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Welcome to the unexpected, the slightly odd, and the strangely wonderful in art history. Listen, subscribe, and share!

Episode #29: The Monuments Men (Season 2, Episode 9)

Episode #29: The Monuments Men (Season 2, Episode 9)

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Ah, Hollywood. Nothing goes further than a big celebrity-studded movie to grab your pop-culture attention and to inspire countless articles and think-pieces about a particular topic. A really solid blockbuster can raise a niche book to bestseller status or inspire hopeful imitators. And it can lead to a renewed interest in a certain time period or subject matter. In the case of the 2014 film, The Monuments Men, all of this was certainly true. With superstar George Clooney directing and acting alongside Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett and American treasure Bill Murray, among others, The Monuments Men was almost a guaranteed hit when it was released in February 2014.  But if your knowledge of the incredible individuals known as The Monuments Men stems only from this movie--well, then, I’m sorry. And I say that with no disrespect to Mr. Clooney and his team, but honestly? This cinematic take is a well-meaning but saccharine mess. The real story of the men--and women--who risked their own lives to save thousands of works of art is far more fascinating, dangerous, and important, even today.

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Episode Credits

Production and Editing by Kaboonki Creative. Theme music by Alex Davis. Research assistance by Stephanie Pryor. Social media assistance by Emily Crockett.

Additional music credits:

"The Things We Save" by Podington Bear is licensed under BY-NC 3.0 - Based on a work at; "Walk to Nowhere" by Daniel Birch is licensed under BY 4.0; "Phoenix" by Circus Marcus is licensed under BY-NC 3.0; "Battalion" by krackatoa is licensed under BY-NC-SA 3.0 US; "Big Street Gang (ID 517)" by Lobo Loco is licensed under BY-NC-ND 4.0; "The Solencia Library" by Art of Escapism is licensed under BY 4.0; "winter smoke" by The Owl is licensed under BY-NC-ND 4.0; "Otis Walks into the Woods" by Mary Lattimore is licensed under BY-NC-ND 4.0


Want more art-historical goodness? Check out the links below for our sources and further reading:

We are hugely indebted to Robert Edsel's The Monuments Men for images and information.

U.S. Army website: The Art of War and the War of Art

Vanity Fair: The Monuments Men: A Story So Good, Burt Lancaster Told It 50 Years Ago

Slate: How Accurate is The Monuments Men?

Huffington Post: The Real Story Behind the 'Monuments Men' Goes Far Deeper Than the Blockbuster Movie

The Guardian: The Ghent Altarpiece: The Truth About the Most Stolen Artwork of All Time


ArtCurious is sponsored by Anchorlight, an interdisciplinary creative space, founded with the intent of fostering artists, designers, and craftspeople at varying stages of their development. Home to artist studios, residency opportunities, and exhibition space Anchorlight encourages mentorship and the cross-pollination of skills among creatives in the Triangle.

Episode #30: Art and Remembrance (Season 2, Episode 10)

Episode #30: Art and Remembrance (Season 2, Episode 10)

Episode #28: The Ghost Army (Season 2, Episode 8)

Episode #28: The Ghost Army (Season 2, Episode 8)