Kent State Stark Library Book Club
Meeting Date: Thursday, March 20, 2014
Time: 5:15 p.m.
Meeting will be held in the Library.
Click the link to view a list of the men and women who risked their lives to preserve and protect art work, sculptures, and monuments from the Nazis during World War II.
Robert M. Edsel Biography Sketch
Mr. Edsel was formerly a nationally ranked tennis player. In 1981, he began his business career in oil and gas exploration. His company, Gemini Exploration pioneered the use of horizontal drilling technology throughout the early 1990s. Gemini Exploration grew from a company with eight employees to almost 100. By 1995, Gemini had become the second most active driller of horizontal wells in the United States. In 1995, Robert Edsel sold the company’s assets to Union Pacific Resources Company. The following year he moved to Europe with his family.
While in Florence, he developed a great passion for art and architecture and became curious as to how so many of the monuments and great works of art survived the thefts and devastation of World War II. What began as a question evolved into an impassioned journey to tell the story of the Monuments Men, the unsung heroes who saved the world’s greatest art and cultural treasures for the benefit of civilization. By 2001, that journey had become a full-time job. Mr. Edsel has dedicated more than twelve years to painstaking and far-reaching research about the Monuments Men, which first culminated in the publishing of his book Rescuing Da Vinci, a detailed historical account which includes 460 photographs. Mr. Edsel is also the co-producer of the documentary film, The Rape of Europa, based on the award winning book of the same name by scholar Lynn Nicholas. The documentary, narrated by Joan Allen, was filmed in seven countries and opened in theatres across the U.S. in September 2007 followed by a DVD release. In November 2008 the film was broadcast on PBS and subsequently received two Emmy nominations. In addition, Mr. Edsel has created The Greatest Theft in History educational program, which includes the two-hour documentary film and seven hours of additional clips, as well as a companion website featuring lesson plans and other resources to easily utilize this material for classroom use.
In June 2009, Mr. Edsel published Beyond the Dreams of Avarice: The Hermann Goering Collection by Nancy Yeide, an internationally recognized expert in World War II-era provenance research. The thoroughly documented catalogue is the first study devoted to Goering’s entire paintings collection.
In September 2009, Mr. Edsel’s second book, The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, a narrative telling of the story of the Monuments Men, was released by Center Street, a division of Hachette Book Group, and was chosen as the History Book Club’s main selection that month. Current plans include publication of The Monuments Men in more than 25 languages.
In January 2012 George Clooney announced he would write, direct and star in the film version of Mr. Edsel’s book, The Monuments Men. The film, also starring Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, and Bob Balaban, is scheduled for theatrical release in February 2014.
Robert Edsel’s third book, Saving Italy: the Race to Rescue a Nation’s Treasures from the Nazis, was published by W.W. Norton on May 6, 2013. Saving Italyfocuses on two Monuments Men as they struggle to protect and save some of the world’s most iconic masterpieces, including Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper and Michelangelo’s David.
Monday, April 7, 2014
Tickets available March 17.
Author and philanthropist Robert Edsel has dedicated the past 10 years to painstaking research about the Monuments Men, unsung heroes who saved the world’s greatest art and cultural treasures from the devastation of World War II. He authored three historical books on rescuing and protecting artistic masterpieces from Hitler’s reign and co-produced the Emmy-nominated documentary, The Rape of Europa. He is the founder and president of theMonuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, which earned a 2007 National Humanities Medal, the highest U.S. honor awarded for excellence in the humanities field. Captivated by Edsel’s writing, actor George Clooney directed and produced The Monuments Men, a film to be released in December 2013.
Do you want to find out more about the Monuments Men movie? If so, then click the link below and explore the movie's offical fan page!