The Zanesville Museum of Arts Celebrates Local Monument Man

by Courtney Wheaton on January 24, 2014 at 6:56 am

With the release of the new movie Monuments Men quickly approaching, the Zanesville Museum of Art is featuring donated work given by a soldier who saved architectural wonders during World War II.

Stewart Leonard was the first director of ZMA from 1936 to 1941, from there he joined the army as volunteer. He served in the bomb disposal unit where he had the opportunity to save art work from being destroyed or looted during the war.

"One of his major accomplishments is that he individually disarmed 23 separate bombs around Schwartz Cathedral in France and he was later asked if saving art was worth the risk of life," said Temporary Operations Manager, Andy Near.

After leaving the military, Stewart became a member of the Monuments and Fine Arts Archives Division of the army for a year. One of the artist he met traveled from Amsterdam to Germany and then to the United States. Some of the art work displayed at ZMA reflects his travels.

" Right here on my right is a print by Max Beckmann. He is one of the abstract expressionist that was working in Germany in the early 20th century and he had artwork all over in German museums and taught art, " said Near.

To view all six pieces or to learn more history feel free to visit the museum during open hours. The display will be available for at least the next three months.