Kemal Atatürk, commonly referred to as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, was a Turkish field marshal, revolutionary statesman, author, and founder of the Republic of Turkey, serving as its first President from 1923 until his death in 1938.
A Photographic Record From 1935
"Due to its historical significance, the conversion of the Aya Sophia mosque, a unique architectural monument of art located in Istanbul, into a museum will please the entire Eastern world; and its conversion to a museum will cause humanity to gain a new institution of knowledge."
Official Degree of the Turkish Council of Ministers November 24, 1934
The museum opened on February 1, 1935, the President of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, visited it in the same month. In preparation for a complete inspection of the new museum for mosaics in 1935 the 80-year old Islamic shields were temporally removed and Hagia Sophia was photographed by the Byzantine Institute of America. These pictures offer a unique opportunity to see the architecture without the shields. They also show how shafts of natural light moved through Hagia Sophia during the day and different parts of the building were illuminated.