Kariye: From Theodore Metochites to Thomas Whittemore; One Monument, Two Monumental Personalities

Pera Museum, Istanbul
2007

Displayed at Pera Museum, Kariye, from Theodoros Metokhites to Thomas Whittemore; One Monument, Two Monumental Personalities is comprised largely of objects and documents on loan from abroad, the exhibition narrates the story of Kraiye, one of the globally renowned monuments of Istanbul, as well as the extraordinary tales of two of its 'builders', who lived six centuries apart. At one end stands fellow townsman Theodoros Metokhites, Byzantine thinker, poet and politician, who shaped Kariye at the turn of the 14th century and adorned it with priceless mosaics and frescoes. On the other end is American renaissance man and  archaeologist Thomas Whittemore, who passionately and meticulously restored this structure to its former grandeur in the 1940s, consequently bestowing it to the world of culture and art as a museum. In between lies the unconventional story of a structure shaped by the footprints of these remarkable men.