James J. Rorimer papers


James J. Rorimer papers


The papers of curator and museum director James J. Rorimer measure 2.3 linear feet and date from 1921 to 1982, with the bulk from 1943-1950. The papers include documentation of James J. Rorimer's World War II service in the Monuments, Fine Art and Archives Section of the U.S. Army and his activities protecting historic and cultural sites from bombing, and locating and recovering art work and cultural icons stolen by the Nazis. Found within the papers are scattered biographical materials and correspondence, writings include draft versions of Rorimer's book <emph render="italic">Safe-Keeping </emph> or <emph render="italic">Survival: The Salvage and Protection of Art in War</emph>, financial records, photographic materials including a photo album containing photographs of European art work and cultural sites where Rorimer worked, newsclippings and additional printed materials, and one scrapbook of clippings dating from World War II.Scattered biographical materials include a college transcript and various certificates. Much of the correspondence is comprised of army directives but also includes some personal letters from Rorimer's wife Katherine.Writings by Rorimer include several handwritten manuscripts and drafts of his book <emph render="italic">Survival: The Salvage and Protection of Art in War</emph>, which was originally titled <emph render="italic">Safe-Keeping</emph>. There is one folder of miscellaneous financial records, mostly dating from Rorimer's time in the army. There is also one folder of minutes of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Board of Trustees meetings.Photographic materials include black and white photographs, negatives, contact prints, postcards, and one photo album. The photograph album was given to Rorimer from the headquarters of the Office of Military Government in Baden-Wurttemberg and is titled <emph render="italic">War Damage in Wurtemmberg: A Selection of Photographs</emph>. Many of the photographs document bomb damage to European cultural monuments and historic sites. There are photographs of Nazi stolen art repositories discovered by Rorimer and fellow Monuments Men at Buxheim monastery and Neuschwanstein castle, art recovery and transportation, and restitution work at Wiesbaden Central Collecting Point. Photographs of people, such as Edith Standen, Rose Valland, and Rorimer, are scattered throughout the series. Printed materials include newspaper and magazine clippings, mostly related to The Cloisters or the activities and achievements of the Monuments Men. Printed materials also includes bulletins, brochures, and press releases. There is also a war-time scrapbook and two handbooks of maps showing historic monuments and sites in France and Germany.






SNAC Resource ID: 6630691

Archives of American Art

Related Entities

There are 8 Entities related to this resource.

Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6wj3h16 (person)

The main building of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is located at 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, a new art reference library, named the Thomas J. Watson Library, was designed by the architectural firm of Brown, Lawford and Forbes in consultation with the Museum. Severud-Elstad-Krueger were the structural engineers; Krey and Hunt were the mechanical engineers. The Library formally opened Jan. 26, 1965. It occupies three floors: the two lower floors comprise s...

Rorimer, James J. (James Joseph), 1905-1966

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6n87dfx (person)

Museum director and art historian; New York City. Rorimer was the motivating force in the development of the Cloisters. Educated at Harvard University and the Ecole Gory in Paris, his employment by the Metropolitan Museum of Art began in 1927 and continued until his death. He was curator of the Department of Medieval Art (1934-1955), director of the Cloisters (1949-1966) and director and trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1955-1966). During WWII, Rorimer served i...

Cook, Walter W. S.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6mp66v8 (person)

American art historian. From the description of Autograph letter signed : Pamplona, Spain, to Belle da Costa Greene, 1949 May 20. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270526748 ...

Cloisters (Museum)

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6tj2rpm (corporateBody)

Allied Forces

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w66b1jj9 (corporateBody)

Rorimer, James J.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6nh7h0r (person)

James J. Rorimer (1905-1966) was a museum director and curator of medieval art working in New York City. Rorimer was the primary force and first director of The Cloisters at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. During World War II, Rorimer served in the U.S. Army Monuments, Fine Art and Archives Section protecting cultural sites and recovering stolen art work. James J. Rorimer was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1905 and attended the University School there until he left in 1921 i...

Valland, Rose

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6r003v3 (person)

Rorimer, Katherine S.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w65t9wb9 (person)