Achievement and Heritage Awards

2014 Honoree: Robert Edsel

Robert Edsel. Photo by Jimmy BruchThe Foundation for the National Archives will present historian Robert Edsel with the 2014 Records of Achievement Award on October 28, 2014, in recognition of his outstanding work bringing to life the storied history of men and women who served in the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section of the Allies during World War II, known collectively as “the Monuments Men.”

The Records of Achievement Award is a tribute to an individual whose work has fostered a broader national awareness of the history and identity of the United States through the use of original records.

The National Archives holds millions of records created or received by the U.S. Government during and after World War II relating to the Nazi-era looted cultural assets, including the original records of the Monuments Men. These voluminous National Archives holdings document the activities and investigations of U.S. Government agencies involved in the identification and recovery of looted assets, including the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and U.S. occupation forces in Germany and Austria. The materials also include contain captured German records about looted art, including the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR) card file and related photographs, which served as evidence in the Nuremburg trials.

James Rorimer with soldiers, paintings at Neuschwanstein

About Robert Edsel

Mr. Edsel has dedicated more than twelve years to painstaking and far-reaching research about the Monuments Men, leading to the publishing of his first book Rescuing Da Vinci, a detailed historical account which includes 460 photographs. Since then, Mr. Edsel has co-produced the Emmy-nominated documentary film, The Rape of Europa; created an educational program entitled The Greatest Theft in History, which includes nine hours of video resources and a website of easily utilized teaching resources; published the first study devoted to Goering’s entire paintings collection, entitled Beyond the Dreams of Avarice: The Hermann Goering; and written two additional books.

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The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History is currently being translated into 25 different languages and was turned into the film The Monuments Men, released in early 2014, starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, and John Goodman.

Mr. Edsel is the Founder and Chairman of the Board for the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, a not-for-profit entity, and is one of ten recipients of the 2007 National Humanities Medal, presented by President Bush during a ceremony held in the East Room of The White House.

To inquire about sponsorship of the 2014 Gala and Award Ceremony, contact Dr. Cynthia Drakeman, Deputy Executive Director, External Affairs.

 

Past Recipients:
  • Steven Spielberg (2013)
  • David M. Rubenstein (2011)
  • Ken Burns (2010)
  • Annette Gordon-Reed (2009)
  • James McPherson (2008)
  • John Hope Franklin (2007)
  • Brian P. Lamb and C-SPAN (2006)
  • Tom Brokaw (2005)
  • David McCullough (2004)

Heritage Award

The Heritage Award takes its name from the “Heritage” sculpture outside the National Archives Building and recognizes individuals, corporations, and organizations whose deeds are consistent with the Foundation’s mission of educating, enriching, and inspiring a deeper appreciation of our country’s heritage. The Foundation’s Heritage Award was presented in 2012 to philanthropist Jacqueline Badger Mars.