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Monuments Men inspired an exhibition at MET

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Monuments Men inspired an exhibition at MET

Post by it's me on Wed Feb 19 2014, 19:20

Arriva Clooney, e il Metropolitan celebra i Monuments men


La pellicola è un pretesto per raccontare i "salvatori dell'arte": oltre 5 milioni di pezzi recuperati. Tanti cimeli.


La “Pala di Gand” di Jan Van Eyck recuperata da George Stour nella miniera di sale di Altaussee, in Austria.
In perfetta e non casuale coincidenza con l’uscita nelle sale del film di George Clooney, il Metropolitan Museum di New York avvia un programma di celebrazioni dei Monuments Men: il reparto speciale di soldati e ufficiali alleati formato nel 1943 con la missione di salvare quanto più possibile del patrimonio artistico europeo dai danni della guerra e soprattutto dai saccheggi della Wehrmacht e delle SS. E di restituire le opere ai proprietari legittimi, spesso famiglie ebree depredate dai nazisti.


La “pala di Gand”, oggi.
Tredici Paesi. Erano pochi, meno di 400 uomini e donne provenienti da 13 Paesi, tutti volontari, in gran parte storici dell’arte, dirigenti e curatori di musei. Faticavano a farsi prendere sul serio, da comandanti e commilitoni che pensavano a salvare la pelle, non le pietre. Ma riuscirono a portare a termine un lavoro straordinario: trovarono, salvarono e restituirono oltre cinque milioni di pezzi, fra opere d’arte, oggetti d’antiquariato e libri rari.


James Rorimer (a sin.) esamina i recuperi alò castello di Neuschwanstewin.
La guida. Uno di loro ha un posto speciale nella storia del Met. E’ James Rorimer, uno studioso di arte medioevale che cominciò a lavorare al museo appena laureato a Harvard, nel 1934, e poco dopo fu l’anima dell’allestimento dei Cloisters, la sede dedicata al Medio Evo. Si arruolò appena gli Stati Uniti entrarono in guerra. Fu lui a organizzare e guidare il Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program, il nome ufficiale dei Monuments Men, assieme a George Leslie Stout, fondatore del primo laboratorio americano di studi sul restauro. Soldato improbabile, ricevette tuttavia diverse decorazioni, fra cui la Bronze Star, la Legion d’onore e la Croix de guerre francesi.


Due pagine di un taccuino di Rorimer.
Direttori di musei. Quando finalmente smise la divisa, divenne direttore dei Cloisters e poi dell’intero Metropolitan per undici anni, fino alla morte nel 1966. Con lui lavorarono altri Monuments Men, brillanti curatori che fecero carriera. Come Harry Grier, che in seguito diresse la Frick Collection; Theodore Heinrich, poi direttore del Royal Ontario Museum a Toronto; Theodore Rousseau, vice direttore del Met e responsabile per l’arte europea.


Gustav Klimt, “Mäda Primavesi”, 1912, New York, Metropolitan Museum
Opere salvate. Intorno a Rorimer e ai suoi colleghi, il Metropolitan Museum ha costruito varie iniziative. In primo luogo un itinerario, una sorta di via crucis dell’arte salvata, che ha come stazioni undici tele recuperate, dalle Bolle di sapone di Jean Simeon Chardin alla Mäda Primavesi di Gustav Klimt. Attraverso documenti e testi, il visitatore s’immerge nel lavoro quotidiano del reparto speciale, tocca con mano l’immensa difficoltà e l’immensa efficacia della missione. «Non potevamo pensare alle opere d’arte in termini ordinari. Le nostre unità di misura erano camion pieni, stanze colme, castelli interi riempiti di tesori», scrisse più tardi Rorimer.


I Monuments men salgono verso Montecassino.
La cultura del nemico. Ma la vera grandezza dei Monuments Men, forse, era morale; stava nell’amore per tutta l’arte, tutta la cultura, senza badare alla provenienza. «Salvare la cultura dei tuoi alleati è poca cosa», rifletteva ancora Rorimer. «Inaudito era amare la cultura del tuo nemico, rischiare la tua vita e quelle di altri per proteggerla, restituirgliela appena vinta la battaglia. Questo era davvero eccezionale. Qualcosa che si faceva per passione, non per dovere».

La ricerca. Il blog del Metropolitan ospita un’ampia, dettagliata ricerca su Rorimer e i suoi uomini. Fonte principale, gli archivi del museo, da cui sono saltati fuori particolari e immagini inedite. Nei taccuini che il futuro direttore portava sempre con sé, per esempio, varie pagine sono dedicate a Rose Valland: la funzionaria del Jeu de Paume parigino che di nascosto seguiva le tracce dei tesori rubati dai tedeschi. Fu grazie ai suoi appunti che i Monuments Men scoprirono l’immenso bottino nascosto dai nazisti in Baviera, nel castello di Neuschwanstein e nelle miniere di Heilbronn. Nel film, a impersonare Rose è Cate Blanchett.


James Rorimer riceve una decorazione.
Foto e cimeli esposti. Nel corso della missione in Europa, testimonia la ricerca, Rorimer aveva trovato il tempo di raccogliere cartoline anteguerra, e di scattare foto che documentavano le distruzioni subite dagli stessi edifici e monumenti. Con quei materiali, il Metropolitan allestì fra il 1946 e il ‘47 diverse mostre, che contribuirono a sensibilizzare l’opinione pubblica americana sulla necessità di contribuire alla ricostruzione dell’Europa. Particolarmente importante The War’s Toll of Italian Art, “Il prezzo della guerra per l’arte italiana”, nell’autunno del ’46. I cimeli di Rorimer utilizzati nella ricerca, e altri materiali, sono esposti fino a metà marzo nella biblioteca del Met.



The film is an excuse to tell the "saviors of art": over 5 million pieces recovered. Many memorabilia.


The Ghent Altarpiece by Jan Van Eyck recovered by George Stour in the salt mine in Altaussee, Austria.
In perfect and not random coincidence with the release in theaters of the film by George Clooney, the Metropolitan Museum in New York starts a program of celebrations of the Monuments Men: the Special Department of Allied soldiers and officers formed in 1943 with a mission to save as much as possible of the European artistic heritage from damage of war and especially by the looting of the Wehrmacht and SS. And return the legitimate owners, often robbed Jewish families by the Nazis.


The Ghent Altarpiece ", today.
Thirteen Countries. Were few, less than 400 men and women from 13 countries, all volunteers, mostly art historians, museum curators and directors. Couldn't get taken seriously, from commanders and fellow soldiers who thought to save your skin, not stones. But they managed to complete an amazing job: found, rescued and returned more than five million pieces, including works of art, antiques and rare books.


James Rorimer (left) examines recovery Aale Neuschwanstewin Castle.
The Guide. One of them has a special place in the history of the Met. It's James Rorimer, a scholar of medieval art, who began working at the Museum just graduated at Harvard in 1934, and soon after was the soul of the setting of the Cloisters, the venue dedicated to the middle ages. He joined as the United States entered the war. It was he who organize and lead the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program, the official name of the Monuments Men, along with George Leslie Stout, founder of the first American laboratory studies on restoration. The unlikely soldier, however, received several decorations, including the Bronze Star, the Legion of honor and the Croix de guerre in France.


Two pages of a notebook of Rorimer.
Museum Directors. When he finally stopped the split, he became Director of the Cloisters and of the entire Metropolitan for eleven years, until his death in 1966. He worked with other Monuments Men, brilliant editors who made career. As Harry Grier, who later headed the Frick Collection; Theodore Heinrich, then Director of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto; Theodore Rousseau, Deputy Director of the Met and responsible for European art.


Gustav Klimt, Mäda Primavesi ", 1912, New York, Metropolitan Museum
Saved works. Around Rorimer and his colleagues, the Metropolitan Museum has built a number of initiatives. First an itinerary, a kind of art saved via crucis, whose eleven canvases fetched stations, from soap bubbles to Jean Simeon Chardin to Gustav Klimt Mäda Primavesi. Through documents and texts, immerses the visitor in the day-to-day work of the Special Unit, tap the immense difficulties and the huge success of the mission. "We couldn't think about the artwork in ordinary terms. Our units of measurement were truck full, full, full of treasure-filled castles, "wrote later Rorimer.


The Monuments men climb to Monte Cassino.
The culture of the enemy. But the true size of the Monuments Men, perhaps, was moral; was in love for all the art, any culture, regardless of origin. «Save the culture of your allies is little thing», reflected still Rorimer. «Unheard of was loving your enemy's culture, risking your life and those of others in order to protect it, just restituirgliela won the battle. This was truly exceptional. Something you did for passion, not for duty ".

The search. The Metropolitan has a large, detailed research on Rorimer and his men. The main source, the Museum's archives, from which they jumped out details and pictures. In notebooks that the future Director was always with him, for example, several pages are devoted to Rose Valland: official of the Jeu de Paume in Paris who secretly followed the trail of stolen treasures from the Germans. It was thanks to his notes that the Monuments Men discovered the immense loot hidden by the Nazis in Bavaria, Neuschwanstein Castle and in the mines of Heilbronn. In the film, to impersonate Rose is Cate Blanchett.


James Rorimer receives a decoration.
Photos and memorabilia on display. During the Mission in Europe, testifies to the research, Rorimer had found time to collect pre-war cards, and take pictures documenting the destruction suffered by the same buildings and monuments. With those materials, the Metropolitan set up between the 1946 and ' 47 different exhibitions, which helped to raise awareness of the American public on the need to contribute to the reconstruction of Europe. Particularly important to The War's Toll of Italian Art, "the price of war for Italian art", in the autumn of ' 46. The memorabilia of Rorimer used in research, and other materials are exposed until mid March in the library of the Met.



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it's me
George Clooney fan forever!

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Re: Monuments Men inspired an exhibition at MET

Post by Carla97 on Wed Feb 19 2014, 19:50

I wonder how long they will have it. I have always wanted to visit NY and, well, this place (MET and many others)... Smile 

Carla97
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Re: Monuments Men inspired an exhibition at MET

Post by it's me on Wed Feb 19 2014, 21:04

sigh.....

it's me
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Re: Monuments Men inspired an exhibition at MET

Post by Mazy on Thu Feb 20 2014, 02:39

Carla97 wrote:I wonder how long they will have it. I have always wanted to visit NY and, well, this place (MET and many others)... Smile 

I think the med March that was mentioned is how long it will be on display. It is mind boggling all that has come about because of George's movie. This has got to be the high lite of his career to date. The Lord only knows how much more we can expect to see from him in the future. xxx

Mazy
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Re: Monuments Men inspired an exhibition at MET

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