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The Clark Presents Lecture by Award-Winning Author Lynn Nicholas on The Rape of Europa

For Immediate Release

September 15, 2010

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA—The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute presents a special lecture by Lynn Nicholas, author of The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War, on September 26 at 3:00 pm. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Rape of Europa is the epic story of the systematic theft, deliberate destruction, and miraculous survival of Europe's art treasures during the Second World War. Nicholas will discuss The Rape of Europa, with special emphasis on the role played by Williams College alumni and professors in the rescue of the looted works.

Nicholas’s book delves into the violent whirlwind of fanaticism, greed, and warfare that threatened to decimate the artistic heritage of Europe. For twelve long years, the Nazis looted and destroyed art on a scale unprecedented in history. But young art professionals, including Williams College alumni and professors, as well as ordinary heroes, from truck drivers to department store clerks, fought to safeguard, rescue, and return the millions of stolen treasures. Today, more than sixty years later, the legacy of this tragic history continues to play out as families of looted collectors recover major works of art, conservators repair battle damage, and nations fight over the fate of ill-gotten spoils of war. The Rape of Europa has been translated into eight languages and has inspired an international movement to locate and repatriate works of art and other property confiscated and stolen by individuals and governments before and during the Second World War.

“My very first job in Washington was a very lowly one at the National Gallery of Art,” Nicholas said in an interview with the National Endowment of the Arts. “At the National Gallery, I met a number of people who had been involved in recovering works of art at the end of the war. They were all trained museum professionals who had been drafted to recover and protect works of art in the battle areas. Nobody had ever talked to them about this or put their story together.” In recognition of her contributions to raising awareness of these efforts and of the issues surrounding repatriation, Nicholas was elected to the Légion d'honneur by the government of France and was named an Amicus Poloniae by Poland. She lectures frequently on the issues addressed in her books The Rape of Europa and Cruel World: The Children of Europe in the Nazi Web and has appeared as an expert witness in art-repatriation trials and before Congress.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission is $15 June 1 through October 31. Admission is free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413 458 2303 or visit clarkart.edu.

Calendar Listing

September 26: The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute presents a special lecture by Lynn Nicholas, author of The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War, on September 26 at 3:00 pm. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Rape of Europa is the epic story of the systematic theft, deliberate destruction, and miraculous survival of Europe's art treasures during the Second World War. Nicholas will discuss The Rape of Europa, with special emphasis on the role played by Williams College alumni and professors in the rescue of the looted works. The Clark, 225 South Street, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 413 458 2303, clarkart.edu.

Contact:
pr@clarkart.edu

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