we had taken some of the plaster, pieces of plaster from the wall. This—the backs or the backs had to be absolutely cleaned of any kind of accretions of plaster or whatever. And—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Why was that?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, because we would then—they being on canvas, we knew that we would have to reline them, back them , which eventually we did. But the—first, the backs had to be absolutely cleaned, and the fronts were protected by these layers of paint so that we didn't have to worry about any damage to the front. So, first of all, to get the backs done—now these we had Constantine's nephew working with us for a while we were off in either Spain or—yes, at the time we were still doing work in Spain. [00:46:02] And so that when we came back at the end of the summer, he had the backs of these pretty much—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Now, was he trained—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —cleaned—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —by you or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, he had worked. He had worked at the Kariye Camii with us when he was much younger.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Oh, I see.

CARROLL F. WALES:  We had sponsored him and brought him over, yeah, he and his wife—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And what's his name?

CARROLL F. WALES:  His name is Dmitri.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Dmitri Tsaousis?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Dmitri, yes, right. But then he did not continue doing restoration work and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, once he's done this back—worked on the back then what did you do?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Then we—we were over in the 30 Ipswich studio, fortunately, where we needed all the space. Because they were such large paintings, well, we had to have especially made redwood stretcher. These were made out in Oberlin where there's a man who was made spring stretchers, they're called, because of the spring tension that will keep—

[END OF TRACK wales92_8of9_cass_SideA_r.]

CARROLL F. WALES:  —ordered the special stretcher for both of these paintings.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  This was even before you began removing the layers of paint?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. Also, of course, we had to look around, too, for a canvas that would be large enough, so we wouldn't have to use two pieces of it. They are especially made but not easily found sometimes. But we didn't want to put two pieces of canvas on. We wanted a—one piece, which we found that and we found a very large—we had the very large stretchers made, heavy-duty stretchers with aluminum reinforcements and bars on the back to—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But redwood as well, is that correct?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. Made—right made—[clears throat] Then in order to do the—oh, now, I have—while we were thinking about these and putting special orders in, and so on, we had then turned over the paintings and had started working on the front, removing all of these layers and layers of paint. Now, this was—this was a case where it—a little unusual treatment in restoration, but we found that it worked with great care and skill. Usually, if you talk about a paint removal, you're not talking about restoration of paintings. But paint removers, certain of them have a wonderful quality in—and like certain solvents will penetrate to a certain level and will not go beyond. Other solvents and other removers will just keep on working. [00:02:02] But we found that—and if you—if you just try to take these off layer by layer and not two or three or four layers at a time, it would take forever to do it, and you don't want to work on an object that long. It's not good for the object itself. So, we discovered that we could work with the paint remover to get the top layers off down to the last two or three layers. This, of course, speeded up the work and made everything much safer.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  This was a paint remover that you just tested to see?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, it was not known by anyone else then?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, no. That's right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What was that remover, can you recall?

CARROLL F. WALES:  I think it's something called Strypeeze, and it's a tradename. But many of the good restorers would or you would naturally talk with—actually, I think in this case, I talked with Khalil because he had done—


CARROLL F. WALES:  Khalil Gibran because he—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Oh, the painter and—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes because not because he had done this on any paintings. I don't think anybody else ever has that I know of, but I've never had all that many layers of paint to remove. But because he had done a lot of furniture restoration.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Yes, where it is used.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Where it is used, right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So that did work quite well?

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So that worked quite well and then the last two or three layers had to be done little by little under magnification to get down to the painted surface, which we found to be in quite condition. They had just—they hadn't—it hadn't been defaced in any way. [00:04:04] It had just been painted over many times just to cover it up and to have a—to conceal the paintings and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  It's just the fresh-looking wall—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Freshly—that's  right—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —surface was all they wanted?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right. Yes. Yes.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Can you speak what dimensions are we speaking of? You may have said this, roughly speaking?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Now, I don't have—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But I mean—

CARROLL F. WALES:  It's odd.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —approximately—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, they would be—they would be—I think the largest one was very close to being 16 or 18 feet.


CARROLL F. WALES:  It was square that one.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  A square.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Then there was one a little bit smaller than that. Now, in order to back a painting of that size, you've either got to walk on top of it, which isn't a very good idea. So, what we did we had a bridge constructed with wheels along a flat piece of wood, which you could be flat on your stomach and work on either side of this The wheels, of course, would be at either end of this stretcher. And that could be moved along as you ironed your wax into the back of the canvas. Well, of course, you would prepare the surface underneath first. We had Al Lank [ph] help us in quite a number of these things because they all looked—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Al Lank is? What is he?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Al Lank has been a very good friend for many years. He used to be at the Fogg Museum and then he resigned and went into business for himself. For only recently has he retired, and his son has taken over, but he's one of the best known persons for hanging pictures not only in private homes but for so many of the galleries. [00:06:10] He's done some—he just knows all about the transportation, the packing, the hanging, the of—all sorts of works of art. So, he helped us in the getting the stretcher anchored to the floor because, again, what we had to do when we put the stretcher down was to put screws in it to hold it down flat. We couldn't have any movement at all because this is—you know working on such large objects, you can't lift them and see back and forth to see what you're—well, the front is behaving while you're working on the back. And we—even though the—and when you're working on the stretcher, you don't have the aluminum bars in between, which keep it stretched out because that would interfere with your ironing the wax on.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, you put a wax in first and then you put—what did you back it with then?

CARROLL F. WALES:  With another canvas.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Another canvas.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right. Of course—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But you were—not to use aluminum or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, no. No, you could not do that.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  It was too large.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, much too large, much too heavy. No, no another canvas was the only answer to this. We were—the only solution to this. We, of course—fortunately we had hardwood floor which was quite even, but we couldn't trust that and so we had put large strips of Masonite, a flat, a smooth side up of Masonite, which were then carefully taped together so there were no lines, no creases at all. [00:08:05] And then over that, a—layers and layers of paper, and the last one that would be closest to the surface of the face because the painting was faced. Of course, that would be a green releasing paper so that when—if any wax went through, when it was cool, it would not stick to anything. You could remove it without pulling any of the paint or any of the facing paper off. All of this had to be carefully prepared before you could put the faced painting down on it.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Now, this painted surface that you just removed the layers from was laid on to this green releasing paper?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Releasing paper, right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  This paper would not stick when you—

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right. We used it. Well, people—everyone uses it in relining a painting. When it goes in the press, you put that down and then you put the painting face down on top of it and then you put your canvas on stretcher over that. Again when you—when everything is cool and the wax is cool, and you usually let it stay a little longer then you test it with your fingers if it's cool but still you let it stay a little bit longer to make certain that the wax is solidified and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  About how long does this usually take in at room temperature? For—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Hours, a few hours, half a day, something like that depending on the size—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And the ironing in of the wax, does that take—does that proceed?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That is done as quickly as you can because the—when you reline a painting, a small, portable painting and you're going to put it in the press, you brush the wax, the hot wax on as quickly as you can so that one surface doesn't stay heated and the other cooled very long. [00:10:12] You want the whole thing to be fairly uniform because it's on a stretcher, which keeps it—the relining canvas fairly tight. But—and then after that is done, you—and you want enough wax and a little heat is used so that the wax is going to penetrate through the relining canvas on to the back of the original canvas.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  The Gorky canvas, this is exactly the way you did? You had your relining canvas out and then—

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right. But of course in the smaller paintings, then what you do, you follow that up by putting them in a vacuum press, a hot press where, again, the wax is melted and the whole thing is sealed together under vacuum. Well, of course, you couldn't do that with the painting as large as the Gorkys. We had to do this all by hand, but in the earlier days, before the days of vacuum presses, it was all done by hand anyway. But we had to do this by hand and then you would use a large block of wood, sometimes a large jar, a bigmouth jar, which you would rub over the surface of the wax as it slowly started to cool and consolidate. You would go over this to make sure that you got a good seal that everything had penetrated, that everything was flat, that you didn't have any little lumps anywhere at all. So, between the wood and the glass depending on which seem to work best, you would go over the area that you had done. [00:12:00] So, one person might continue doing the ironing of the hot wax. The other person would immediately follow along and try to flatten and consolidate the surfaces that had been—just been worked on. And this had to be done flat on your stomach leaning over on to the—on the canvas. So, it's an engineering feat in a way.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Yeah. The job was done very well, I assume, and—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  The client was the port authority, is it?

CARROLL F. WALES:  The port authority and it—when it was—when these were finished, they were first exhibited at the Newark Museum and then—I'm not certain now where they are. I believe the Newark Museum wanted to keep them, wanted to have them, but there was some talk about they're going to the new airport building in Newark. I do know that they—we had advised that they not being so large, that they not be moved around anymore than necessary. But I learned afterwards that they had been taken to Switzerland for one exhibit, and they had also been taken to California but—


CARROLL F. WALES:  —evidently, they've—rap on wood I guess, they've held up all of these years.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was the material fairly good? I mean the painted surface?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, it was. It was—it was—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You weren't very familiar with dealing with such recent medium then?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, it's quite true. We weren't. It—we have worked on 20th-century paintings. [00:14:00] For the most part, we never were particularly excited or happy when we got some. Because some modern artists, we have found, have not been as good craftsmen as they are designers. They often will use stretchers with no keys or stretchers with no place for keys, or they've used canvas that wasn't primed. They've—then—and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, that they present a special difficulty—

CARROLL F. WALES:  They do because—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —problems?

CARROLL F. WALES:  —with most of the—most, not all, of the Old Masters, they were technicians, and what they—except for a few cases where they liked to experiment a bit. But you had something helping you when you were working on these things because had something that was well done, well thought out, well prepared. But with many of the new paintings, many of them are not going to last simply because they're not well-constructed.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What about the work related to what you did for the Newark Airport, for the railroad station in Cincinnati? There were a series of, I guess again, murals on canvas by—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —German-born painter Winold Reiss.

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right. That was done—this was—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Challenges there in 1973 and [197]4?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right. We went out first in 1973. Again, I think, they learned about us either from the Fogg Museum or from NYU. But we went out in '73 to look at 14 panels 20 by 20 feet in the Cincinnati railroad station in the Concourse. [00:16:01] They were mosaic frescoes. The mosaic being a glass, pieces of glass, not in the small cubes that you would expect in most mosaics but larger chunks of glass, but set at different levels, which made them reflect better. It gave a more interesting panel. And then the fresco part was just a solid, painted surface usually as a background.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  I see, adjacent to these?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Adjacent to the—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  The glass?

CARROLL F. WALES:  —to the glass, right. And—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What was the commission there? What was it—what did they want done?

CARROLL F. WALES:  These 14 panels were of the 14 different industries in Cincinnati. The airport—the railroad terminal said that they must be taken away or they would be destroyed because the—because of the changing of the transportation system. The railroad was no longer going to be used, and they needed to use this building for something else, and the panel should not be there. So, there was a great discussion for quite some time as to where they worth taking away, where would they raise the money to do this, where would they go, and so on. They formed a committee to save the terminal, and they invited another restorer, and they invited us to go out and to give them a report on what we thought could be done to safeguard them while they could be transported or put in storage, whatever. [00:18:01] And if we felt that it could safely—they could safely be done. Well, another restorer wen there before we did. I will not mention the person's name. And the—these—there were done—there were sections of them that were below the site size of the area down—in other words, the man had just continued and then wasn't quite certain how—where the actual framing was going to be. But some of the design was continued down a little bit lower in certain areas, not everywhere and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What do you mean continued below the floor?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Below the frame. No, they were not on—directly on the floor.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Oh, I see.

CARROLL F. WALES:  They were—they were above the floor by some three or feet something like that.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  But this previous restorer had done some work on this?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, yes. He went out to do more or less what we also did and to put a strong facing on them. We didn't know if they could be—one look, of course, would tell us that they couldn't be stripped off as the Italians do in some cases. Obviously, they couldn't because here, you had a glass mosaic as well as—it wasn't just a painted surface. It was a surface of painted materials stuck on there, so. But he made a few tests to see if it would hold up using certain facing materials, and he was not completely sure that he could do it. Perhaps, he didn't want to do it, I don't know, but it was quite an undertaking, so. [00:20:00] Then we went out and we did, also, a section of it and because of this—because on one of the panels, we found. Below the actual site size, the actual design, we found a section that had—that could easily be separated from the original—from the original design. It was never seen because it was below the frame or the thing was not part of the design at all. So, they—we said, "This could be easily removed. It's just sort of hanging there." Would they permit us to do this, take it back to the studio and make all kinds of tests to make absolutely certain we knew what we were doing and what could be done? They agreed, and we did that and said, "Yes, that we believed—" and again we came back here. We consulted with a number of people including Bob Bradley as to the proper procedure. And so then we told them, "Yes, we believe that we could do it." In the meantime, they were scurrying around trying to raise enough money to do this, and work had been—had begun. The railroad—that part of the terminal, the Concourse had been closed. It was very, very cold in there, but the main part, which is a rotunda, which still remains and has a lot of mosaics in it, that was never take away or destroyed rather—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  That was not an issue here. That part, you didn't have to work in—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, we didn't have to work there fortunately. At least, we had—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What was the—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —it straight.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Yes, you had to—

CARROLL F. WALES:  With a straight wheel—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —work with glass as well as with—what—oil-based paint?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. But I don't know if it was an oil base. [00:22:00] I think, perhaps, it might have been more casein because it was part of the wall, the—it was not just paint on over concrete or over a—it was more than just a plaster surface. It wasn't. Fortunately, it was not because we were afraid of cracking if it was going to moved or anything. So that's why our facing had to be thoroughly tested to make sure that whatever we did was going to hold it together. Even the strongest jar wouldn't—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  When you first—didn't you—did you first clean it or first—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —you placed it?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, and so—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  It was that. I mean—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —deep cleaning or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  It—what we did was to remove any dust or dirt. We more or less washed it down not with any solvents, didn't need to. It hadn't been varnished in any way. But we wanted to get any dirt or dust off the surface that we could, which would prevent our adhesive from sticking to the wall. And we got a—we got a heavy canvas, almost a burlap type, fairly coarse and yet not too open weave but very, very strong. At the same time, we're able to get a good supply of horse glue, very strong animal glue from the Chicago stockyards. Not always horse glue would be animal glue I should say, but it was sometimes called horse glue because I think that's what in the early times it had been mainly. Then, again, we talked with George Stout about the consistency of this or rather the construction of this the—what it should be. George was—it was always fun working with him. [00:24:03] He used medieval techniques or influenced by people like Chenino Chenini perhaps. He would like to add things like honey or even in this case because it was easier to do less expensive—well, it worked even better. In our wax were very strong adhesive wax that we used we had in molasses. Now, the molasses would add another sticky quality and prevent the glue from being too brittle. Of course, we didn't know how long these were going to be covered, and we also—as you always do in restoration, you have to think ahead, are we going to be able to safely undo what we've done?

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Well, now, let me get this straight. What you were supposed to do was just to face these for storage purposes?

CARROLL F. WALES:  For whatever purpose, yes. We—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You were covering up—

CARROLL F. WALES:  We were covering them up.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —some of Reiss's were—

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right.


CARROLL F. WALES:  We had to cover this up and make it as strong as we possibly could for what, whatever purpose it was going to be used for. I think perhaps—I don't remember exactly, but I think before we had even started to do the facing, the place where these were going to go had already been arranged, providing the committee could raise the money enough to have these treated and faced and crated and carried through the city. They would then be put in the new airport, which was about to be built. The Greater Cincinnati Airport it's called, although it's actually in Kentucky just across the river. [00:26:03]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, your actual job then was to put—to face these?


ROBERT F. BROWN:  And then they would sit awaiting?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right. The—we were in conference with the construction people and the moving people who were—after we had put our—I'll tell—talk a little about that. After we had put our layers of burlap and we had to have hot wax heated all the time. It was not—it was a bit smelly, not—because it was just good, plain, strong animal glue. We had to keep a good supply of it going on. We had two stoves—one to have a—the second supply because when we started working, we had to work as quickly as we could. It was very, very cold in the terminal there. You could only do a certain number at a time, and I mean by that we couldn't even finish probably one in one day, although we could almost do that. That's what we want to do.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, you would have to—and this coarse canvas would be already in place and then you were impregnating?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, no, no. Actually, what we did—the best, best way to do something on a vertical surface like this when you can—was to—we were heating in large wide mouth tins, metal containers our adhesive. Of course, we had a scaffold, that again, because we had to climb up to do the top part. Although, you could easily start from the bottom and work up in a case like this, no problem. But what we did was to cut quite large squares. [00:28:01] I mean by that they would be two-to-three-feet square perhaps depending on the area that we were going to deal with. Now, we would take these, and we would dip them in the hot wax and then put that immediately on the surface. Of course, there were two of us working together all the time and then we would we would iron those and press them flat against the wall. Add more wax if we needed to and iron them—the whole thing in until we had—oh, we had a surface or we had a structure that was stronger. It was so—the facing we put on was so strong, so well attached to the surface we were covering that it formed a wall, another wall on the outside. Now, what I forgot to mention, and should have of course that in between this before we did this, we put on a layer of muslin. So that, again, you have an insulating layer so that when you come to remove things, you don't remove the whole thing right first. You go down within a closeness to the surface but without touching the surface then you can do that at a slower pace and at a more comfortable way of working.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was all of this done because they thought if they were to attempt move them they would crack? Therefore, they had to have a facing so that—

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right, right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —if it did crack—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Everything would be held together at least.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Be held together first?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right. And any cracking could then be repaired if necessary.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Then did you—

CARROLL F. WALES:  So, after we put on these squares, we went over the whole surface again with other squares—some not always square, sometimes they were longer, sometimes smaller, so on—overlapping the ones that we had put on, so you had a two-layered facing on them. [00:30:16] We were told by the engineers who were going to do the moving that the—they were going to be crated. There was going to be on iron band all around this on the outside that was going to be not terribly thick, not more than a few inches, four, five, maybe six-inches frame in which was built up over these. And that was going to be filled with sand, packed in tight and then they would be—fortunately, these were on 14 freestanding walls. The—the—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Oh, so, you had to—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —so they didn't have to dig into the original wall—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  They didn't have to chop them out?

CARROLL F. WALES:  They didn't have to chop them out, which was of course great, less vibration and all of that and so that—and so that's what actually was done. They were then—were not there when they actually were moved. But when the time came when we had all 14 of these covered, faced, and they were totally set and dried and ready for the engineers. Then the timing had to be that when they took the roof off the Concourse, and had large cranes ready to lift them out, and put them on flatbed trucks, and make certain that their trip through the city would be under—because they were taken upright—would be under bridges where— [00:32:11]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Where it could fit.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right. The traffic was stopped during the day when this was done. And then before the roof was put on the airport, they were set in place in the wall. Now, if you go through any part of Cincinnati, the coming or going, you will find two or three of these in one or other room that you're going to—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  In the airport.

CARROLL F. WALES:  —in the airport.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  That's right.


ROBERT F. BROWN:  And were you in the [inaudible] you'd been called out to remove the facing?

CARROLL F. WALES:  That's right. Then after they were well put in place, the roof was put on as soon after as possible then we went out. In the meantime, the movers had taken off their framework and the sand and all of that. And then we went out and we—now, how do you remove something that is rigid and as solid as that that is vertical? You use—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You've thought about that in advance?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes, indeed. That is done by a wallpaper steamer. These huge things that you put against the wall, and you have steam—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Generator—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —generator going all the time. It's rugged work for a while. But once you got an area heated enough and the wax again melted then you can slowly lift it off and then you have your other little insulating layer in there to protect the surface. And then you take that off very much easier without the weight of this stuff. But—so we came back here in between times and went back the next year when everything was ready for us to do the cleaning. [00:34:04] And then now—they're now in the—in the airport, and one of the nice features is that they're not high up at all. They can be seen at eye level in—wherever you go in the airport. They were—now, what are these panels? I just listed just actually only four of the 14 because these are perhaps the most well-known. But the US Playing Card, all the big industries that were—as I understand, they had contributed when the original panels were done because it was very good advertising for them. US Playing Card, Crosby Radio, Procter & Gamble, Baldwin Piano, and so on, and many, many other things. They're all in the little brochure that you can get at the airport when you go there.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  So, this was one of the more elaborate projects? This and the Newark projects were both pretty large-scale in all of the—

CARROLL F. WALES:  They were.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —just the two of you accomplished for the most part? I mean you—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Well, not entirely.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —work?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Now we did—the two of us did all the facing because that was something that we had to make certain that every inch was covered. And, of course, even then we said, "This is the best we can do." We've got all kinds of opinions and ,discussions and so on, and we talked to the engineers. We believe barring any accidents that this is the safest way, and that they should get there in place, and that three shouldn't be any cracking. But we still were not sure until they all were uncrated, and we removed all the facings, and there wasn't any damage.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Yeah. And then you've said about if necessary cleaning, but you already—[00:36:01]

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yeah, that's right then we did whatever necessary cleaning had to done.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  This was one of the last or one of the later of your more elaborate projects.


ROBERT F. BROWN:  Over the years, your partnership with Constantine who was your partner—what—right up to your retirement?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes, right, right. And—and I retired mainly because he died.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  He died.

CARROLL F. WALES:  And it—I didn't want to—I had been doing restoration work with him for about 35 years, but I've been doing work restoration work for 40-some years. I thought it was about time to retire, and we'd worked as a team, and I just didn't want to continue and so—so that—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  About when did he die, Constantine?

CARROLL F. WALES:  In 1987. We did, of course, do—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You did a good many small commissions or—but regular ones I think from various institutions?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, we did and those all fitted in between the times that we were away mostly during the winter months, I suppose. But these fitted in anywhere from 1960 on until 1987 when we stopped working. We worked on the Tamayo's fresco at Smith College. At the Boston State House, we did a lot of the portraits, a great number of them there.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Would that be brought into the studio?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, they would be brought to the studio and we'd work on them backing, cleaning, and so on. [00:38:00] Over the years, we worked at the Boston Athenæum and again on portraits and one large painting that's in the reading room. We worked on there but most of the others were brought to the studio to work on, portraits, landscapes. We've done a number of the portraits of judges at the—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  At the Suffolk—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —Suffolk Courthouse.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Suffolk County—

CARROLL F. WALES:  —Suffolk County Courthouse. A few of the paintings in the genealogical society that they have, a great number of paintings, in fact, all the smaller paintings in Faneuil Hall all except the Healy over the small stage there and the—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  What the—Webster [ph] then?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes, that's right. Yes. But all of the smaller ones, mostly portraits, we did in Faneuil Hall. For a long time, we have been the restorer for Amherst College. Frank Trapp who's a professor at Amherst—I think he's just retired and who was the director of the museum, the gallery. It's called a museum now I believe. I was an undergraduate when he was a graduate student, so I had known him long with John Maxon and Tony Clark when—and Dus Covelo, and a number of those people that were at Harvard at the same time I was. We also did Phillips Academy in Andover, a great number of their paintings when Bart Hayes was the director there.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Which sort that you've done there because they had a lot of 20th century. Would this have been the earlier ones?

CARROLL F. WALES:  The earlier ones, yes, right from before and after Homer I would say because I'm thinking of the great Homer what is it 40 bells—4 bells—what—anyway. [00:40:10] But we worked on mostly the earlier paintings there. We did all of Fitz Hugh Lane seascapes at the Cape Ann, Historical Society in Gloucester.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  How did that come about?


ROBERT F. BROWN:  You've mentioned friendship or acquaintance with—

CARROLL F. WALES:  With Hyde Cox, yes.


CARROLL F. WALES:  But I don't think we knew him until we—until he got in touch with us. Again, I suppose, he had called one of the museums here because we were getting references from the Fogg of course, the Gardner Museum, and the Boston Museum. And then we did a great number of portraits at the Phillips Exeter Museum in New Hampshire, not in the Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and—when Rodney Armstrong was in the librarian there and—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was he sort of in—one of his interest, at least, if not jobs was to—


ROBERT F. BROWN:  —to the welfare of their portrait?

CARROLL F. WALES:  It seemed to be, it seemed to be. He was the one that we had contact with there. And then over the years, we had worked for Saint Paul School—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Now, what, again, portraits or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Portraits mainly and this—this was sort of something we inherited from the earlier Oliver Brothers because they had always done work for them, for the school. And then because of Constantine's work in Rhode Island and his working for the Providence Preservation Society, we did some work in the old state house in Newport, Rhode Island. [00:42:18] This was mainly portraits. We worked for the is—is it Redford Library?

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Redwood.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Redwood Library, yes, in Newport.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Again in portraits?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Again in portraits, right.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And also in Providence, you said you've worked in the professional early wallpaper.


ROBERT F. BROWN:  You did the wall—

CARROLL F. WALES:  We did. We—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  At Carrington.

CARROLL F. WALES:  At the Carrington House, which was one of the sea captain families, China trade families, I believe, but it was the owned by Washington Irving and Mrs. Irving.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  You mean the wallpaper—

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, no, the house was owned by—now, I should say a descendent of Washington.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Oh, a descendant of that name?

CARROLL F. WALES:  A descendant of that name, right, and—and he has since died and now Mrs. Sloane. She's remarried again—is the owner of the house. This was wallpaper—Dufour wallpaper early 19th-century wallpaper. It was in the library, and they—Mrs. Sloane—Mrs. Irving at that time, the wallpaper was black with some varnish on it and with the woodstove that had been used to heat the room. You could hardly make out many of the scenes. Now Mrs. Irving said or Mr. and Mrs. Irving said because they knew Constantine from his work in the Dowler Mansion. [00:44:02] They said, "We not only would like to have this cleaned, but we would like to have it moved into the dining room." Well, this was, again one, of those—as Fred Oliver used to say when someone would bring him a particularly difficult project, he would say, "The impossible takes a long time." But—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  And cost a bit more, too, I would think.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right. Now, I'm sorry, I've got to get this right. The—he said, "The impossible we do every day, but miracles take a little longer." [They laugh.] And the—so Constantine, he did most of the cleaning because we had to get this varnish and soot off the wallpaper before we dared to move it because of the—all these accretions would make it so brittle you're bound to damage the paper. It's not quite working on a canvas. Paper is a very fragile material support of course. But he worked and we have pictures of him—it's in the magazine section—of his working with a mask and a fan to take the fumes out. Because he had to use strong solvents to remove—to clean the wallpaper before anything could be done. In the meantime, since he—since she had said she didn't want it in the library, she wanted it put in the dining room, we had to do a lot of sketches and measuring because windows and doors didn't always come in the same place. [00:46:00]


CARROLL F. WALES:  And so, we found that, yes we could do it. The wallpaper was loose in many places from the wall because it had separated. The house heating, the heat, and so on, had dried out the adhesive glue, and so we did—we did find because it's a continuous narration of the journey of Telemachus. And we—you couldn't just take pieces that might a certain area. You had to continue the whole story.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Maintain that continuity.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Maintain that continuity.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  —a second.

[Audio Break.]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Now, the Carrington house wallpaper than was removed. You did—were able to maintain its proper sequence.

CARROLL F. WALES:  Right. And so then we had the walls prepared or cleaned and ready for us to—after we had cleaned the paper and knew exactly where we were going to put the—

[END OF TRACK wales92_8of9_cass_SideB_r.]

CARROLL F. WALES:  —uh, yes, it did. We found, as I said, that the dining room was a little bit larger than the library. So, instead of using all four walls, we used the three walls and put plain green, which was in harmony with the backgrounds of the wallpaper. A plain green over the mantelpiece and then a mirror was put there, so it looks as though the whole thing had been planned that way, and it was successful. Of course, what we did was to put a wallpaper liner on the wall first so that if in the future anyone wants to change anything again, they take the paper and the liner off because the paper does tend to get brittle over a period of time. But now, you have a backing on the paper, which would separate the whole thing from the wall if you need it to. We not only did that, but we also did similar project in the Providence Art Club, which is near the museum. Again it was to Dufour paper not quite as nice perhaps as the Carrington House, but it was a similar project. Those are the two wallpaper that—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Is that a paper that had been in that building a long time?

CARROLL F. WALES:  Yes. I can't think where—whether it was a gift or whether it had been in the building. I'm not quite certain, but it was just one large room where we did that.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Now, working with paper restoration was not a common practice of your studio was it?

CARROLL F. WALES:  No, no it was not. I had very—almost no training in any paper restoration. I just saw what was being done in the paper lab at the Fogg. [00:02:08]

ROBERT F. BROWN:  When you were a student there was already a complete specialization of paper—

CARROLL F. WALES:  Oh, yes there was. Well, Jack Washeba, of course, was—

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Was he in charge of the lab there or—

CARROLL F. WALES:  I believe that he was. He did most of the paper restoration and then continued to do it when he went into private practice for himself. I think he's retired now. I know he went to Montreal when—with us and also went to Florence with us with a group of us when we went.

ROBERT F. BROWN:  Mm-hmm [affirmative]. Mm-hmm [affirmative]. Wow, now—

[END OF TRACK wales92_9of9_cass_SideA_r.]


How to Use This Collection

Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Carroll F. Wales, 1992 November 10-1993 February 11. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.