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George Leslie Stout papers, 1855, 1897-1978

Stout, George L. (George Leslie), 1897-1978

Museum director, Arts administrator

Collection Information

Size: 6.4 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of conservator and museum director George Leslie Stout measure 6.4 linear feet and date from 1855, 1897-1978. Stout was head of the conservation department at Harvard University's Fogg Art Museum, director of the Worcester Art Museum and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Massachusetts, and a member of the Monuments, Fine Art and Archives (MFAA) Section of the U.S. Army during World War II. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence with family, friends, colleagues and professional associations. There are letters from fellow Monuments Men who served in the MFAA section such as Thomas Carr Howe, Ardelia Hall, Lamont Moore, Theodore Sizer, Langdon Warner and several other prominent arts administrators. The papers also contain biographical materials, writings, sketches and one sketchbook, military records, printed materials, and photographs. There is a 0.2 linear foot addition to this collection acquired in 2020 that includes four diaries, 1944-1946, kept by George Stout as a member of the Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives Section (MFAA) of the U.S. Army (known as the Monuments Men). The diaries describe Stout's experiences surveying war-caused damages in France, Germany, and Japan, and the recovery of Nazi impounded art works. Also included is a hand-made booklet that includes a "Glossary of Cha-no-yu Terms," which consists of quotes about Japanese art and tea drinking.

Biographical/Historical Note

George Leslie Stout (1897-1978) was a museum director and prominent art conservator in Massachusetts. Stout was head of the conservation department at Harvard University's Fogg Art Museum, and director of the Worcester Art Museum and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Massachusetts. During World War II, Stout served in the U.S. Army Monuments, Fine Art and Archives (MFAA) and played a leading role in the protection, location, and recovery of art work stolen by the Nazis.

Provenance

George Leslie Stout donated his papers to the Archives of American Art in 1978. In that same year, Robert Stout, son of George Leslie Stout, loaned four diaries to the Archives of American Art for microfilming. The four diaries were acquired at auction by the Archives in 2020 with generous donations from Paul Neely, David Copperfield in memory of Kelly Asbury, Deborah Lehr and John Rogers, Ambassador Nicholas F. Taubman, The Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Foundation, Jeffrey P. Cunard and Mariko Ikehara, The Elbrun and Peter Kimmelman Family Foundation, Inc., Peter and Paula Lunder, William and Christine Ragland in memory of William McKenzie Ragland Lt. JG, U.S. Navy, Pacific Theater, WWII, The Kurin Family in honor of WWII Veteran Saul Kurin, Paul and Corine Wegener, and Judy and Bob Huret.

Related Materials

Language Note

The collection is in English, with a few materials in French, Japanese, Italian, and Thai.

Funding

Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.