BAR HARBOR — Author and historian Lynn H. Nicholas will speak about the Nazi plunder of vast collections of works of art during World War II at the Thomas Gates Community Center on the College of the Atlantic campus on Monday, Aug. 18, at 5 p.m. The talk is free and open to the public.
Nicholas is author of “The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe’s Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War,” a 1994 book that won the National Book Critics Circle Award. The book covers Nazi appropriation and storage, patriotic concealment and smuggling during World War II, discoveries by the Allies and more. A documentary by the same name was released in 2006.
The topic of art plundered by the Nazi regime reemerged in 2012 when prosecutors impounded more than 1,200 pieces by artists including Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse that Cornelius Gurlitt, son of a Nazi-era art dealer, had hoarded in his apartment.
Nicholas was educated in the United States, England and Spain, and received her B.A. from Oxford University. She worked for several years in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. While living in Belgium in the early 1980s, she initiated what would become 10 years of research for “Rape of Europa.” She was elected to the Légion d’Honneur by the government of France. Nicholas and her husband live in Washington, D.C. Their son is a graduate of COA.