It also includes a World War ll veteran and Monuments Man who has provided our Advisory Board with a direct connection to these critical events of the past. Collectively, the guidance of the Monuments Men has been and continues to be essential to helping fulfill our mission of educating the public and furthering the preservation of our shared cultural heritage.
Nancy H. Yeide holds a Master of Arts from the American University and has been head of the Department of Curatorial Records at the National Gallery of Art since 1990. Her primary interest is in the history of collecting, particularly during the 19th and 20th centuries, a topic on which she has published regularly in such journals as Apollo, Archives of American Art Journal and Museum News. Since 1997 she has conducted World War II-era provenance research on the National Gallery of Art’s collection, and has spoken and written widely on the subject. In 2001, she co-authored the American Association of Museums’ Guide to Provenance Research. She was the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Sabbatical Curatorial Fellow for 2002–2003, during which time she researched the art collection of Reichsmarshall Hermann Goering for her forthcoming catalogue raisonné to be published by Laurel Publishing in Spring 2009.
Dr. Joseph Robert White is a Research Assistant with the Camps and Ghettos Encyclopedia Project at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies (CAHS), United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), in Washington, DC. He is also adjunct associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland University College, where he teaches online, blended, and face-to-face courses on Western and World Civilization, Nazi Germany, Germany since 1914, Twentieth-Century Europe, World War II, the Holocaust, the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, and Genocide. Earning an AB (1986) and MA (1989) in History at Georgia State University in Atlanta, he took a PhD in Modern European history at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2000, for a dissertation titled “IG Auschwitz: The Primacy of Racial Politics.”
To date, Dr. White has contributed 90 articles to the CAHS forthcoming, seven-volume, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, Volume 1, which will be published by Indiana University Press in association with the Holocaust Museum in 2009. He was recently appointed the editor of Volume 4, The Camps and Ghettos of Germany’s Allies, Satellites, and Collaborationist States. His other published work appears in Holocaust and Genocide Studies; The Journal of Jewish Identities; Scheisshaus Luck: Surviving the Unspeakable in Auschwitz and Dora, by Pierre Berg with Brian Brock (New York: Amacom, 2008); and the forthcoming anthology, Evoking Genocide: Researchers and Activists Describe the Works of Art and Media that Changed Their Lives, edited by Adam G. Jones (Toronto: The Key Publishing House, 2009). In June 2008, he served as a Facilitator for the first research workshop at the International Tracing Service in Bad Arolsen, Germany, which is the repository of more than 50 million pages of documentation related to Jewish and non-Jewish victims of Nazi persecution. He has also worked closely with museum colleagues in identifying and dating photographs from the donated photograph album that once belonged to the last adjutant of Auschwitz concentration camp, Karl Höcker.
Major Corine Wegener, U.S. Army Reserve (Retired), is an Associate Curator in the department of Architecture, Design, Decorative Arts, Craft, and Sculpture at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
Wegener served in the Army Reserve for 21 years, the final 13 of which were as a Civil Affairs officer. Wegener’s last assignment was in Baghdad, Iraq from May 2003 to March 2004 as the Arts, Monuments, and Archives Officer for the 352nd Civil Affairs Command.
As the only soldier in Army Civil Affairs with art museum experience, Wegener worked closely with the Iraq Ministry of Culture, helping the Iraq National Museum recover from the looting it endured in April 2003. She helped get the museum back on its feet, but noted that about 15,000 items had been stolen during its looting. She also helped coordinate the repair of Iraq’s Ministry of Culture building.
In 2006, Wegener founded the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield, the American branch of the UNESCO-affiliated organization chartered to protect cultural property in wartime, which she describes as similar to “the Red Cross for culture.” Through the organization, she provides training on the protection of cultural property to U.S. Army units prior to deployment.
Wegener is a coauthor of the U.S. Army publication GTA 41-01-002, Civil Affairs Arts, Monuments, and Archives Guide, a resource for soldiers on the protection of cultural property in a wartime environment. She also teaches an Art Theft course at the University of Minnesota, through the University’s Compleat Scholar program.
Dr. Edmund P. Pillsbury is one of America’s foremost museum professionals, with an international reputation as a connoisseur, scholar, and arts administrator.
Dr. Pillsbury, a Yale graduate (B.A. 1965), holds a Ph.D. in Italian Renaissance Art from the University of London’s Courtauld Institute of Art. In 1980, he accepted the directorship of the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. The consistently high quality and importance of Dr. Pillsbury’s acquisitions brought international recognition to the Kimbell Art Museum, making it one of the world’s great museums.
He helped to found the Hermitage’s International Advisory Board, which he chaired for five years, and currently serves as a member of the Board of the American Friends of the Hermitage Museum. Dr. Pillsbury has served as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Pillsbury and Peters Fine Art, Limited, Dallas (2000–03), and Director of the Meadows Museum and Professor of Art History at SMU, Dallas (2003–05). Dr. Pillsbury is currently the Senior Fine Arts Expert at Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas. He is also a Research Professor at the University of Texas at Dallas where he teaches courses in connoisseurship and oversees museum studies. He and his wife, Mireille, live in Dallas, Texas.
In 1985 the French government awarded Dr. Pillsbury a knighthood in the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres). In 1991 New York Times art critic John Russell characterized Dr. Pillsbury as “one of the most gifted men in the American museum profession.” In 1997 he was elected a member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Thomas R. Kline, partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Andrews Kurth LLP, has since 1989 represented governments, museums, churches, foundations, and families, including Holocaust survivors and heirs, in recovering stolen art appearing in the United States. He also represents an American museum and U.S. collectors in responding to claims and generally handles a wide variety of art and cultural property litigation and advice matters.
Mr. Kline serves on the Board of the Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation; co-teaches a seminar on Cultural Property at George Washington University, Museum Studies Program; and writes and speaks frequently on art, museum, and cultural property issues, including appearing in 1999 before the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States. For his work on behalf of German cultural institutions, Mr. Kline was awarded the Officers Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
David Hicks serves as the Vice President of Academic Affairs for Meritas, as well as the Headmaster of the North Broward Preparatory Schools, a Meritas school in Coconut Creek, Florida.
Mr. Hicks’ educational experience spans over 30 years and encompasses positions at elite private schools and universities around the world. His most recent position was President of the Darlington School in Rome, Georgia. Previously, Mr. Hicks serves as Interim Headmaster at St. Christopher’s School in Richmond, Virginia. He also served as Rector for the prestigious St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire and Headmaster at both the St. Mark’s School of Texas and St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Jackson, Mississippi. During his various leadership positions in the education field, Mr. Hicks raised approximately $100 million, master-planned four campuses, and renovated 15 major buildings.
Mr. Hicks was at one time a congressional candidate and an Officer in the U.S. Navy. A Rhodes Scholar himself, Mr. Hicks was a longtime member of the Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee, as well as numerous other organizations, foundations and charities.
Mr. Hicks holds an M.A. in Philosophy from Oxford University, where he also studied Politics and Economics. He received an A.B. in English from Princeton University and also studied Russian at the University of Moscow.
Christy Fox is a Public Relations and Marketing Consultant in New York City and has worked on the Rescuing Da Vinci project since 2006. She was responsible for media coverage about the project in The New York Times, “The Charlie Rose Show,” and CNN, among other outlets. In 2007, Ms. Fox assisted Robert Edsel with lobbying efforts in support of the Monuments Men Congressional Resolution, which resulted in passage of the bill in both the House and the Senate. In addition, she has been responsible for assembling the educator team that will construct the curriculum to accompany The Rape of Europa, as well as assisting in the creation and production of the DVD extra material.
A graduate of Boston University’s College of Communication, Ms. Fox has previously held marketing positions with Rolex Watch USA; the Related Group of NY (developers of the Time Warner Center); and the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida where one of her responsibilities was fundraising to endow the new staff position of Provenance Researcher, to examine and research the history of the museum’s collection.
Sergeant, U.S. Army, Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA)
Harry L. Ettlinger and his family in Karlsruhe, Germany, witnessed firsthand the rise of Hitler and the National Socialist Party. The Ettlinger family business Gebrueder Ettlinger, specializing in elegant women’s fashions, was boycotted under the Nazi regime and closed in 1935. On September 25, 1938, the day following Ettlinger’s Bar Mitzvah, he fled Germany with his parents and two younger brothers enroute to the United States where they arrived on October 9th. Six years after his arrival in the U.S. Ettlinger was drafted after graduating high school and returned to Europe as an infantryman in January 1945. He was assigned to the 99th Infantry Division to join the counterattack in the Battle of the Bulge. At the last minute, Ettlinger, who was fluent in German, was pulled out from going into combat on his nineteenth birthday. Unknown to him until much later, he had been re-designated as an interpreter and was to be assigned to the Nuremberg war trials.
While in Munich awaiting assignment, Ettlinger volunteered his services to the MFAA section under Lieutenant Commander James Rorimer. One of his first tasks in mid-May 1945 was to assist with the interview of Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler’s personal photographer. From August 1945 to July 1946, Ettlinger and Lieutenant Dale Ford were assigned to supervise the underground operations at the Nazi repository in the Heilbronn-Kochendorf salt mines. In addition to the mining of salt, the underground mines had been utilized by the Nazis to protect German museum treasures as well as for the building of jet engine parts by Hungarian Jewish slave laborers from concentration camps. The first priority for the Monuments Men was to return seventy-three cases containing sections of stained glass belonging to Strasbourg Cathedral. The stained glass had been removed from the windows by French authorities for safe keeping at the onset of the war and later sent to Heilbronn by the Nazis. Ettlinger noted that “the Strasbourg windows were the first thing we sent back. That was on orders from Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower […] as a gesture of good faith.“1 In all, it took ten months and five shipments, including one to Paris, to empty the mines of some 900 works of art. Most of the treasure later went back to their German institutions.
Unlike the majority of his fellow Monuments Men, Ettlinger, while brought up to appreciate art, had no plans to go into the field professionally. Years later, he remarked, “I was just the kid from New Jersey. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t as interested in the paintings as I was in other things over there.“2
Following the war, Ettlinger went home to Newark, New Jersey and later to Long Island, New York. There he earned Master’s degrees in mechanical engineering and business administration before becoming Deputy Program Director for a company that produced guidance systems for submarine-launched nuclear weapons. Today he is co-chair of the Wallenberg Foundation of New Jersey, named for Raoul Wallenberg, a wealthy Swedish-born Protestant who inspired others to help him rescue approximately 100,000 Hungarian Jews from the Holocaust. Ettlinger carries out the Foundation’s mission and encourages Wallenberg’s ideas by educating young people about the power of a single person’s actions to positively affect society. In 2002 Ettlinger issued his autobiography titled “Ein Amerikaner: Anecdotes from the life of Harry Ettlinger,” released in limited edition.
1 Robert M. Poole, “Monumental Mission,” Smithsonian Magazine (February 2008): 44.
For more information on MFAA personnel, please visit our website: www.monumentsmenfoundation.org
© Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art; 2008
Robert M. Edsel is the author of the non-fiction book, Rescuing Da Vinci, co-producer of the documentary film, The Rape of Europa, and Founder and President of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art.
Mr. Edsel was formerly a nationally ranked tennis player. In 1981, Mr. Edsel began his business career in oil and gas exploration. His company, Gemini Exploration pioneered the use of horizontal drilling technology throughout the early 1990s. Gemini Exploration grew from a company with eight employees to almost 100. By 1995, Gemini had become the second most active driller of horizontal wells in the United States. In 1995, Edsel sold the company’s assets to Union Pacific Resources Company. The following year he moved to Europe with his family.
While in Florence, he developed a great passion for art and architecture and became curious as to how so many of the monuments and great works of art survived the thefts and devastation of World War II. What began as a question evolved into an impassioned journey to unravel the secrets and heroics of the Monuments Men, the unsung heroes who saved the world’s greatest art and cultural treasures for the benefit of civilization. By 2001, that journey had become a full-time job. Mr. Edsel has dedicated the last six years of his life to painstaking and far-reaching research about the Monuments Men, which first culminated in the publishing of his book Rescuing Da Vinci, a detailed historical account that includes 460 photographs. In addition to Rescuing Da Vinci, Mr. Edsel is the co-producer of the documentary film, The Rape of Europa, based on the award-winning book of the same name by scholar Lynn Nicholas.
Mr. Edsel is also the Founder and President of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, a not-for-profit entity. The Foundation was one of 10 recipients of the 2007 National Humanities Medal, an honor which was presented by President Bush during a ceremony held in the East Room on November 15, 2007.
Dr. Richard Brettell is a foremost authority on Impressionism and French painting of the period 1830–1930. He has three degrees from Yale University and has taught at the University of Texas, Northwestern University, The University of Chicago, Yale University, and Harvard University. Currently, he is the Professor of Aesthetic Studies in the Interdisciplinary Program in Arts and Humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas where he has established the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Museums.
Dr. Brettell’s museum career began in 1980 at the Art Institute of Chicago as the Searle Curator of European Painting. In 1988, he became the McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art. Since leaving that position in 1992, he has been involved with a variety of projects and organizations, including the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, the Portland Museum of Art (Oregon), the Sara Lee Collection, the National Gallery of Australia, the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California, and the National Gallery, London. He has delivered lectures at museums and universities throughout the world and has participated in a wide variety of cultural organizations.
His recent books include Impression: Painting Quickly in France, 1860–1900, Modern Art, 1851–1929: Capitalism and Representation, and Monet to Moore: The Millennium Gift of Sara Lee Corporation. His publications also include books on the work of Camille Pissarro, Edgar Degas, and Paul Gauguin, as well as studies of Impressionist landscape painting.