The strange thing about the way we live and learn is that we really don’t have closure to any one thing we are studying. We don’t finish a chapter, take a test, write a report and get a grade. We don’t just turn the page to a new topic. Not really. Even though we move on and ahead in our learning, what we already studied is not forgotten and finds a way to keep popping in reminding us that the world and its history is all interconnected.
Saturday we took the girls and their friend to see The Monument Men as a way to bring our study of the Holocaust/WWII to a “close”. Through this movie, the girls gained another layer of understanding of the Holocaust, of Hitler’s motives, the strategies of the countries involved in the war, of the importance of art, and of the human side of conflict.
Some of the artwork recovered by this reconnaissance mission include:
- The Mona Lisa
- Jan van Eyck’s Ghent Altarpiece
- Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper
- Michelangelo’s Madonna of Bruges
- Leonardo da Vinci’s Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani
- Edouard Manet’s In The Conservatory
- The Bust of Charlemagne
- Johannes Vermeer’s The Astronomer
- The original manuscript of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6
- Rembrandt’s Self Portrait 1645
- Botticelli’s Primavera
Artwork by Rubens, Picasso, Rembrandt, Degas, Pissaro, and many other masters, is still missing and being searched for today.
To be completely honest, I never knew of this mission in WWII. I never knew the great treasures of Europe were stollen, hidden and destroyed. I did know that Jewish families art, china, and valuables were taken, but I never realized the magnitude of what took place as the Nazi forces pilfered their way through cities and countryside.
This movie was to serve as the “close” to our Milkweed book study but it may just have opened up a new direction in which to journey....more art, more art history.