Sherman E. Lee
Sherman Emery Lee
April 19, 1918
|Died||July 9, 2008|
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
|Alma mater||B.A. and M.A., American University; PhD at Western Reserve University, 1941|
|Occupation||Art historian, curator, and expert on Asian art|
|Employer||Detroit Institute of Arts, Seattle Art Museum, University of Washington, Cleveland Museum of Art|
|Known for||Director of the Cleveland Museum of Art, 1958-1983|
He advised Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller on building their collection of Asian art.
World War II
Lieutenant Sherman Lee was activated from the United States Naval Reserve during World War II. His naval career took a turn when he was transferred in 1946 to Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA) in Japan. When he was discharged from the military, he continued working as a civilian in Tokyo. From 1946 to 1948, he was a civilian adviser to the staff of Gen. Douglas MacArthur (Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, also known by the acronym SCAP) on the cataloging, preserving and protection of Japanese artworks. Among those serving with Lee at SCAP headquarters in Tokyo were Patrick Lennox Tierney and Laurence Sickman.
Speaking of his service with the Monuments Men, Lee said:
We were responsible for protection of registered cultural property ... We were responsible for national parks ... We were responsible for the encouragement of the living artists and ... the democratization of Japanese museums to see that there was evenhanded fair play.
According to Philippe de Montebello, director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Sherman Lee "carried a lot of weight in the community of museum directors. He bought in all fields, his own particularly brilliantly, but in many different fields. He really transformed the Cleveland museum from a regional museum to a major global museum."
- Order of the Sacred Treasure, Japan.
- Légion d'honneur, France.
- Charles Lang Freer medal, 1983.
- Chinese Landscape Painting (1954)
- Japanese Decorative Style (1961)
- A History of Far Eastern Art (1964)
- Ancient Cambodian Sculpture (1969)
- The Colors of Ink: Chinese Paintings and Related Ceramics from the Cleveland Museum of Art (1974)
- The Genius of Japanese Design (1981)
- Reflections of Reality in Japanese Art (1983)
- Past, Present, East and West (1983)
- Roberts Commission
- Nazi Plunder
- Rescuing Da Vinci
- The Rape of Europa
- Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art
- Weber, Bruce (July 11, 2008). "Sherman Lee, Who Led Cleveland Museum, Dies at 90" (July 11, 2008). New York Times. New York Times. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
- Weber, Bruce. "Sherman Lee, Who Led Cleveland Museum, Dies at 90," New York Times. July 11, 2008.
- Monuments Men Foundation: Monuments Men> Lee, Sherman E.
- Litt, Steven (February 6, 2014). "Cleveland's own Monuments Man: How Sherman Lee's service in Japan benefited the Cleveland Museum of Art". The Plain Dealer, cleveland.com. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
- Kappes, John. "Sherman Lee, who led the Cleveland Museum of Art to global renown, dead at 90," The Plain Dealer (Cleveland). July 9, 2008.
- Consulate General of Japan, Los Angeles: Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon (3rd class). Archived October 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- Monuments Men Foundation: Monuments Men> Sickman, Maj. Laurence
- Freer Gallery of Art. (1998). Tenth Presentation of the Charles Lang Freer Medal, Sherman E. Lee.
- WorldCat Identities: Lee, Sherman E.
- American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas. (1946). Report. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. OCLC 185537904
- Lee, Sherman E. (1997). "My Work in Japan: Arts and Monuments 1946–48," in The Confusion Era: Art and Culture of Japan during the Allied Occupation 1945–52, ed. Mark Sandler. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.
- Nicholas, Lynn H. (1995). The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe’s Teasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 978-0-679-75686-6; OCLC 32531154
- U.S. Department of State. Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) [NB. This is a publication of the State Department that serves as a key finding aid because the documents selected for printing include the source file designation.]
- __________________. (1944). "Interest of the United States in measures for the protection and salvage of artistic and historic monuments in war areas," FRUS. (Vol. II, pp. 1031–1068.
- __________________. (1945). "Interest of the United States in measures for the protection and salvage of artistic and historic monuments in war areas," FRUS. (Vol. II, pp. 933–957.
- PBS (Oregon Public Broadcasting): "The Rape of Europa.", 2006 film, aired November 24, 2008
- California Digital Library (CDL): Ruth and Sherman Lee Institute for Japanese Art Collection