The Monuments Men were heroes who understood and recognized the importance of safeguarding civilization's most important artistic and cultural treasures. I have been deeply inspired by author Robert M. Edsel's book; and by the film recently produced by Actor/Director George Clooney and his partner Grant Heslov, that has brought the work of the Monuments Men (and women) into greater public awareness. Regarding my personal heritage, I relate viscerally to this on both fronts: as the daughter of my Jewish mother, who escaped the holocaust; and of my father the artist, who left his homeland of Yugoslavia, and lived to paint another 30 years in America.
The story of the Monuments Men strengthens my own determination and heartfelt devotion to protecting my late father's remaining collection of artworks. I am grateful that the Platt & Borstein Galleries, along with curator Georgia Freedman-Harvey are mounting the landmark group exhibition Treasuring Treasures, at the American Jewish University, featuring my father's work among other Legacy Artists; while also honoring the families that ensure the work stays in the public eye.
Our late father, Borislav Bogdanovich, was a renowned fine artist and pianist who rescued my Jewish mother and her immediate family on the eve of WWII in former Yugoslavia. My father had procured exit visas for the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. They soon became American citizens and my brother, director Peter Bogdanovich and I are first generation born in the states. Borislav Bogdanovich was exhibited in prominent NY galleries alongside Matisse, Renoir, Degas, and many other masters of Post-Impressionist and Modern art during the 40’s and 50’s. My father passed away suddenly after a fall, Thanksgiving weekend 1970. I was only eighteen.
Today, I am the caretaker of the remaining art collection and biographical material I inherited and have launched this website “memoir” dedicated to my father and his art. Having spent the greater part of my adult life attending to the art, my understanding of my late father’s life and work has deepened over many years. My teenage indifference at 18 has shifted 180 degrees into a deep devotion and dedication to preserving his legacy.
I have joked over the years that "I went broke to save my inheritance". Perhaps, in purely financial terms; nevertheless, rich, knowing that I have saved and protected the priceless treasure of my father’s historical collection of artworks.
I have inherited the art collection and although it has not always been an easy path, I feel a sacred duty to protect and conserve the art my late father created and my late mother framed, after she learned the master craft of gilding in NY. The art will remain forever, for the world, symbolic of their combined heritage and the life they lived.
S. 1862 and H.R. 3658: Senate and House bills to grant the Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, to the Monuments Men, in recognition of their heroic role in the preservation, protection, and restitution of monuments, works of art, and artifacts of cultural importance during and following World War II.
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