Marvin Ross: Monuments Man

2017 Exhibition

Celebrate Hammond-Harwood House’s own Monuments Man… and his adventure in the world’s greatest treasure hunt

The exquisite collection of furniture and fine art acquired for the Hammond-Harwood House has benefited from the expertise of trained museum professionals. Marvin Ross (1904-1977), an early trustee, is a prime example. Ross, who was an expert on the Byzantine era, led an extraordinary life as Curator of Medieval and Subsequent Arts at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore and later as the first curator of Hillwood, heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post’s private estate in northwest Washington, D.C. During World War II, Ross was a member of the “Monuments Men”  — the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Section of the Allied Forces. This group of curators, architects, and historians identified and recovered art stolen by Nazi forces.

This special exhibition explores the life of Marvin Ross and features the collection he helped to create as a member of the Hammond-Harwood House furnishings committee in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Through his efforts, the Hammond-Harwood House contains a world-class collection of paintings by the Peale family and furniture made by 18th century Annapolis cabinetmaker John Shaw.

From a report of the furnishings committee, June 1951:

“No one has been more astute in their efforts to keep us before the public than Mr. Marvin C. Ross. He has, as we all know, a most unusual flare for finding beautiful treasures for our old house.”

Exhibition opening for members:  Thursday March 30, 2017, 6pm to 8pm. Wine and appetizers. Exhibition runs April 1 to December 31. Free and open to the public during normal tour hours.

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