In Celebrating its 15th Anniversary, Organization Changes Name to Monuments Men and Women Foundation
DALLAS, TX – The Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art (Foundation) today announced that it is changing its name to Monuments Men and Women Foundation, formalizing its fifteen-year long mission to honor these heroes, men and women, of WWII.
The Foundation, created by #1 NYT bestselling author Robert M. Edsel, was established to preserve the legacy of the Monuments Men and Women, honor them for their service, and raise public awareness about their important work. Since its first day of operations on June 6, 2007, the Foundation has introduced these WWII veterans from fourteen nations, to a global audience through books, documentaries, a feature film, and an investigative television series.
In the last decade, the Foundation has expanded its mission to completing the work of the Monuments Men and Women by reuniting rightful owners with their long-lost properties. “The Monuments Women, twenty-seven in all, made an important contribution to the post-war restitution of almost 4,000,000 stolen cultural objects,” said Foundation president Anna Bottinelli. “Today, women are an integral part of the US Army’s newly reconstituted cultural preservation force. The majority of our Monuments Men and Women Foundation team is made up of women. It is right and appropriate that we recognize those contributions by name.”
Stephen Watson, President and CEO of the National WWII Museum, said “The National WWII Museum salutes the Foundation in formalizing their recognition of the crucial role that women played in the military's efforts to rescue artwork threatened with theft or destruction in World War II. We are proud of our partnership with the Foundation to tell the stories of Monuments Women like Capt. Edith Standen, one of America's outstanding art registrars who sorted through tens of thousands of stolen objects at the end of the war. Her efforts and others will be celebrated in a new permanent gallery dedicated to Monuments Men and Women in the Museum's Liberation Pavilion, opening in 2023.”
“This name change has been a long-standing wish of mine,” said Robert M. Edsel, Founder and Chairman of the Foundation. “The upcoming opening of the Monuments Men and Women Gallery presented just the right opportunity.”
The Foundation also revealed its new logo, designed by Grace Houdek, a recent graduate of Michigan State University (MSU). Through the personal connection of Foundation Trustee Ms. Kristen Mapes, Assistant Director of Digital Humanities at MSU, the Foundation partnered with students in the university’s Design Center resulting in several innovative and creative concepts. The Foundation wants to extend thanks to Associate Professor Christopher Corneal and his students for their excellent work.
Inspired by the 15th-century Ghent Altarpiece, one of the world’s most revered and beautiful works of art – and one of the most frequently stolen – the left-to-right design of the logo represents art still missing, art that has been recovered, and ultimately art that has been returned to its rightful owners. The total number of panels – fourteen in all – is a subtle, yet brilliant reference to the Monuments Men and Women of fourteen nations who worked together to help rescue and protect cultural treasures throughout WWII.
“Ms. Houdek beautifully captured the mission of the Foundation,” said president Bottinelli. “I am grateful to Professor Corneal and our Trustee Ms. Mapes for opening the door to this collaboration. Rebranding can be a long and expensive process, so their dedication to this important step was immensely helpful.”
The website change www.monumentsmenandwomenfnd.org will be effective immediately. The name change, however, will be implemented gradually. In conjunction with the name change, the Foundation has created a dedicated fund for donors wishing to help underwrite the cost of rebranding. To learn how you can help, please visit www.monumentsmenandwomenfnd.org/rebranding-fund.
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About Monuments Men and Women Foundation
Monuments Men and Women Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising global awareness about the importance of respecting and preserving our shared cultural heritage by honoring the historic achievements of the Monuments Men and Women and completing their mission to right the wrongs of the Nazi looting machine using its super partes role to return stolen and missing objects to their rightful owners. The Foundation acts on behalf of the art or cultural object in question, without favoritism, without an agenda. It has to date located and returned more than thirty objects, some priceless.
During its first 12 years of operations, the Foundation raised worldwide awareness about the Monuments Men and Women through film, television, and books, honored their military service through the awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal – the highest civilian honor bestowed by the United States – and preserved their legacy through a partnership with the National World War II Museum making the Foundation's incomparable archives and artifacts accessible to students and scholars around the world. In October 2020, the Museum broke ground on its Liberation Pavilion, which will feature a permanent exhibition about the Monuments Men and Women, the first of its kind.
For more information, please visit www.monumentsmenandwomenfnd.org.