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Harris, Lt. Clyde K. | Hartt, Lt. Frederick | Hathaway, Capt. Calvin S.

Hartt, Lt. Frederick  

Lieutenant, U.S. 5th Army, Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA) Officer

One of the most highly regarded scholars in the field of Italian art, Hartt was a great boost to MFAA efforts in the Mediterranean theater. He helped recover looted Florentine museum treasures from northern Italy, where they had been deposited by retreating German troops. Along with fellow Monuments Man, Deane Keller, Hartt was part of the team that returned these treasures to the city in the summer of 1945. Like all MFAA personnel, he worked tirelessly to locate and salvage cultural monuments at every location he visited.

Earning degrees at Columbia University and New York University before the war, Hartt returned from his MFAA duties and went on to have a distinguished career at such prominent institutions as Washington University and the University of Virginia. He studied and worked with art luminaries like Erwin Panofsky and Walter Friedlander, under whom he completed his dissertation in 1950. He returned to Italy in 1966, when the Arno River flooded the city of Florence and damaged or destroyed many artworks and archives. Hartt helped lead the recovery and restoration efforts. In 1969, he authored the first edition of The History of Italian Renaissance Art, which has become the standard text on the subject and is now in its fifth edition (revised and edited by David G. Wilkins). In addition to his teaching and museum positions, Hartt was also on the boards of directors of the College Art Association and the American Committee for the Restoration of Italian Art.

For his wartime efforts in recovering Italian art, he was awarded the Bronze Star. Hartt chronicled his MFAA experiences in the book Florentine Art Under Fire (1949). His papers, including photographs and documents related to his World War II service, are conserved in the Gallery Archives of the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.


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