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Learn about the History of Baltimore’s Very Own Monument Man

Baltimore—The Walters Art Museum hosts a discussion in honor of the upcoming movie, “Monuments Men,” Sunday, Feb. 9 at 2 p.m. in the Graham Auditorium. Melissa Wertheimer, archives assistant at the Walters will present “Archival Treasures of a Monuments Man” which focuses on the Walters’ own Monument Man, Marvin Chauncey Ross. He was the Walters’ first curator of medieval art and subsequent decorative arts and captain in the U.S. Marine Corps.  Ross fought in the South Pacific from May 1943–January 1944.  From January 1944–April 1945, he was sent to General Eisenhower’s administrative staff and held the position of deputy adviser on monuments, fine arts and archives.  Ross was one of the Monuments Men responsible for locating the Isenheim Altar by Matthias Grunewald during WWII.  He was a curator at the Walters from 1934–1952.

Michael Kurtz, former assistant archivist for records services at the National Archives and author of America and the Return of Nazi Contraband: The Recovery of Europe’s Cultural Treasures, will give a contextual overview of the Monuments Men at the beginning of the program.

Monuments Men was an allied effort of approximately 345 men and women from 13 nations. Many had expertise as museum directors, curators, art historians, artists, architects and educators. They worked to protect monuments and other cultural treasures from the destruction of World War II. In the last year of the war, they tracked, located, and returned more than five million artistic and cultural items stolen by the Nazis. Monuments Men remained in Europe for up to six years following the conclusion of fighting to oversee the complicated restitution of stolen works of art.

About the Walters Museum

The Walters Art Museum is located in downtown Baltimore’s historic Mount Vernon Cultural District at North Charles and Centre Streets. At the time of his death in 1931, museum founder Henry Walters left his entire collection of art – including a legendary collection of illuminated medieval manuscripts that is a national treasure – to the city of Baltimore. Between 1895 and 1931, Walters collected around 730 codices.  Its permanent collection includes ancient art, medieval art and manuscripts, decorative objects, Asian art and Old Master and 19th-century paintings. Wyndham Baltimore Peabody Court is the official hotel of the Walters Art Museum.