Just another day in the mines for the Monuments Men - archivist and co-curator of our Monuments Men exhibit Rihoko Ueno answers all your burning questions about the mines where the Nazis stored their looted art in this blog post.
Still have questions? On Tuesday, March 11, at 2:30 p.m. ET we will be hosting a Twitter chat about real stories of the Monuments Men. Curators Barbara Aikens and Rihoko Ueno (@ArchivesAmerArt) will be available to answer your questions about the men and women who worked to protect Europe’s cultural heritage during World War II. Our co–hosts are the National Gallery of Art (@ngadc), the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (@HolocaustMuseum), and the National Archives (@USNatArchives). Get your questions ready and join us on Twitter by following the hashtag #MonMenChat.
Herr Sicher, George Stout and Thomas Carr Howe inspecting paintings, 1945 July 9 / unidentified photographer. Thomas Carr Howe papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
…when it came to assigning soldiers … a responsibility of guarding a work of art, somehow there was pride in this thing that was manifested in what they said, and how they did it, and in the end of course it was the common soldier who saved these things. —
Walker Hancock illuminates the great importance of the average soldier in achieving the mission of the Monuments Men. For more, and to hear a clip of this interview with Hancock, check out our exhibit.
Oral history interview with Walker Hancock, 1977 July 22-August 15, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Esther McCoy scholar Susan Morgan reflects on getting to “know” a person through primary sources in a new post on our blog.
Esther McCoy, ca. 1944 / unidentified photographer. Esther McCoy papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The Armory Show wasn’t the only big event in 1913 - it was also the year that suffragists marched on Washington to demand women’s right to vote. In light of that centennial anniversary, which is being celebrated this weekend, and the kickoff of Women’s History Month, it seemed like a good time to present you with this declaration from Nancy Spero.
Nancy Spero letter to Lucy R. Lippard, 1971 Oct. 29. Lucy R. Lippard papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Reblogging ourselves? Yes. But this succinct letter is worth reading every month.
They may not have won Oscars but they are winners in our hearts - read more about the thespians who star in our archival collections.
Jeanne Eagels, ca. 1918 / unidentified photographer. Elizabeth Piutti-Barth papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The one thing I think that must be guarded against … in our efforts to create a black image and to assert our quality, our character, our blackness, our beauty, and all that, the art form must remain one of high level. I think of Ralph Ellison who always said, ‘I want to be the right arm, the themes of my people, but I want to be a great writer regardless.’ —
Artist Hale Woodruff bolsters his argument with a quote from Ralph Ellison, who would have turned 100 today.
Oral history interview with Hale Woodruff, 1968 Nov. 18
Meet Ellis Wilson: born in Mayfield, Kentucky, in a black neighborhood known as “the Bottom,” studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, and won a Guggenheim Fellowship which allowed him to travel through the South painting portrayals of African Americans in their daily lives. Children of the ’80s may recognize his painting The Funeral Procession because it hung in the Huxtables’ living room on The Cosby Show.
Ellis Wilson standing in front of a desk, circa 1950 / unidentified photographer. Ellis Wilson papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Our Bertha Schaefer papers, which have a brand new finding aid, contain this gem of a letter from Jackson Pollock to Schaefer in which he apologizes for his “inconsiderate behavior and for the inconveniences [he] caused.” Would love to know the story behind that one.
Jackson Pollock letter to Bertha Schaefer, 1948 October 14. Bertha Schaefer papers and gallery records, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.