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Queesenberry, Major Mary Regan | Rae, Capt. Edwin C. | Ratensky, Lt. Samuel

Rae, Capt. Edwin C.  

Captain, U.S. Army, Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA) Officer

A renowned scholar of medieval Irish sculpture and architecture, Rae began his service with the U.S. Army in 1942, and was transferred to the MFAA in Germany following the Allied victory. He eventually became head of operations in Bavaria, and was also responsible for the rebuilding of cultural institutions and their staffs in the post-war years. Rae organized one of the first exhibitions in Germany following the war, which showcased many German Renaissance paintings. France awarded him the Legion of Honor for his service in the location and restitution of works of art.
Rae received his undergraduate degree from Harvard, and began teaching at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1939 while working on his doctoral studies. He completed his dissertation, “Gothic Architecture in Ireland”, in 1942, and received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1943. Upon returning from World War II in 1947, Rae resumed teaching at the University of Illinois, and became the head of the art history department in 1954. He was also instrumental in the development of modern art exhibits at the university’s Krannert Art Museum. Before his retirement in 1979, Rae began planning for the university’s doctoral program and served as one of the founding members of the Society of Architectural Historians.

As an expert on medieval Irish works, Rae regularly wrote scholarly articles for Irish publications. Some of his best-known articles dealt with the O’Tunney atelier and Ormondes in Co. Kilkenny, and St. Patrick’s cathedral. He also wrote an essay on medieval architecture and sculpture in Oxford’s New History of Ireland 1169-1534. Before his death in April of 2002, Rae donated his collection of notes and photographs of medieval Irish sculptures and architecture to The Rae Archive at the University of Dublin, Trinity College.


Copyrighted by Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art