“The National World War II Museum was proud to host Robert Edsel in a September 2009 speaking engagement shortly after the publication of his masterful book The Monuments Men. We quickly recognized that the Monuments Men story aligns with the mission of the [National WWII] Museum as it teaches history and makes clear that hope and promise – as well as destruction and sorrow – came out of the American war experience.
As a scholar and leading advocate for preservation of the arts, Robert gave a remarkable presentation, displaying a blend of passion and knowledge that resonated with the audience.
Since that first appearance in 2009, Robert has served as a keynote speaker for our annual International Conference on World War II, has joined our Board of Trustees, and has been integral to our development of a Monuments Men exhibition, a major feature of our planned Liberation Pavilion.
We were thrilled to host Robert again in May 2013 so that he could enlighten our guest about his latest book Saving Italy, which tells of the campaign to preserve and protect the masterpieces of Italy. The May event attracted the largest crowd we have seen to date for a presentation by an author or filmmaker. Robert is a polished speaker who can expound on an intriguing topic that is appealing to many audiences.
In my endorsement of Saving Italy, I wrote: ‘Robert Edsel weaves a suspenseful tale worthy of an Indiana Jones plot. He pulls you into a dangerous web of intrigue in which the Vatican, top German SS generals, American OSS operatives and Italian officials are entwined in top-secret negotiations to end the war. A must read for any WWII history enthusiast.’
The same could be said for Robert’s speaking appearances. They are ‘must attend’ events!”
Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller, PhD
President & CEO
The National WWII Museum, New Orleans
“As the head of the Academic Programs department at the National Gallery of Art, it is part of my job to curate and supervise the venerable Sunday Lecture series, which is perhaps the oldest museum education program in the U.S., with a lecture every week since 1941. Leading figures in the field (artists, architects, art historians, and authors) are invited to share their research, projects, and thoughts with the public. The lectures last approximately 45 minutes and we cater to a generally knowledgeable, non-specialist audience.
Robert Edsel first spoke at the Gallery in January of 2010 in conjunction with the release of The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History. This past May, Robert returned to the Gallery to launch his new book Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation’s Treasures from the Nazis. On both occasions, Robert spoke to a full auditorium of 500 people. He was professional, knowledgeable, and entertaining. Robert also generously offered to sign copies of his books and answer as many questions as the public wanted to ask. Thank you for this opportunity to write to you about Robert Edsel. We hope to have him back in the future!”
Faya Causey (Ph.D)
Head Department of Academic Programs
National Gallery of Art
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you again for helping bring Robert Edsel to the Getty last month. As you know, we had an overflow crowd due to the tremendous interest in the fascinating topic of the Monuments Men and the fate of Europe’s artistic treasures during and after World War II. Over 500 people attended the talk, a number of them diligently watching a video simulcast in the overflow hall. Everyone in attendance was rewarded with Robert’s presentation, which combined a great deal of information with his personal passion for the topic, all wrapped in his distinctive charm and humor.
As you can imagine, I organize a large number of programs on a variety of topics here at the Getty. Few of them manage to capture such audiences and keep attendees in their seats rapt with attention for the duration. Robert has a gift for reaching his audience, and we were delighted to be able to present him.”
The Getty Museum
“I’m writing to recommend Robert Edsel to you as one of the most engaging public speakers I’ve had the privilege to hear in recent memory.
During Robert Edsel’s fascinating lecture, the audience was absolutely transfixed and then spontaneously rose to a standing ovation and loud applause at the conclusion. Certainly all present were engaged by the remarkable story of the Monument Men and their actions, but as well by Edsel’s thoroughly dramatic presentation of this gripping story. And it wasn’t just the story of decades-old adventure. Edsel has strong emotional ties to the remaining members of the group, and he appealed to the audience to help find Monument Men whose whereabouts had not yet been discovered.”
The Henry J. Heinz II Director
Yale University Art Gallery
“Your lecture for the McNay was so captivating and well received. The following morning several emails thanked use for bringing you to speak in San Antonio….Your talk touched on so many aspects of art museum work: art history; collecting; conservation; art’s cultural, historical, and physical value; personal family histories; along with international figures and events.”
Rose M. Glennon
Curator of Education
McNay Art Museum
“My belated thanks for your excellent talk for the McNay on May 1. It was well organized and delivered in such an engaging way that the audience could have stayed much longer. As it was, the question period showed that the level of interest was high.”
William J. Chiego
McNay Art Museum
“As you could tell from the overflow crowd, the subject was of great interest and from the warm response you got it was obvious that you did not disappoint your audience.”
Associate Library Director
The University Club, New York City
“As the Director of the Florida Atlantic University Lifelong Learning Society-Jupiter, I had the pleasure of hosting Mr. Robert M. Edsel as our 2008 Performing Arts Week Notable Guest Lecturer. Mr. Edsel’s presentation was a tremendous success, and I would like to take this opportunity to recommend his presentation, Is Art Worth A Life? Hitler, War and the Monuments Men, to community organizations, educational institutions and corporations.
Mr. Edsel is an outstanding speaker. In my opinion, his unwavering devotion to honor the Monuments Men exemplifies strong moral fiber and character. Over 300 Lifelong Learning students enjoyed his lecture immensely, and they continuously share positive comments regarding his presentation.
It is for these reasons that I offer high recommendations for Mr. Edsel without reservation. For him to undertake such a major and important project, illustrates perseverance and dedication.”
Director, Lifelong Learning Society
Florida Atlantic University
“I think the words huge success don’t even begin to describe the evening. Everyone was blown away by him….we received wonderful coverage in the papers, and tremendous feedback.
Thank you so very much for all your help in making this happen for us! He is unbelievable!”
El Paso Holocaust Museum