Gertrude Bell on the 1910 Masterpieces of Muhammadan Art Exhibition

[21 August 1910]
Sunday Munich

Dearest Mother. I had a delightful day at the exhibition today. All the professors were taking a holiday so that I had the library to myself. I read a great big book all through – it was about carpets, but it had lots of other things in too, and I felt at the end that I had got a good way forrader. The exhibition is in the Ausstellungs-park – you know, near the huge statue of Germany. I lunch in a little open air restaurant near it, which saves time and is pleasanter than the hotel. It’s broiling hot – I love it.

Today before I came away I found in the park a place where a lot of orientals are sitting and carrying on their trades. So I sought out the Syrians – they are from Damascus – and had a long gossip with them. One was a Druze and he told me all the news of the Hauran. I was delighted and so were they for they never have anyone to speak to.

I am going to lunch with the Pagets tomorrow and then I shall hang about till Hugo comes. I have used these evening when I have been alone to write an article on the Persian and Arab poets for Mr Richmond. I hope it is all right. I think it is. And I am glad to have it off my mind. Ever your very affectionate daughter Gertrude

I’m writing to Father tonight.

(from the Gertrude Bell Archive, via Eva-Maria Troelenberg’s fantastic article on the exhibition in the latest Journal of Art Historiography)