Two U of M Monuments Men: Walter Huchthausen and Ralph Hammett
Based on a true story, the new movie The Monuments Men, starring George Clooney, Matt Damon and Bill Murray, tells the story of a WWII platoon tasked with rescuing art masterpieces from being destroyed by the Nazis.
WATCH: 2 ‘Monuments Men’ have Minnesota ties
While preparing for the School of Architecture centennial celebration in October 2013, staff members at the University of Minnesota School of Architecture uncovered original drawings in the archives by two monuments men:
- Captain Walter “Hutch” Huchthausen (1904-1945; BArch ’28) joined the University of Minnesota architecture faculty in 1939, where he taught until he enlisted in 1943. He died in April 1945 when he was caught in gunfire while trying to salvage an altar in a German town. His drawing is pictured on the right.
- Ralph Warner Hammett (1896-1984; BS Arch ’19) graduated from the University of Minnesota and went on to teach at Harvard. During the war he was stationed in Paris, where he set up a card catalog arranged by department, town, and city and listed each monument, art collection, chateau and library. After the war he taught at the University of Michigan until 1965.
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