Skip to main content

Contents and Arrangement | A Finding Aid to the James J. Rorimer papers, 1921-1982, bulk 1943-1950

James J. Rorimer papers, 1921-1982, bulk 1943-1950

Contents and Arrangement

The collection is arranged as 7 series:

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1942-1946
8 folders
Box 1,4

This series contains forms and certificates dating from Rorimer's time in the U.S. Army, including a certificate of honorable discharge and certificate of service. A Harvard transcript and Alumni Bulletin are also included.
These records are arranged chronologically.
DescriptionContainer
Army Certificates and Forms, 1942-1946
Oversized certificate housed in Box 4, folder 1.
1
1
Harvard Transcript, 1943
1
2
Army Physical Examination Report, 1943
1
3
Boston University Civil Affairs Training School, circa 1943
1
4
Certificate of Honorable Discharge, 1943
1
5
Certificate of Service, 1946
1
6
List of Honors, circa 1946
1
7
Harvard Alumni Bulletin, circa 1946
1
8
Oversized Building Inspection Certificate from Box 1, Folder 1, 1942
4
1

Series 2: Correspondence, 1927-1982
0.1 linear feet
Box 1

Correspondence mostly relates to Rorimer's army service during World War II from 1943-1946, such as letters about placement and assignments in the army, army directives, and announcements of awards. There are a few personal letters from Rorimer's wife Katherine or Kay. There are also letters about publishing the book
Survival
and congratulatory notes upon publication The more prominent names among the correspondents include Paul Sachs, associate director of the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard; John D. Rockefeller, Jr., philanthropist; Robert Lehman, banker and donor to the Metropolitan Museum; Francis Henry Taylor, director of the Metropolitan Museum; and Captain Edith A. Standen, one of the Monuments Men.
This series is arranged chronologically.
DescriptionContainer
Correspondence, 1927-1941
1
9
Correspondence, 1943
1
10
Correspondence, 1944
1
11
Correspondence, 1945
1
12
Correspondence, 1946
1
13
Correspondence, 1962-1966
1
14
Correspondence, 1975-1982
1
15
Miscellaneous Undated Corresondence, circa 1943-1966
1
16

Series 3: Writings, circa 1946-1950
0.8 linear feet
Box 1

There are three drafts of Rorimer's book
Survival: The Salvage and Protection of Art in War
, which was originally titled and referred to in these versions as
Safe-Keeping
. The earliest draft is mostly handwritten, the later draft is a mixture of typed and handwritten pages, the third draft is a typescript of the manuscript. There is also one folder of revisions for the earliest draft.
Writings are grouped together according to the manuscript draft with the handwritten draft first, then the second draft, and the typescript draft at the end.
DescriptionContainer
Manuscript Early Draft, circa 1946-1950
10 folders
1
17-26
Manuscript Revisions, circa 1946-1950
1
27
Manuscript Later Draft, circa 1946-1950
3 folders
1
28-30
Manuscript Typescript Draft, circa 1946-1950
4 folders
1
31-34

Series 4: Financial Records, 1943-1946
1 folder
Box 1

Financial records consists of one folder containing various forms and receipts from Rorimer's time serving in the U.S. army.
DescriptionContainer
Forms and Receipts, 1943-1946
1
35

Series 5: Administrative Files, 1940
1 folder
Box 1

There is one folder of Metropolitan Museum of Art Board of Trustees minutes for one meeting.
DescriptionContainer
Metropolitan Museum of Art Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes, 1943-1946
1
36

Series 6: Photographic Materials, 1921-1966
0.7 linear feet
Box 1-2, 4

Photographic materials include black and white photographs, negatives, and contact prints. Aside from a few travel photographs, the bulk of the series is dedicated to Rorimer's work in the Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives section during the war. There is one photograph album given to Rorimer from the headquarters of the Office of Military Government in Baden-Wurttemberg titled
War Damage in Wurtemmberg: A Selection of Photographs
. The rest of the photographs depict MFAA activities such as recovery and transportation of cultural artifacts from stolen art repositories such as Buxheim monastery and Neuschwanstein castle, documentation of bomb damage in Germany and other countries, the protection of historic sites in France, and restitution and exhibitions at the Wiesbaden Central Collecting Point. Many of the photographs have annotations written on the verso. Photographs of people, including Rorimer, Stanislaw Lorentz, Edith A. Standen, and Rose Valland, are scattered throughout the series, and indicated with notes at the folder level.
The photographs album is at the beginning of the series. The rest of the photographs are grouped by subject, the arranged chronologically within each grouping.
DescriptionContainer
Album
War Damage in Wurttemberg: A Selection of Photographs
, 1945
Oversized material housed in Box 4, Folder 2.
1
37
Personal Photographs of Travels in Europe, 1921-1926
1
38
Alfred Rosenberg, 1942
1
39
Buxheim Monastery, ERR Photograph and Restoration Lab, circa 1945-1946
1
40
Buxheim Monastery, Looted Antiques and Rothschild Furniture, circa 1945-1946
1
41
Buxheim Monastery, Transporting Recovered Art by Trucks and Trains, circa 1945-1946
1
42
Neuschwanstein Castle
Views of the Castle Up Close and From a Distance, circa 1945-1946
1
43
Official Signal Corps Photographs of Art Recovery, circa 1945-1946
1
44
Storage Rooms and Transportation of Art, circa 1945-1946
1
45
Photographs Signed and Annotated by Rose Valland, 1945
1
46
Monuments Men at Berchtesgaden Looted Art Repository, circa 1945-1946
Includes blurry photographs of James Rorimer, Captain Anderson, Captain Hathaway, and P.F.C. Miller.
1
47
Art Recovery at Gufflaum and Neuenstein, Germany, circa 1945-1946
1
48
Art Recovery of Famous Paintings at Unidentified Location, circa 1945-1946
Mostly photographs of specific paintings with some photographs of the soldiers holding the frames, probably in the midst of transporting the art.
1
49
Rooms in Unidentified Looted Art Repository, circa 1945-1946
1
50
Unidentified Looted Art, circa 1945-1946
1
51
Hungarian Train, circa 1945-1946
Two photographs labeled "Hungarian Train" on the verso, possibly photographs of the Hungarian Gold Train.
1
52
Protecting Cultural Monuments and Historic Sites in France
Camouflage Netting Over Sculptures in Versailles Gardens, Paris, circa 1945-1946
2
1
Special Services Tent at the Grand Trianon in Versailles, Paris, circa 1945-1946
2
2
James Rorimer with Soldiers and Civilians at the Louvre, Paris, circa 1945-1946
2
3
Christ in Majesty Tympanum at the Chartres Cathedral, circa 1945-1946
2
4
Bomb Damage to Buildings in Germany
St. George's Church, Nordlingen, and a "Nearby" Church, circa 1945-1946
2
5
Cathedral, Rathaus, and Other Buildings in Ulm, circa 1945-1946
2
6
Palace, Museum, and Theater in Darmstadt, circa 1945-1946
2
7
Fulda Cathedral and St. Michael's Church IN Fulda, circa 1945-1946
2
8
Rothenburg Town Hall, circa 1945-1946
2
9
St. Andreas Church and Museum in Worms, circa 1945-1946
2
10
National Theater and Residences at Max Joseph Platz, Munich, circa 1945-1946
2
11
Unidentified Building in Kurhessen, circa 1945-1946
2
12
Bomb Damage to Innsbruck Cathedral in Austria, circa 1945-1946
2
13
Bomb Damage to Monuments at Unidentified Locations, circa 1945-1946
2
14
U.S. Jeeps and Soldiers at Unidentified Locations, circa 1945-1946
2
15
Unidentified Cultural Monuments, circa 1945-1946
2
16
Unidentified Cultural Monuments, circa 1945-1946
2
17
View of Heidelberg, Germany, Across the Neckar River, 1945
2
18
Room inside "Buxhein ERR Textiles" in Memmingen, Germany, circa 1945-1946
2
19
Wiesbaden Collecting Point
Exterior Views of Building, 1945-1946
2
20
Storage Rooms with Racks of Paintings and Crates of Recovered Art, 1945-1946
2
21
Exhibitions of Recovered Art, 1946
Includes one photograph of Edith Standen.
2
22
Restitution Shipments to France, 1946
Includes several photographs of Edith Standen and Rose Valland, and one image with Joe Kelleher. There are also a few photographs of Aristide Maillol sculptures being prepared for shipment.
2
23
Edith Standen Conducting Tour of U.S. Guards, 1946
2
24
Edith Standen and Two Others Inspect "Berlin Sculptures", 1946
2
25
Negatives of Cultural Monuments, circa 1945-1946
2
26
Contact Prints of Cultural Monuments, circa 1945-1946
Oversized material housed in Box 4, Folder 3.
2
27
Small Album of Rooms in Hohenschwangau Castle, 1946-1950
2
28
Rorimer Awarded Legion of Honor in France, circa 1947
2
29
Stanislaw Lorentz and Wilanow Palace in Warsaw, circa 1950-1966
2
30
Heilbronn Reunion, 1956
2
31
Miscellaneous Notes and Photographs Captions, 1945-1963
2
32
Oversized Photograph Album from Box 1, Folder 37, 1945
4
2
Oversize Contact Prints from Box 2, Folder 27, circa 1945-1946
4
3

Series 7: Printed Materials, 1923-1966
0.7 linear feet
Box 3-4, OV 5-6

Printed materials consist of a scrapbook, news clippings, press releases, bulletins, several magazines, booklets, and manuals of maps. Most are related to The Cloisters, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, activities and discoveries of the Monuments Men, and profiles of art collectors and directors. There is also a large scrapbook which contains some personal materials, such as letters and Harvard Alumni bulletins about Rorimer, but the majority of the content consists of news clippings, some of which are duplicated in other folders.
The scrapbook is at the beginning of the series and the remainder of the material are grouped together by type, such as clippings, periodicals, postcards, and then chronologically within each grouping.
DescriptionContainer
Scrapbook, 1923-1950
Oversized material housed in OV 5.
3
1
News Clippings, 1943-1944
3
2
News Clippings, 1945
3
3
News Clippings, circa 1945
Oversized material housed in Box 4, Folder 4.
3
4
News Clippings, 1946
3
5
News Clippings, 1947-1958
3
6
News Clippings, 1962-1966
Oversized materials housed in Box 4, folder 5.
3
7
Paris, France: Seine Section, 1945
, circa 1945
3
8
Art News
, 1946
3
9
Abelard Press Publications Catalog, 1950
3
10
Emporium
, 1955
3
11
sele arte
, 1955
3
12
Kunstchronik
, 1955
3
13
Cultura Peruana
, 1955
Oversized materials housed in Box 4, folder 6.
3
14
Die Kunst
, circa 1955
3
15
Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletins, 1938-1958
3
16
The Cloisters Brochures, circa 1941
3
17
The Miracle of Theophilus
, circa 1942
3
18
Chart and Survey of German Education System, circa 1943
3
19
Postcards, circa 1943-1946
3
20
Civil Affairs Handbook: France
, 1944
Oversized material housed in OV 6.
3
21
Civil Affairs Handbook: Germany
, 1944
Oversized material housed in OV 6.
3
22
Press Releases, circa 1945
3
23
Walter W.S. Cook Essays and Memorial Tributes, 1955-1962
3
24
Oversized Clippings from Box 3, Folder 4, circa 1945
4
4
Oversized Clippings from Box 3, Folder 7, 1963
4
5
Oversized
Cultura Peruana
Magazine from Box 3, Folder 14, 1963
4
6
Oversized Scrapbook from Box 3, Folder 1, 1923-1950
OV 5
Oversized
Civil Affairs Handbook: France
from Box 3, Folder 21, 1944
OV 6
Oversized
Civil Affairs Handbook: Germany
from Box 3, Folder 22, 1944
OV 6

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.