Monuments Men

Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA) Officer James Rorimer supervises U.S. soldiers recovering looted paintings from Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany during World War II, April-May, 1945.
Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA) Officer James Rorimer supervises U.S. soldiers recovering looted paintings from Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany during World War II, April-May, 1945.

The Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program under the Civil Affairs and Military Government Sections of the Allied armies was established in 1943 to help protect cultural property in war areas during and after World War II. The group of about 400 servicemembers and civilians worked with military forces to safeguard historic and cultural monuments from war damage, and as the conflict came to a close, to find and return works of art and other items of cultural importance that had been stolen by the Nazis or hidden for safekeeping.

Many of the men and women of the MFAA, also known as Monuments Men, went on to have prolific careers. Largely art historians and museum personnel, they had formative roles in the growth of many of the United States’ greatest cultural institutions, including the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the New York City Ballet, as well as in museums and other institutions in Europe.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monuments_Men

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Monuments Men: On the Frontline to Save Europe’s Art, 1942–1946

February 7 to April 20, 2014
Coming soon to Washington, D.C. at the Lawrence A. Fleischman Gallery

During World War II, an unlikely team of soldiers was charged with identifying and protecting European cultural sites, monuments, and buildings from Allied bombing. Officially named the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA) Section, this U.S. Army unit included art curators, scholars, architects, librarians, and archivists from the U.S. and Britain. They quickly became known as The Monuments Men.

Towards the end of the war, their mission changed to one of locating and recovering works of art that had been looted by the Nazis. The Monuments Men uncovered troves of stolen art hidden across Germany and Austria—some in castles, others in salt mines. They rescued some of history’s greatest works of art.

Among the holdings of the Archives of American Art are the papers of Monuments Men George Leslie StoutJames J. RorimerWalker HancockThomas Carr HoweS. Lane FaisonWalter Horn, and Otto Wittman. These personal archives tell a fascinating story.

To see photos and hear interviews: http://www.aaa.si.edu/exhibitions/monuments-men

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The Monuments Men Foundation

The Monuments Men Foundation honors the legacy of the men and women who served in the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section, known as the “Monuments Men,” and their unprecedented and heroic work protecting and safeguarding civilization’s most important artistic and cultural treasures from armed conflict during World War II. Raising public awareness is essential to the Foundation’s mission and its completion of the objectives listed below.

Objectives

HONORING THE HEROES:
The Foundation plans to honor all the heroes by completing biographies and obtaining photographs of all 350 or so men and women from thirteen nations and making that information public. The Foundation will also encourage those cultural and educational institutions impacted by the Monuments Men and women to honor their wartime service and professional legacy through some form of permanent on-site recognition. The Foundation is in a race against time working with members of the House of Representatives to honor the Monuments Men and women with the Congressional Gold Medal.

For more: http://www.monumentsmenfoundation.org

Documents
Photos
Videos
National WWII Museum to Unveil New, Permanent Monuments Men Gallery

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The US gives Poland back a painting stolen by the Nazis

February 07, 2014 David Leveille – pri

It sometimes takes a while for stolen paintings to come home. The Nazis looted Poland’s National Museum in Warsaw 70 years ago, during World War II.

Among the many works of art that went missing was a painting by an 18th-century German artist.

On Thursday, US Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations James Hayes returned the painting to Polish diplomats in the US. And the timing of the return may have had something to do a with new movie.

“It gives me great, great pleasure to be able to return to the people of Poland this valuable painting that was stolen more than 70 years ago during World War II. Stolen art, antiquities, and fraudulently-acquired artifacts, these are the little known casualties of war,” he said. “We are deeply grateful to return this cherished painting to our partners from the Republic of Poland.

“Homeland Security Investigations will continue to work tirelessly to track down objects stolen during World War II and return them to their rightful owners,” he added.

The oil-on-copper painting, titled St. Philip baptizing a servant of Queen Kandaki, was created by German artist Johann Conrad Seekatz. The Nazis occupied Warsaw from 1939 to 1945, along with much of the rest of Europe. When they occupied a country, they often took cultural works of significance and brought them back to Germany. Sometimes, they destroyed or removed works as they withdrew in the face of Allied attacks.

US officials apparently timed the repatriation ceremony to coincide with the release of a new Hollywood movie, The Monuments Men. The film recounts the true story of a US military unit of art historians assigned during World War II to recover artwork stolen by the Nazis and return it to the original owners.

For the entire article and photo of the painting: http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-02-07/us-gives-poland-back-painting-stolen-nazis

Monuments Men Congressional Gold Medal.

June 09, 2014

Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 3658

On Monday, June 9, 2014, the President signed into law:

H.R. 3658, the “Monuments Men Recognition Act of 2014,” which provides for the award of a single congressional gold medal collectively, to the Monuments Men, in recognition of their heroic role in the preservation, protection, and restitution of monuments, works of art, and artifacts of cultural importance during and following World War II;

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On Friday, December 16, 2016,  the President signed into law:

H. R. 6130, “The Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act of 201,”6 which provides the victims of Holocaust-era persecution and their heirs a fair opportunity to recover works of art confiscated or misappropriated by the Nazis.

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11 thoughts on “Monuments Men

  1. WH

    Thursday, February 13, 2014

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    President Obama attends meetings at the White House

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  2. Monuments Men

    The Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program under the Civil Affairs and Military Government Sections of the Allied armies was established in 1943 to help protect cultural property in war areas during and after World War II. The group of about 400 servicemembers and civilians worked with military forces to safeguard historic and cultural monuments from war damage, and as the conflict came to a close, to find and return works of art and other items of cultural importance that had been stolen by the Nazis or hidden for safekeeping.

    Many of the men and women of the MFAA, also known as Monuments Men, went on to have prolific careers. Largely art historians and museum personnel, they had formative roles in the growth of many of the United States’ greatest cultural institutions, including the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the New York City Ballet, as well as in museums and other institutions in Europe.

    For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monuments_Men

    • Monuments Men: On the Frontline to Save Europe’s Art, 1942–1946

      February 7 to April 20, 2014

      Coming soon to Washington, D.C. at the Lawrence A. Fleischman Gallery

      During World War II, an unlikely team of soldiers was charged with identifying and protecting European cultural sites, monuments, and buildings from Allied bombing. Officially named the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA) Section, this U.S. Army unit included art curators, scholars, architects, librarians, and archivists from the U.S. and Britain. They quickly became known as The Monuments Men.

      Towards the end of the war, their mission changed to one of locating and recovering works of art that had been looted by the Nazis. The Monuments Men uncovered troves of stolen art hidden across Germany and Austria—some in castles, others in salt mines. They rescued some of history’s greatest works of art.

      Among the holdings of the Archives of American Art are the papers of Monuments Men George Leslie Stout, James J. Rorimer, Walker Hancock, Thomas Carr Howe, S. Lane Faison, Walter Horn, and Otto Wittman. These personal archives tell a fascinating story.

      To see photos and hear interviews: http://www.aaa.si.edu/exhibitions/monuments-men

    • The US gives Poland back a painting stolen by the Nazis

      February 07, 2014 David Leveille – pri

      It sometimes takes a while for stolen paintings to come home. The Nazis looted Poland’s National Museum in Warsaw 70 years ago, during World War II.

      Among the many works of art that went missing was a painting by an 18th-century German artist.

      On Thursday, US Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations James Hayes returned the painting to Polish diplomats in the US. And the timing of the return may have had something to do a with new movie.

      “It gives me great, great pleasure to be able to return to the people of Poland this valuable painting that was stolen more than 70 years ago during World War II. Stolen art, antiquities, and fraudulently-acquired artifacts, these are the little known casualties of war,” he said. “We are deeply grateful to return this cherished painting to our partners from the Republic of Poland.

      “Homeland Security Investigations will continue to work tirelessly to track down objects stolen during World War II and return them to their rightful owners,” he added.

      The oil-on-copper painting, titled St. Philip baptizing a servant of Queen Kandaki, was created by German artist Johann Conrad Seekatz. The Nazis occupied Warsaw from 1939 to 1945, along with much of the rest of Europe. When they occupied a country, they often took cultural works of significance and brought them back to Germany. Sometimes, they destroyed or removed works as they withdrew in the face of Allied attacks.

      US officials apparently timed the repatriation ceremony to coincide with the release of a new Hollywood movie, The Monuments Men. The film recounts the true story of a US military unit of art historians assigned during World War II to recover artwork stolen by the Nazis and return it to the original owners.

      For the entire article and photo of the painting: http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-02-07/us-gives-poland-back-painting-stolen-nazis

    • The Monuments Men Featurette #1 (2013) – Matt Damon, George Clooney Movie HD

      Published on Jan 3, 2014

      Cowriter and director George Clooney adapts author Robert M. Edsel’s book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History to tell the incredible true story of the seven art historians and museum curators who went behind enemy lines during World War II on a mission to recover some of the world’s greatest works of art. As the Third Reich begins to topple, the German army receives explicit orders to destroy every work of art in their possession. Determined to prevent 1000 years of culture from going up in flames, American president Franklin D. Roosevelt assembles an unlikely task force comprised entirely of art experts to enter Germany, recover the works of art, and ensure they are returned to their rightful owners. With little knowledge of modern weapons or warfare tactics, the ragtag squadron successfully makes their way into enemy territory before realizing they’ve got their work cut out for them. Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, and Jean Dujardin star.

      Official Website: http://www.monumentsmenmovie.com/

    • Photo album of looted Nazi art given to US archive

      5/8/14 1 hour ago AFP

      Washington (AFP) – A photo album depicting troves of precious art works looted by the Nazis during World War II was donated Thursday to the National Archives, America’s repository of historical artifacts.

      The album is one of 39 “Hitler albums” — essentially a catalogue of art confiscated by troops operating under orders from Der Fuerher.

      The book contains photos of looted paintings and other cultural artifacts swiped from France.

      The album was given to the National Archives at a ceremony that fell on the anniversary of the war’s end in Europe.

      The event was attended by Harry Ettlinger, 88, one of six surviving soldiers from a US army unit tasked with recovering thousands of art works confiscated by the Nazis.

      The album showed page after page of black and white photographs, images, in this case, of artwork stolen from France. The leather-bound book was recovered from one of Hitler’s homes.

      The album was donated to the National Archives by the “Monuments Men” Foundation, whose mission is to disseminate the story about the lost works of art and the Allied soldiers who helped recover them.

      The story of the military’s art recovery units was popularized in the movie “The Monuments Men,” written by and starring George Clooney. The film opened across US movie screens in February.

      For more: http://news.yahoo.com/photo-album-looted-nazi-art-given-us-archive-211509410.html

  3. Huge Solar Thermal Plant Opens as Solar Industry Grows

    BRIAN SKOLOFF AND MICHAEL R. BLOOD – FEBRUARY 13, 2014, 1:21 AM EST2806

    PRIMM, Nev. (AP) — A windy stretch of the Mojave Desert once roamed by tortoises and coyotes has been transformed by hundreds of thousands of mirrors into the largest solar power plant of its type in the world, a milestone for a growing industry that is testing the balance between wilderness conservation and the pursuit of green energy across the West.

    The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, sprawling across roughly 5 square miles of federal land near the California-Nevada border, formally opens Thursday after years of regulatory and legal tangles ranging from relocating protected tortoises to assessing the impact on Mojave milkweed and other plants.

    The $2.2 billion complex of three generating units, owned by NRG Energy Inc., Google Inc. and BrightSource Energy, can produce nearly 400 megawatts — enough power for 140,000 homes. It began making electricity last year.

    Larger projects are on the way, but for now, Ivanpah (EYE’-ven-pah) is being described as a marker for the United States’ emerging solar industry. While solar power accounts for less than 1 percent of the nation’s power output, thousands of projects from large, utility-scale plants to small production sites are under construction or being planned, particularly across the sun-drenched Southwest.

    The opening of Ivanpah is “a dawn of a new era in power generation in the United States,” said Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group. “We are going to be a global leader in solar generation.”

    The plant’s dedication comes as government continues to push for development of greener, cleaner power.

    President Barack Obama has mounted a second-term drive to combat climate change, proposing first-ever limits on carbon pollution from new and existing power plants. His plan aims to help move the U.S. from a coal-dependent past into a future fired by wind and solar power, nuclear energy and natural gas.

    For more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/idealab/huge-thermal-plant-opens-as-solar-industry-grows

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    Come on over to my newest post titled: ” US-Jordan Sunnylands Meeting & CA Drought 2014″

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