Continuing the Work of the Monuments Men
Steven Conant Galleries in Memory of Mrs. H.L. Conant (Floor 2)
The 2014 release of the Hollywood movie The Monuments Men created much public interest in the issue of Nazi art looting before and during World War II. It also increased awareness of Allied efforts to protect important cultural treasures so far as war allowed.
Monuments men and women were museum and cultural professionals who helped the Allied military forces safeguard the art the Nazis stole and return it once World War II had ended. Art museums the world over continue their work by conducting provenance research, or research on the history of ownership of works in their collections. This exhibition tells the interesting story behind one of the IMA’s European paintings, Interior of Antwerp Cathedral, painted by the Flemish artist Peeter Neeffs the Elder in 1651. The tale reveals the complexities of provenance research, and the fact that a painting’s history of ownership can be difficult to reconstruct.