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Rorimer, Lt. Cdr. James J. | Ross, Capt. Marvin C., USMCR | Rousseau, Theodore, Jr.

Ross, Capt. Marvin C., USMCR  

Captain, United States Marine Corps Reservist (USMCR), Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA) Officer

An expert on Byzantine, Russian and 18th century French art, Ross served with the MFAA during World War II. In late 1944, he arrived at the Château of Haute Koenigsbourg, north of Colmar in the Alsace region of France. Victorious Allied troops had recently taken and begun defending the Château, where they discovered rooms full of artwork that had been hidden there by the Germans. Among the dozens of Medieval and Renaissance paintings found by Ross upon his inspection of the Château was the famous Isenheim Altar by Matthias Grünewald. According to his reports, the altar had been “braced by large timbers… and guarded by a [curator named] M. Pauli, who had slept in the room at all times.” Ross wrote several articles about his work with the MFAA, such as “Art Storage in Germany Reported as Inadequate” in the Museum News, and two articles in the College Art Journal, “War Damage in Chartres” and “ Kuntschutz in Occupied France.”

A Harvard graduate, Ross worked at several esteemed institutions over the course of his career. He was head of the art department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, a curator at the Brooklyn Museum, and curator of Byzantine art at the Walters Art Gallery. In 1957, Ross joined the Hillwood Museum and Gardens in Washington, D.C. as chief curator. Hillwood was the home and museum of Marjorie Merriweather Post, and it flourished under his direction. Ross led the museum in developing a publishing program, research library, and docent program. He also chose pieces with which to expand Post’s collection, and initiated formal procedures for acquisitions and conservation. Aside from his work as a curator, Ross was also an author. His books include The Art of Karl Faberge and his Contemporaries, Russian Porcelains, and The West of Alfred Jacob Miller.


Copyrighted by Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art