In the years during and following World War II, the now famous Monuments Men were responsible for the restitution of approximately five million cultural objects, four million of which were stolen, as part of the mission of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program. One of these men was Sargent Kenneth Lindsay, an art historian and professor from Wisconsin who, in 1944, found himself marching through France.
When the fighting was over he quickly transferred to MFAA, working under the leadership of Walter Farmer at the Wiesbaden Central Collecting Point. There the Monuments men sorted and catalogued of stolen works of art stored in Nazi repositories, ultimately returning them to their rightful owners.
will be offering the George Grosz watercolor Im Café (Seminude Woman with Champagne Glass on verso), a gift to Mr. Lindsay from Mr. Farmer as a token of his appreciation, in Heritage's upcoming a Modern & Contemporary Art Auction on November 11th in New York. Grosz is among the most important early 20th century artists in Berlin; the painting depicts a couple in one of his favorite places for observation: a Berlin coffeehouse.
LOT #66007 George Grosz (1893-1959)
Im Café (Seminude Woman with Champagne Glass on verso)
When the U.S. Army ordered that more than 200 German-owned paintings be transferred to the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., Farmer and Lindsay joined forces with 30 other Monuments Men in opposition of the demand. Their resistance coalesced in the Wiesbaden Manifesto, a petition requesting that the Army abandon its efforts, which they deemed morally untenable. More than 50 years later, Lindsay would go on to publish the article "Official Art Seizure under the Military Cloak" in the journal Art, Antiquity, and Law.