Robert Edsel's Blog

Archive for March, 2009

The Loss of a Gentle Man: Kenneth Lindsay 1919 – 2009

March 4th, 2009 | 2:41 pm

Robert M. Edsel presenting Dr. Kenneth Lindsay with an American flag that was distributed to each of the living Monuments Men at the Senate Ceremony following passage of joint Congressional Resolutions.

Monuments Man Ken Lindsay died on Monday, age 89. A distinguished veteran, outstanding educator of art and loving father and husband, Ken will be remembered most for his instrumental role in the recovery and return of tens of thousands works of art stolen by the Nazis during World War ll. Some of the world’s greatest cultural treasures were caringly watched over by him from his post-war position at the Wiesbaden Collecting Point including the ancient wonder, Bust of Queen Nefertiti and Manet’s In the Conservatory.

Monuments Man Sgt. Kenneth C. Lindsay and the bust of Queen Nefertiti, now housed at the Neues Museum in Berlin.

American GIs admire In The Conservatory, a masterpiece by Edouard Manet

In the Conservatory by Edouard Manet (Gemaldegalerie, Berlin.)

Ken was beloved by his students. Just two days ago, while speaking at the State Department, I met a man named Owen Pell who introduced himself to me as one of Ken’s biggest fans. We each exchanged our favorite “Ken Lindsay story” which was tough to do if you knew Ken: there are so many!

This man was one of the great story tellers I’ve known. His manner of speech, elocution, and facial expressions made any story riveting. He was not just an eyewitness to one of the most fascinating periods in history, he was also a key participant…the end of World War ll, post-war Munich, the Nuremburg trials, and of course his particular work as a Monuments Man in Wiesbaden working with such greats as fellow Monuments Men Walter Farmer, Joe Kelleher and Edith Standen. His insights into the events of the Wiesbaden Manifesto were riveting…and I’m proud to say something we got on film for future audiences to see.

Dr. Kenneth Lindsay interviewed by Robert M. Edsel in October, 2007

These great men and women of the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives section performed a service to civilization that will stand forever as the greatest demonstration of love of the arts and selfless sacrifice in their protection. Time spent in their company is an experience to treasure. Representing them is an honor. We will miss Ken — his great humor, wisdom and positive attitude — so much.

Dr. Kenneth Lindsay

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