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The Monuments Men and the National Gallery of Art

February 11, 2014 – January 4, 2015
West Building, Main Floor, Founders Room

Lieutenant Craig Hugh Smyth at the Munich Central Collecting Point with looted art, 1945. Charles Parkhurst Papers, National Gallery of Art, Gallery Archives

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery.

During World War II, as part of the military’s Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA) program, American art historians, museum and art professionals, and archivists were deployed as military officers to protect works of art, historical buildings and monuments, and archives in war theaters throughout western Europe. The National Gallery of Art was deeply involved in these efforts.

Through a small but poignant selection of photographs, documents, and memorabilia, many never before exhibited, this archival display describes the seminal role the National Gallery of Art played in the creation of the MFAA and the Roberts Commission and explores the real-life experiences of a few of the monuments men.