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Monuments Men: On the Frontline to Save Europe's Art, 1942-1946

Monuments Men: On the Frontline to Save Europe's Art, 1942-1946

February 7, 2014 – April 20, 2014

Museum: Archives of American Art

Location: Lawrence A. Fleischman Gallery, Reynolds Center, 1st Floor

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.

On view are papers and other archival materials that tell their story.

Help transcribe their personal papers at transcription.si.edu/project/6669.

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