Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Present Online Google Talk, 2/7

As part of the renewed interest in the heroic efforts of the Monuments Men, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are presenting an online Google Art Talk this Friday, February 7 with other experts discussing their real life connections to the feature film "The Monuments Men," opening Friday. Thomas Carr Howe, Jr. (1904-1994), the director of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco from 1939 through 1968, played a significant role in the events depicted in the upcoming film, which focuses on a group of museum professionals sent to Europe to save cherished art works stolen by the Nazis during World War II.

Beginning Saturday, February 8 in Gallery 14, the Legion of Honor will exhibit a painting recovered by the Monuments Men. The painting, Portrait of a Lady (ca. 1620) by Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641) was at one time in the possession of Hermann Goering. It was later returned to its rightful owners and subsequently given to the Legion of Honor by the Roscoe and Margaret Oakes Collection.


About the Google Art Talk

On February 7 at 12 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time) join the Legion of Honor and the Google Art Project for an online Art Talk about the true stories of the Monuments Men. Watch presentations by representatives from the Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; University of California, Berkeley; Archives of American Art; The Frick Art Reference Library; and the American Institute for Conservation Oral History Project - all institutions whose directors, curators, and conservators spearheaded this noble endeavor.

Follow the Legion of Honor on Google+ to log into the Art Talk online, or view it in person at the de Young in the Koret Auditorium or at the Legion of Honor in the Florence Gould Theater. Admission to the Koret Auditorium is free and open to the public. Museum admission is required to visit the Florence Gould Theater. Have a question about the Monuments Men? Post it on Twitter@legionofhonor #monumentsmen!

More on Thomas Carr Howe, Jr.

Howe wrote one of the first books about the Monuments Men, and was a witness to historical moments that a museum chief could only dream: Entering a salt mine in Austria and unearthing Michelangelo's Madonna and Child (1501); overseeing the salvage of theGhent Altarpiece by Jan van Eyck (1432), arguably Belgium's most precious art work. He also traveled to Hitler's mountain hideaway in Berchtesgaden to retrieve the stolen loot taken by Goering, the infamous Nazi commander who served as Hitler's primary art thief when his armies invaded Europe.

Howe worked directly under Lieutenant Commander George L. Stout, depicted by director/star George Clooney in the film, the chief of the Monuments Men division in Germany, and also worked with several key players in the section. His adventures included the accidental discovery of the Rothschild jewels from the Altaussee salt mine near Salzburg, Austria, which Howe recounted in his book on the Monuments Men, "Salt Mines and Castles: The Discovery and Restitution of Looted European Art."




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by Barry Kostrinsky