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Washington, Neuschwanstein, Wiesbaden: Stations of Monuments Man Lamont Moore

Lamont MooreMore than 300 Monuments Men took care of the European cultural heritage during and after World War II. One of these art guards was Lamont Moore, who also worked  in the Wiesbaden Central Collecting Point  for a short time – he decided which artworks were brought to America at that time.

Lamont Moore began his art historical career with an associate’s degree at Lafayette College of Newark Museum of Art and Science (1933-1940). In 1941 he became curator at the Education Department of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. During the Second World War Moore was assigned as a lieutenant of the MFA & A section. He assisted George Stout in the evacuation of Siegen copper mine in May and June 1945 whose contents were transferred to Marburg in the newly formed CCP. Along with Thomas C. Howe and Steven Kovalyak he was sent to Altaussee. There discovered the three, who were later known as the Special Evacuation Team, numerous art treasures that have been transferred  in the Munich Central Collecting Point by Moore and Howe. This was followed Moore’s operation in Berchtesgaden, where he interrogated Goering’s art consultant Walter Andreas Hofer. This questioning led him to the alleged Vermeer painting that Hofer had acquired for Goering, that however, had been discovered as a forgery by Han van Meegeren in the meantime. Also Moore was involved  in assuring the outsourced art treasures in Neuschwanstein Castle, where mainly objets d’artc onfiscated by the ERR from former jewish collections (among other parts of the collection of the families Rothschild and David-Weill) were stored.

Moore was also among the signatories of the Wiesbaden Manifesto, though he was directly involved in the removal, as his superior Major Bancel LaFarge commissioned the selection and the removal of 202 paintings. Robert Edsel attributes this task on Moore’s work at the National Gallery and its relations with Col. Henry McBride, a strong proponent of the removal. Moore accompanied the selected 202 paintings to Washington and acted there as a curator of the collection, as long as they were stored in the museum.

In 1947 he became associate director of the American Academy in Rome. He remained there for a year before he returned to the United States. Subsequently he worked as associate director of the Yale University Art Gallery until 1953 and then took over the directorship of John Marshall Phillips. At Yale University Moore taught a graduate course on museum techniques and management. In 1957 he retired.

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