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Ossorio, Frederic E. | Parkhurst, Lt. Charles P., USNR | Peebles, S/Sgt. Bernard M.

Parkhurst, Lt. Charles P., USNR  

Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archive (MFAA) Officer

A United States naval lieutenant, Parkhurst was the Deputy Chief of the MFAA section of the United States Military Government in Germany immediately following the Second World War. He helped coordinate the numerous and varied tasks of the MFAA in postwar Germany, particularly at the Munich Central Collecting Point. With other MFAA officers, Parkhurst organized an exhibition of paintings at the German House of Art (Haus der Kunst) in Munich in 1946. He signed the Wiesbaden Manifesto on November 7, 1945, flatly refusing to have anything to do with removing German-owned artworks to the United States for safekeeping. For his role in restituting looted artworks, Parkhurst was made Chevalier, Legion of Honor for France.

Prior to the war, Charles Parkhurst earned his B.A. at Williams College, his M.A. at Oberlin College, and his M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts) at Princeton. As a registrar and curator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington in the early 1940s, he assisted in the evacuation of artworks to the Biltmore Estate. Parkhurst returned from Germany and went on to have a long and distinguished career as an art historian. At Oberlin College and Allen Memorial Art Museum (Oberlin, OH), he was a professor in and Head of the Fine Arts Department, as well as Director of the museum. From 1962-70, Parkhurst was Director of the Baltimore Museum of Art, and from 1971-83 he served as Assistant Director and Chief Curator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. He also held positions at other prominent museums and universities (see MFAA List of Affiliations), including:

Albright Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY (1946-47)
Princeton University and Princeton Art Museum (1947-49)
Williams College and Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA (1983-92)
Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA (1983-92)

The Charles Parkhurst Papers, comprised largely of documents and photographs relating to his MFAA experience, were donated in 1982 to the National Gallery of Art in Washington and are conserved in the Gallery Archives.


Copyrighted by Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art