Hollywood has told the story of how Monuments Men retrieved artworks that had been looted by Nazis. Newly discovered archival information brings to life the untold story of what they did next at the U.S. Army’s Office of Military Government at the Central Collecting Point (CCP) in Munich. How did the so-called ‘Monuments Men’ transform the war-damaged former Nazi Party headquarters in Munich into the largest ‘museum’ and greatest art history project that had ever been undertaken? How did they create the incredible expertise to identify the artworks? How did they build the infrastructure to restitute the objects? And, as millennia of priceless treasures of European cultural heritage were being gathered under one war-damaged roof, who could be trusted?
Dr Iris Lauterbach presents her new research on the events, people, and intrigue of the Munich CCP in the crucial years 1945–1949. Based on previously unpublished records, archives, and photographs, she uncovers the stories of the people who worked there at a time of lingering political suspicions. In this talk, she narrates the fascinating knowledge-building, conservation, and restitution processes. It is also the remarkable story of the foundation of Germany’s Central Institute for Art History: the library that powered the CCP’s knowledge base has grown into the one of the world’s largest art history reference libraries, where she is a researcher.
29 January 2019: Lecture and Book Launch
The lecture will take place on 29 January 2019, 6-7pm, followed by a reception for the UK book launch of Iris Lauterbach’s The Central Collecting Point in Munich: A New Beginning for the Restitution and Protection of Art, translated by Fiona Elliott, with an introduction by James J. Sheehan (Getty Publications, 2018). The respondent is Dr Johannes von Müller (Warburg Institute). The convener is Dr Elizabeth Savage (Institute of English Studies).
Free, all welcome, RSVP here.