Sunday, September 22, 2013

George L. Stout (1897-1978): Worcester Art Museum Director, Art Conservator and Member of "The Monuments Men" During World War II

George L. Stout (1897-1978)

     "George Leslie Stout (1897 – July 1, 1978) was an art conservation specialist who founded the first laboratory in the United States to study art conservation, as well as the first journal on the subject of art conservation. Actor George Clooney played Stout in the 2013 film The Monuments Men. Stout was born on October 5, 1897, in Winterset, Iowa (also the birthplace of actor John Wayne). He served in a US military hospital unit during World War I. After the war, he completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Iowa. Afterwards, he traveled throughout Europe, married and started a family. In 1926, Stout began work on his master’s degree at Harvard University, graduating two years later. He started his museum career in the art conservation department of the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard in 1928. Stout, along with his Harvard chemist John Gettens, pioneered three major areas of art conservation: rudiments, degradation, and reparations. This helped bring art conservation work into the world of modern science. A reservist for some time, Stout was placed on active duty with the US Navy in 1943. Stout soon joined the Twelfth Army Group and the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section (MFAA), a.k.a. "The Monuments Men". Stout was subsequently director of the Worcester Art Museum, 1947-1954, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1955-1970. In 1975, he was inducted as an honorary member of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works for his accomplishments." -Wikipedia

"The Monuments Men" (2013) movie trailer

George Stout (left) and "The Monuments Men"