Press Release - State Department - The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library
State Department press release announcing President Roosevelt's establishment of the American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in Europe (also known as the Roberts Commission).
The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library
Description: State Department press release announcing President Roosevelt's establishment of the American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in Europe (also known as the Roberts Commission).
Creator: State Department
Transcript: DEPARTMENT OF STATE
FOR THE PRESS AUGUST 30, 1943
THE AMERICAN COMMISSION FOR THE PROTECTION AND SALVAGE OF ARTISTIC AND HISTORIC MONUMENTS IN EUROPE
The President has approved the establishment of an American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in Europe with the Honorable Owen J. Roberts, Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, as Chairman. Mr. David E. Finley, Director of the National Gallery and a member of the Commission of Fine Arts, has been appointed Vice-Chairman, and Mr. Huntington Cairns, Secretary-Treasurer of the Gallery, will serve as Secretary-Treasurer of the Commission. The other members of the Commission are: the Honorable Herbert Lehman, Director of the Foreign Relief and Rehabilitation Operations; the Honorable Archibald MacLeish, Librarian of Congress; Dr. William Bell Dinsmoor, President of the Archeological Institute of America; Dr. Francis Henry Taylor, Director of the Metropolitan Museum in New York and President of the Association of Art Museum Directors; and Dr. Paul J. Sachs, Associate Director of the Fogg Museum of Fine Arts of Harvard University. The members will serve for three years.
The headquarters of the Commission will be in the National Gallery of Art. The Commission will cooperate with the appropriate branches of the Army and of the Department of State, including the Office of Foreign Relief and Rehabilitation Operations, as well as with appropriate civilian agencies. The Commission will also advise and work with the School of Military Government at Charlottesville, Virginia, and subsequent organizations of civilian character which may take over control of occupied territory when it is possible to relinquish military control.
The Commission may be called upon to furnish museum officials and art historians to the General Staff of the Army, so that so far as is consistent with military necessity, works of cultural value may be protected in countries occupied by the armies of the United Nations. One of the principal functions of the Commission will be to act as a channel of communication between the Army and the various universities, museums and other scholarly institutions, organizations and individuals from whom information and services are desired. Already such valuable material has been collected and furnished to the Army by museums and universities through the efforts of individual members of the Commission and others serving in a volunteer capacity.
The Commission will function under the auspices of the United States Government and in conjunction with similar groups in other countries for the protection and conservation of works of art and of artistic and historic records in Europe and to aid in salvaging and restoring to the lawful owners such objects as have been appropriated by the Axis Powers or individuals acting under their authority or consent.
The appointment of the American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in Europe is evidence of the concern felt by the United States Government and by artistic and learned circles in this country for the safety of artistic treasures in Europe, placed in jeopardy by the War. It is also evidence of the
Rights: The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives
Rights: Reference: TFCD000108a; Frick Art Reference Library Central Correspondence - American Council of Learned Societies