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Before She Became The Ardelia Hall of the Department of State, Part II: Miss Hall as Consultant with the Department of State

by on July 17, 2014


Today’s post was written by Dr. Greg Bradsher, Senior Archivist at the National Archives in College Park, MD.

On October 6, 1945, the day Ardelia Hall was terminated from the Strategic Services Unit, she met with Charles B. Sawyer regarding the translation of Japanese laws regarding arts and monuments and concerning the formation of a working list of Japanese Monuments personnel. She had previously given Sawyer a memorandum on the subject.  Shortly thereafter Sawyer wrote Lt. Cmdr. George L. Stout (a former art conservation specialist at Harvard’s Fogg Art Museum and then Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives (MF&A) officer) then on his way for duty in Japan, that he was going to discuss Hall’s memo with George T. Bowles and the other Far Eastern people in the State Department with the hope that they would either undertake this themselves or supply the Commission with funds for the purpose. In view of their own budgetary limitations and uncertainties as to the immediate future, he wrote, there was nothing much they could do about it themselves, but he thought the State Department may be favorably disposed.[1]

Stout reported to duty with the Civil Information and Education Section of GHQ, SCAP (Supreme Commander Allied Powers) on October 15.  There the MFA&A officers would be responsible for recording damage done by combat operations and military occupation, preventing further damage, and locating and securing any looted objects.  He wrote Sawyer about the organization setup, personnel needs, and indicated, “In general, the outlook is good. My guess is that we can put up a decent show if we can get the personnel and are allowed it.” As for the Japanese, he wrote, they had not yet been able to survey their own situation “and are apparently still somewhat confused, but in all respects they give evidence of willingness to cooperate.  We can always clamp down on them but I doubt if that will be required.”[2]

At some point apparently in October the Roberts Commission recommend to the State Department that Hall be engaged on a contract basis as a consultant with the Division of Cultural Cooperation.  The commission envisioned her as acting as liaison representative with the commission, the different interested divisions of the Department of State and the MFA&A officers in the Far East.[3]  During the first week of November Sawyer wrote Stout that the State Department expected to take Hall on a contract basis. “She is anxious to get underway and is brim full of ideas, so I hope that nothing will arise to interfere.  We expect that she will be located at the Freer Galley, and while she will not be working directly for us, we will transmit anything she wants to pass on to you, and make whatever contact with the War Department seems necessary or desirable on her behalf.  It will, I know, be of great assistance to her, if you could keep us posted regarding any special requirements.”[4]

Before formally beginning work at the State Department, Hall was busy during October preparing a list of cultural property looting instances in China. For source material, she used Chinese and Japanese sources, contemporary newspaper reports, and contemporary radio reports.[5] It is not clear why she began the project, but probably it had been suggested to her by Sawyer when they met in early October.

The first week of November Hall sent Sawyer a list of cultural property looting instances in China. She informed him that she was calling it “Preliminary list No. 1 in the hope that we shall have further lists to add to this scrappy information.” In the attached list Hall pointed out that the information regarding the cultural losses in China was presently available from Chinese Government and Japanese reports was fragmentary.  She noted that an attempt had been made in the preliminary estimate of the losses to present what evidence was at hand regarding the material looted, shipped to Japan, and possibly recoverable, separated from that believed to be a total loss. She concluded the introduction to the list by writing that “Even though our present information is fragmentary, it can only suggest that everything movable has probably been looted or appropriated for shipment to Japan. The total loss of rare books, manuscripts, archives, and collections of works of art…is incalculable.”[6]

Sawyer believed that Horace H. F. Jayne should be aware of Hall’s activities.  Jayne, as joint representative of the Division of Cultural Cooperation and the Roberts Commission, had left for China in August; and after consultation with officials in the American Embassy at Chungking, traveled extensively throughout China talking with officials of the Chinese Government and investigating the current state of the Chinese cultural treasures.[7]  In early November Sawyer wrote Jayne, then in China, that Ardelia Hall,

formerly of the Oriental department of the Boston Museum and lately with the Office of Strategic Services in their Oriental Division, is probably going to be signed up on a contract basis by the Division of Cultural Cooperation to work in the Freer on background material which will be useful to the officers in the field. She has made a preliminary analysis of reports from Chinese sources of objects stolen from their collections and will concentrate in the first phases of her work on the translation of Japanese and Korean Laws pertaining to MFA&A and information on Japanese art personnel. If you have any suggestions for her, I know they will be appreciated and I hope that you will be able to come to Washington and give her some pointers when you get back to the Country.[8]

On November 21 Sawyer sent Stout a copy of a preliminary list of cultural losses in China which Hall had prepared for his information.  “This is not current information but may possibly have some background value for you. I have just heard from the State Department this morning that Miss Hall’s contract with them has been approved and she will probably have her headquarters in the Library of Congress, where the documents she will need are available.”[9]

Sawyer wrote Stout on November 26 that Jayne had just returned from China and from his report it sounded much more encouraging than they had expected.  “He indicates that the losses which Miss Hall reported to us in her report I sent to you on Thursday are almost all exaggerated or untrue.  We shall, of course, hope to have more detailed information when it is available.”[10]

Meanwhile Stout wrote Sawyer in the latter part of November that “We’re now fairly well squared away, but have plenty of cogs to fit before the machine gets into full operation.” He added that “the business of looted works is getting hot, but we can’t tell yet what the bulk or distribution will be.  It’s a sticky problem and involves a number of agencies.” With respect to Hall he wrote “I’m pleased that you’re getting some help from Miss Hall.  At this moment the information we most need ought to come from China as a statement of details about vague reports that large holdings have been plundered.  We don’t know how large or what or when or where from.”[11]

Hall began her contract work with the State Department’s Division of Cultural Cooperation on December 4.[12] A week later she wrote Sawyer the duties projected for herself as a consultant:

To collect, analyze and evaluate laws, regulations and instructions concerning ownership, protection, control and disposal of works of art, monuments, precious books and other national treasures in the Far East for the use of officers in the Far East to aid in the recovery of such objects appropriated by the Japanese or displaced by war; to prepare lists, reports, charts.

To compile information on government agencies and private institutions dealing with cultural objects and treasures.

To prepare lists, reports, charts, tables and illustration, for use in the field by officers now planning their lines of investigation in the countries of the Far East.

To prepare a preliminary appraisal of the losses of cultural objects in territories conquered and occupied by the Japanese and preliminary lists of collections, libraries, and objects looted. In the preparation of these reports she shall make use of documents from the various government agencies and reports from the government of the various Far Eastern countries concerned.

To prepare a bibliographical index of government officials and private individuals concerned with art objects and national treasures, archives, and related matters. [13]

In early December 1945 Stout wrote Sawyer:

The preliminary list from Miss Hall is excellent and goes to prove that her position there is a valuable one. We’ve been hearing all these howls about how much the Chinese have lost but so far we have not got a single official claim or anything specific. As you say, this has only background value at the moment, but it is the first straw or anything we’ve seen to show the wind velocity. Finally we got tired of waiting around and put out a cable asking the people in Washington to send us some specific claims. Within a few days, if I get the necessary concurrence on a piece of paper, we’ll break the news to the Imperial government that they may have some plunder buried under the old apple tree and are supposed to be cleaning up the pick and shovel. Meanwhile more and more specific information from Miss Hall if we can get it, like: full references to source material, and all possible data on names of personnel involved…Any kind of information that seems even vaguely to bear on the business is potentially useful, especially, at this stage, personnel. That’s the kind of information that may lead to more…[14]

In mid-December Hall wrote Stout that he could write her at the State Department care of Dr. Gordon T. Bowles, Division of Cultural Cooperation or care of the Roberts Commission at the National Gallery of Art.  She informed him that she had a desk at the Division of Cultural Cooperation and also another at the National Gallery of Art and kept in constant touch with both offices.  She indicated that she was sending him a booklet on Biographical Sources in the Japanese Empire that had recently been published by the Library of Congress and that she had checked through all the sources which might be useful to him and found only two (which she named) that seem especially valuable that he would be able to requisition them in Tokyo. She noted that the Japan Yearbook 1943-1944, which was not in the Library of Congress, was something she had used, as it had some interesting information about the art organizations in the Far East. “Actually,” she wrote, “the only complete information about cultural institutions and personnel is in Japanese, but these books will perhaps serve as a stop-gap until fuller information can be prepared to send to you, and they are handy for reference.”  She also noted that Dr. Edwin O. Reischauer’s article in Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies which she had mentioned in her letter of December 4 had not come yet, but that in the meantime she was gathering information about the individuals mentioned to send along with the reprint.

Hall also informed Stout that on December 13 she had initiated a search through the Federal Communications Commission Far East Report for information and news broadcast over the radio which was picked up and published in the Radio Report for further items for the category of “Rumors and Clues.” “When I get them in hand,” she added, “I will talk it over with Mr. Sawyer to learn if there is anyway (sic) in which I can obtain more information regarding such reports.” She concluded the letter by indicating that she was enclosing a few clippings from the December 14 issue of the New York Times, notably the mention of a mission of the Chinese Ministry of Education going to Japan to seek art missing the Sino-Japanese War of 1894.[15]

Right before Christmas Stout wrote Hall that they were greatly reassured by her appointment. “Having you there and on the job, makes us feel, in this outpost, that we are not entirely alone either as to what we are trying to do or as to what needs to be done.”  Stout then wrote that:

Obviously, as a matter of broad policy, the big problem in these first moments when plans are beginning to get shaped, is to avoid any moves that will get in the way of smooth operation at a later date. Ultimate justice in all this business of settlement is going to be a tough tussle. Probably in the end everybody is going to be somewhat disgruntled, but the end , as far as I can reckon, is a long way off. What we do need now is information.

And so your place in the team is a very important one. How the whole business will be administered is anybody’s guess, but whatever agency come to handle it will be much the wiser for knowing all that can be known about the matter of illegal procurement of cultural property.  Any and all facts about contemporary records, i.e., from 1931 to 1945, will certainly be useful. Specific reports, available from research on the part of our own experts and held as US reference data would surely help enormously to govern decisions about data submitted from other sources.

Stout informed Hall that her first list of losses had helped them a great deal to obtain an idea of the scale on which claims could be expected and on which settlements would presumably have to be made. “Now the more specific information we can get about these matters, and, particularly about personnel, the better. I’m pleased that you are working on it.”  Stout reported that [Major] Larry Sickman had been in the Far East for something over two weeks and was at the moment on a trip to Korea. “His knowledge of the situation in China and his great experience with Chinese works and collections are most valuable to us.”  He concluded by thanking Hall for her letter and for all that she was doing.[16]

Undoubtedly Hall knew of Laurence Sickman. In 1930 he had earned a degree at Harvard in Far Eastern Art where he also became fluent in Chinese. Upon graduation, he traveled on a Harvard-Yenching Fellowship to China, where he met Langdon Warner, his Harvard professor who the trustees of the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, which was being established, had appointed to build a collection.  Soon thereafter he joined the staff of the museum while in China and was given wide responsibility by the museum to buy works on his own.  For the next four years in China he purchased Chinese paintings, sculpture and furniture for the museum’s collection.  Upon returning to Kansas City in 1935, he became the Curator of Oriental Art at the museum.[17]

The day after Christmas Sawyer wrote Stout that Hall had not been able to get assistance in the translation of Japanese laws pertaining to MFA&A, but still hoped that this might be done in Washington, D.C. If not, she planned to send the necessary references to him in hopes that it could be done by the translators in the theater. It would, he added, be useful for the Commission to know what the situation was in regard to translators in Japan.[18]

On January 2, 1946, Charles Seymour, Jr., Curator of Sculpture at the National Gallery of Art (NGA) and then Acting Assistant Secretary of the commission, wrote the Acting Administrator of the NGA requesting a temporary building pass be issued to Hall for a three-month period subject to renewal at its expiration.  He explained that she was doing research concerning the Japanese laws pertaining to arts and monuments and made frequent use of the files of the commission at the NGA.[19]

In mid-January 1946 Sickman wrote Hall that they had received her letters of December 4, 14, 20, 21, and 27 and that Stout “is no end grateful for all the help you are giving us.”  He mentioned that Reischauer’s reprint had arrived and contained a great deal of material of the greatest importance to them and that he had started looking up a number of the reports he had given there in brief.  Sickman noted that the biographical file cards were also most useful-the size 5 x 8 fit their own files.  “Any information,” he added “you can supply us on the Japanese archeological expeditions on the continent is very useful.”  He mentioned that in Kunming for a long period of time in 1944 it was his duty to read the translations of the Japanese radio broadcasts daily and added “It was an excellent idea of yours to go through this material.” He informed her that there was a British service, issued from Delhi daily, which he found somewhat more complete than the American service.  He suggested if she could secure a file of the British Far Eastern monitoring reports, he really believed that she would find more material than in the American.  He then informed her that it was a good idea for her to continue with her efforts to get the Japanese laws transferred in Washington, D.C.  “We are,” he wrote, “most grateful for the reference to the laws and will start the machinery here for the necessary translations” and if they had any success he would inform her so that there would be no duplication of effort.  Sickman indicated that it occurred to him that it might at the same time be a good idea to see what they could get on Chinese laws concerning the exportation of antiquities and objects of cultural importance.  In concluding he wrote “Commander Stout joins me in sending our thanks for all the splendid help and all our best wishes to you for the New Year.” In a P.S. he asked Hall to give his greetings and best wishes to Dr. Bowles.[20]

Also in mid-January Hall wrote Stout that the letter was simply a covering letter to the information on the Imperial Household Museums, Commissions, and personnel, which she was hurrying to get into the mail.  In this particular letter she indicated the 1943 Shokuin Roku was the latest issue that she could find in Washington with the official lists of Bureaus, Boards, etc., under the Government Ministries.  She informed Stout there would be further biographical slips to send to him when she could check up on the lesser lights in the large Japanese Who’s Who, Jinji Koshin Roku.  She indicated that the Japanese laws on National Treasures were then being translated and she expected to get the translation off to him that week.  As for the contemporary records of losses from Occupied Areas, she informed Stout that she had full notes on Chinese losses from publications, in Washington, and in China, Japan, and Europe, having combed the international, periodical, and newspaper indexes, and all she needed to do was to get them typed up.  If possible, she added, she would have the Interdepartmental Committee for the Acquisition of Foreign Publications search the Chinese press for such reports.  She also added that she was beginning a listing of private collectors in Japan and would make a slip for each with biographical data.  “I would like,” she wrote, “to itemize the objects in each collection which have been published.  It may be more than I can do alone, but I can make a start.”  She informed Stout that she was interested to learn of Sickman’s trip to Korea and would be sending some biographical notes on Koreans in control there then.  She concluded by thanking Stout for his letter, indicating that it was most encouraging and helpful to her. “There are many more things to consider, will write about them again this week.”[21]

Throughout the first three months of 1946 Hall spent much of her time working on behalf of the MFA&A personnel in Japan.  She compiled a list of reference books on cultural organizations, universities, museums, libraries, etc. She prepared detailed reports of losses from Japanese occupied areas: in China, French Indo-China, Burma, Thailand, Manchuria, and produced a card file of losses of cultural property in the Far East. She compiled a list of Japanese officials concerned with monuments, fine arts, libraries, and archives and produced a card file of biographical data for the Japanese personnel.  She prepared biographical data on Korean scholars recommended for positions in museums, libraries, etc.  She forwarded to Japan copies of Japanese laws in force on the preservation of national treasures in Japan and Korea. Additionally, she provided information on Chinese laws on the preservation of antiquities and works of art in China.  She also sent to Japan copies of current journals, magazines, and bulletins with articles of value to the MFA&A Officers.[22]

During the first two months of 1946, Hall also spent time doing research in the questions dealing with restitution of cultural property in the Far East. In cooperation with members of the Roberts Commission and the officials concerned in the State Department’s Occupied Areas Division she produced a preliminary draft of the “Principles of Restitution, Restitution in kind, and Reparations of Antiquities, Works of Art, Books, Archives, and other Cultural Property in the Far East,” with comments relating to each phase.[23]

In mid-February former National Gallery of Art curator of the education department and former Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives officer Lamont Moore, sent a letter to the commission members, enclosing a copy of Hall’s principles (without attribution to her).  Assistant Secretary Moore pointed out that in form and content, the document followed closely the one approved for Restitution in Germany with a few additions to suit the particular collections and categories of objects in Japan.  “We would,” he wrote, “appreciate your immediate consideration of these principles for Restitution in Japan and your approval or criticisms of them.”  Concurrently, he added, the document was being considered by Mr. Bowles for his staff of the State Department, Sub-Section for Japan.  When approved by the Commission and Mr. Bowles’ Committee, the document in final form will be submitted to the State Department.”[24]

Moore wrote Stout at the end of February that the “thoroughly excellent Miss Hall” had kept him briefed on what was going on in the Far East and that she had been very busy working out the Principles of Restitution for the Far East.  “I have,” he wrote, “rushed this through the Commission preparatory to the final letter from Justice Roberts in which he presents the Principles, as approved by the Commission, to the State Department for forwarding to the War Department.  I should imagine that all of this might be accomplished within the next few weeks, meanwhile you will have received a copy from Miss Hall.”[25]

On March 1 Moore sent Huntington Cairns, the Secretary of the Roberts Commission, two copies of the Principles of Restitution of Antiquities in the Far East.  He pointed out that the first set contained comments which had been prepared by Hall and used as supporting evidence for the inclusion of the particular Principles in the final plan. He added that it was Hall’s plan to rearrange the Principles when preparing them in mimeographed form to be presented to various sections of the State Department for their comment and discussion.  Moore noted that the Principles had been approved by all members of the Commission except by Mr. Taylor and Cardinal Spellman.  If he concurred, Moore wrote, he would prepare a letter for Justice Roberts’ signature, addressed to the Secretary of State, indicating that the attached principles, as worked out by Hall’s unit (i.e., Occupied Areas Division), were approved by the Commission.  Additionally, Moore wrote that it was the opinion of Eugene N. Anderson of the Occupied Areas Division, the formal approval letter from Roberts should be delayed until departments of the Far Eastern Section, notably the Economic Section, were given an opportunity to study and discuss the Principles.[26]

Hall on March 11 sent to various individuals in the State Department copies of her “Principles of Restitution, Restitution in kind, and Reparations of Antiquities, Works of Art, Books, Archives, and other Cultural Property in the Far East.”  She indicated that they had been formulated by Occupied Areas Division, then under the Office of International Information and Cultural Affairs, under Gordon T. Bowles for the approval of the Roberts Commission, whose jurisdiction she noted had been extended by presidential directive to the Pacific areas in 1944.  In order to expedite the agreement on the principles within the Department, she wrote that a meeting was scheduled for March 14.  The principles for the Far East, she added, were based as far as expedient upon the principles drafted for Germany (which she enclosed) and noted that the initiation and approval of the European policy had been the subject of extensive correspondence between Justice Roberts and the Secretary of State.  She concluded by indicating that it was anticipated that the principles for the Far East, when approved by the Roberts Commission, would be formally transmitted to the Secretary of State.[27]

Ardelia Hall’s “Principles of Restitution, Restitution in kind, and Reparations of Antiquities, Works of Art, Books, Archives, and other Cultural Property in the Far East”, p1. NAID 2524542

A meeting of the Far Eastern divisions and Lamont Moore, representing the Roberts Commission, was held on March 14 for consideration of Hall’s Principles.  There were differences of opinion about aspects of it and general agreement that it should be redrafted as a State War Navy Coordinating Committee (SWNCC) paper for consideration by that organization.[28]

Besides working on the redraft of her Principles, Hall in late March was busily doing research relating to the recovery of cultural property in Japan and relating to losses from Japanese occupied territories of the Far East.  She also did further research on international conventions on art and cultural property, prior agreements, treaties, and settlements of cultural property.[29]

Moore wrote Stout on March 20 that the Commission Report was finished with the except of a summary of field activities in the Far East which they planned to do while the first gallery proof came off the press. He added that with the exception of the Jayne’s report on his China tour of duty, they had no reports on damage to Monuments, collections, etc. in the Far East. Then addressing the March 14 meeting at the State Department, he wrote “Last week I attended a meeting of all the various sections of the State Department to discuss the Principles of Restitution for the Far East.  It evolved that Miss Hall’s fine set of Principles went pretty much by the board.  We are now requested to write the basic recommendations for a SWNCC paper.  However, the State Department did not wish to rush this matter.”  Moore wrote that he expected they shall be occupied with it for the next month and a half and he would try to send him a copy for his consideration and advice before the material actually gets into SWNCC paper form and was approved and pushed by State and War.  “The gist of the thing seems to be that an expert Allied Commission would be designated to set aside certain collection in Japan which would be ‘untouchable” (e.g. Imperial House hold Treasures).  He ended by indicating they had practically discouraged the so-called Restitution in Kind Principle, that is, “vase for vase and scroll for scroll,” and instead, tentatively discussed other means of effecting restitution of cultural property.[30]

The next day Moore wrote Sawyer that he had attended a meeting the previous week at the State Department to discuss the Restitution Principles in the Far East and that it was decided that he and Hall were to prepare a SWNCC paper on the subject. He added:

International Law and Theories of Restitution and Reparations seem to be academic problems. The Economic Section of the State Department is interested in action and therefore suggested that the establishment of machinery by a SWINC communication would be more effective than merely suggesting principles to be followed. It was agreed at the meeting that cultural objects should be kept apart from general Reparations matters…When the SWINC (sic) paper has shaped up, I will send you a copy and at that time discuss the problem in more detail.[31]

While Moore and Hall began the process of reworking the Principles into a more formal paper for the consideration by the SWNCC, the Far Eastern Commission’s Committee on Reparations, at a meeting on March 26 began taking steps to formulate a policy on the restitution of cultural property and a brief policy statement was forthcoming.  Although there was one State Department member on the committee, from the Division of Japanese and Korean Economic Affairs, no consideration was given to the policy then being drafted in the Occupied Areas Division (where Hall worked) of the Office of International Information of Cultural Affairs and no notification was made by Division of Japanese and Korean Economic Affairs to Hall’s division that cultural property was being considered.  The Occupied Areas Division regarded the brief policy statement as wholly inadequate.  A redraft was issued on April 4, which it also found unacceptable. Then a redraft on April 8 was unacceptable to the Soviet Union, and the Far Eastern Commission’s Committee on Reparations decided to defer the consideration of restitution of cultural policy.[32]

In the meantime, at the end of March, writing from Tokyo where he was on an Education Mission, Bowles thanked Hall for her letters and indicated that they had helped a great deal in understanding what was happening.  Bowles told her she had done excellent work in digging up the legal aspects of the problem and that he, George Stout and Larry Sickman, as a result, had several sessions about the restitution matter. He informed her that an informal poll of opinion among concerned economic and Arts-Monuments officers indicated a general belief that

when the matter of use of art for reparations or reparations in kind is taken up internationally it will not be approved. Meantime, however, desire is to have as soon as possible a policy statement indicating clearly U. S. Government position. Your paper now in the mill should furnish this. Opinion here would generally oppose anything beyond restitution or restitution of like articles (the term in kind is too flexible).[33]

On April 12 the Commission Vice Chairman wrote the Secretary of State that at the request of the Occupied Areas Division a set of Principles, drafted in cooperation with this unit, had been approved by the members of the Commission with a view to establishing a policy applicable to restitution of works of art and other cultural property in the Far East. A copy of the Principles was submitted to Secretary Byrnes for his consideration and implementation.[34]

In mid-April Moore received from Stout a copy of the summary of the Conference of the Allied Ministers of Education and he forwarded to Hall, who, Moore wrote Stout “is very busy working on the SWINC (sic) paper relative to the problems which we have been hashing over.”[35]

On April 17 Moore informed Cairns that Hall, in working out the SWNCC paper, had been studying historic precedence for similar problems of restitution, reparations, etc.  He noted that the State Department suggested that the SWNCC paper should contain specific details on original methods of operations and “so forth.”  Moore also noted that it had been suggested a restitution tribunal be established and it be appointed by the Far Eastern Commission.[36]

Early May Moore informed Stout that Hall was still busy with the SWNCC Paper and they expected to have Sickman’s valuable advice when came to Washington for his temporary duty.[37]

Moore at the end of May wrote Stout that Sickman arrived on May 24 and that he would be working with Hall that week chiefly by talking to the various members of the State Department’s Occupied Areas Division.  Moore expressed the view that by the combined efforts of Sickman and Bowles when he returns, “the chief problems of replacement and the bogey of reparations will be settled.”[38]

On May 29 an informal meeting in the State Department to consider the problems of restitution a draft in preparation in Division of Japanese and Korean Economic Affairs was discussed.  Among those in attendance were Sickman, Hall, Robert Warren Barnett (then special assistant for SWNCC affairs), Hugh Borton (then acting chief of the Division of Japanese Affairs), Edwin O. Reischauer (affiliated with the Office of Far Eastern Affairs), and three other men, one of them from the Army’s Civil Affairs Division.  The meeting was chaired by William W. Lockwood, whom Hall may have known when they both worked in the R&A Branch’s Far East Division.  The Harvard-educated Chinese expert had served as R&A Branch officer in charge at the Kunming, China outpost and returned to be transferred to the newly created Interim Research and Intelligence Service at the Department of State, with the abolishment of the OSS. At this time he was with the Division of Japanese and Korean Economic Affairs.[39]  The participants discussed various issues, including the establishment of an inter-allied panel for restitution in kind.  Lockwood spoke of the restitution polices then being formulated by the FEC. Lockwood suggested Sickman draw up the detailed proposal and suggestions for the implementation of restitution policy by SCAP.[40]  It was probably obvious to Hall by this time that her Principles were slowly but surely becoming caught up in the larger context of bureaucratic and diplomatic battles within the State Department, the FEC, and SCAP.  Nevertheless, she was probably pleased that she was being given a seat at the table and that her work was being discussed on a larger scale.

On June 10 the Secretary of the Roberts Commission wrote Gordon T. Bowles, Office of International Information and Cultural Relations, Occupied Areas Division, Department of State, that at a time when the commission was anticipating the close of business on June 30, that

we should like to extend through you to Miss Ardelia Hall the appreciation of the American Commission for the excellent work which she has done for the Monuments and Fine Arts program in Japan. Since there is a necessity for her to continue her present activity we are urgently requesting that, if possible, arrangements be made for her to carry on her present assignment.[41]

At the final commission meeting on June 20 Moore reported that Ardelia Hall, of the Office of International Information and Education and Cultural Affairs of the Department of State, had been working with the commission’s office on the Principles of Restitution in Japan.  He noted that she would continue to work on that problem after the close of the Commission and was writing a State, War, Navy Coordinating Committee paper which would be approved by the Far Eastern Commission that would implement the Principles of Restitution which the Commission had already recommended to the Department of State.[42]

William Benton, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, on June 24 wrote the Commission that the Division of Occupied Areas would assume those continuing responsibilities formerly carried on by the Commission.  He indicated that the Office for Germany-Austria, headed by Eugene N. Anderson and the Office for Japan-Korea, headed by Gordon T. Bowles, would deal with matters appropriate to their areas in the field of Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives.[43]

At the end of June Lamont Moore wrote Stout that the Commission was wrapping up its business and that in the future he should send his communications.  He indicated that the State Department would take over the Commission’s functions and files, with one exception, and that the reports which they understood to have been requested by the War Department would go through the Department to the Office of International Information and Education [Cultural Affairs], Occupied Areas Division, Department of State, attention: Mr. Chester (sic) [Gordon T.] Bowles. “Actually,” he wrote “Miss Hall will handle all matters pertaining to MFA&A in the Far East. She has been taken on by the Department and therefore continuity has been achieved.” “We realize,” he added, “that it may be difficult to send the weekly reports, but if it is possible, I’m sure they will prove of great value to her.” He noted that Europe would be handled by the Occupied Areas Division, but under the German-Austria desk, headed by Eugene Anderson.  Moore also informed Stout that at Larry Sickman’s suggestion, the commission passed a resolution at the final meeting that cultural objects public or private would not be considered as reparations material. “I hope that State Department will concur and eventually publish, but that is one for the book of history to reveal.  Certainly that statement will be worked into what Miss Hall is doing in the SWINC paper which is just about finished.”[44]

On July 1, Hall began full-time employment with the State Department’s Office of International Information and Cultural Affairs, which office had taken over those continuing functions of the Roberts Commission.[45]


[1] Letter, Charles H. Sawyer to Lt. George L. Stout, USNR, Military Government Section, HQ, US Armed Forces Pacific, October 10, 1945, File: Far East-Stout, George L. (Corresp), Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800),Roll 13, M-1944, RG 239.

[2] Letter, Lt. Cmdr. George L. Stout, USNR, GHQ, SCAP, CI & E Section to Charles H. Sawyer, October 18, 1945, File: Far East-Stout, George L. (Corresp), Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800); Report of The American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1946), p. 158.

[3] Report of The American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas, p. 15.

[4] Letter, Charles H. Sawyer to Lt. George L. Stout, USNR, Military Government Section, HQ, US Armed Forces Pacific, October 10, 1945, File: Far East-Stout, George L. (Corresp), Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800)

[5] Memo, Ardelia R. Hall, consultant, Department of State to Lamont Moore, Assistant Secretary of the American Commission, Subject: Report of work completed and being continued by the Consultant on Far Eastern art and cultural property, under ADO (Occupied Areas Division: Japan and Korea) of OIC (Office of International Information and Cultural Affairs) of the Department of State, between December 4, 1945 and March 22, 1946, March 22, 1946, File: Far East-Maps and Lists, Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 12, M-1944

[6] Letter, Ardelia R. Hall to Charles H. Sawyer, ca. November 6, 1945 and enclosure Preliminary List of Cultural Losses in China, No. 1, November 6, 1945, File: Far East-Maps and Lists, Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800)

[7] Report of The American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas, pp. 14-15.

[8] Letter, Charles H. Sawyer to Horace H. F. Jayne, The American Embassy, Chungking, China, November 8, 1945, File: Jayne, Horace—Special Advisor, Chungking, Correspondence, 1943-1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 14, M-1944

[9] Letter, Charles H. Sawyer to Lt. Cmdr. George L. Stout, USNR, GHQ, SCAP, CI & E Section, November 21, 1945, File: Far East-Stout, George L. (Corresp), Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 13, M-1944

[10] ibid. Jayne’s two reports, submitted to the Department of State, were the first comprehensive and reliable evidence regarding the remarkable manner in which the Chinese salvaged so large a percentage of their own collections. Report of The American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas, p. 15.

[11] Letter, Lt. Cmdr. George L. Stout, USNR, GHQ, SCAP, CI & E Section to Charles H. Sawyer, November 22, 1945, File: Far East-Stout, George L. (Corresp), Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 13, M-1944

[12] Memo, Ardelia R. Hall, consultant, Department of State to Lamont Moore, Assistant Secretary of the American Commission, Subject: Report of work completed and being continued by the Consultant on Far Eastern art and cultural property, under ADO of OIC of the Department of State, between December 4, 1945 and March 22, 1946, March 22, 1946, File: Far East-Maps and Lists, Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800); Report of The American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas, p. 15.

[13] Memo, Ardelia R. Hall to Charles H. Sawyer, Subject: Duties of Ardelia R. Hall, consultant in the Division of Cultural Cooperation, Department of State, December 10, 1945, File: Far East-Stout, George L. (Corresp),  Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 13, M-1944

[14] Letter, Lt. Comdr. George L. Stout, USNR, GHQ, SCAP CI&E Section to Charlie [Charles H. Sawyer], December 4, 1945, Correspondence Files of Paul J. Sachs Between Commission Members and Personnel, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518905), Roll 58, M-1944, RG 239.

[15] Letter, Ardelia R. Hall to Lt. Cmdr. George L. Stout, USNR, GHQ, SCAP, CI & E Section, December 14, 1945, File: Far East-Stout, George L. (Corresp), Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 13, M-1944

[16] Letter, Lt. Cmdr. George L. Stout, USNR, GHQ, SCAP, CI & E Section to Ardelia Hall, December 23, 1945, File: Far East-Stout, George L. (Corresp), Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 13, M-1944

[17] “Graduate Awards Made at Harvard,” The New York Times, September 28, 1931, p. 14; “18 Harvard Awards Made,” June 1, 1933, ibid.; p. 15; Douglas C. McGill, “Laurence Sickman, Scholar and Expert In the Art of China,” ibid., May 11, 1988, p. D19.

[18] Letter, Charles H. Sawyer to Lt. Cmdr. George L. Stout, USNR, GHQ, SCAP, CI & E Section, December 26, 1945, File: Far East-Stout, George L. (Corresp), Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 13, M-1944

[19] Memo, Charles Seymour to George T. Heckert, Subject: Temporary Building Pass for Miss Ardelia R. Hall, January 2, 1946, File: Far East-Personnel, Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 12, M-1944

[20] Letter, Lawrence Sickman, GHQ, SCAP, CI & E Section to Ardelia Hall, January 13, 1946, File: Far East-Stout, George L. (Corresp), Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 13, M-1944

[21] Letter, Ardelia R. Hall to Lt. Cmdr. George L. Stout, USNR, GHQ, SCAP, CI & E Section, January 15, 1946, File: Far East-Stout, George L. (Corresp), Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 13, M-1944

[22] Memo, Ardelia R. Hall, consultant, Department of State to Lamont Moore, Assistant Secretary of the American Commission, Subject: Report of work completed and being continued by the Consultant on Far Eastern art and cultural property, under ADO of OIC of the Department of State, between December 4, 1945 and March 22, 1946, March 22, 1946, File: Far East-Maps and Lists, Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 12, M-1944

[23] ibid.

[24] Letter, Lamont Moore, Assistant Secretary to Francis Henry Taylor, Director, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, February 15, 1946, File: Far East-Restitution, Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 12, M-1944. Noted on the document was information that similar letters were sent to other commission members.

[25] Letter, Lamont Moore to Lt. Cmdr. George L. Stout, USNR, GHQ, SCAP, CI & E Section, February 26, 1946, File: Far East-Stout, George L. (Corresp), Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 13, M-1944

[26] Memo, Lamont Moore, Assistant Secretary, Roberts Commission to Huntington Cairns, Secretary, Roberts Commission, Subject: Principles of Restitution for Japan, March 1, 1946, File: Far East-Restitution, Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 12, M-1944

[27] Memo, Ardelia R. Hall to Dr. Menzies, ADF [Far East Division, Office of International Information and Cultural Affairs], Subject: Meeting for consideration of the principles of restitution of cultural property in the Far East, March 11, 1946, File: Far East Policy Under Consideration, Records Maintained Ardelia Hall, 1945-1961 (NAID 2524542), RG 59.

[28] Memo, Ardelia R. Hall, consultant, Department of State to Lamont Moore, Assistant Secretary of the American Commission, Subject: Report of work completed and being continued by the Consultant on Far Eastern art and cultural property, under ADO of OIC of the Department of State, between December 4, 1945 and March 22, 1946, March 22, 1946, File: Far East-Maps and Lists, Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 12, M-1944; Memo, Lamont Moore, Report on Meeting with State Department, Thursday, March 14, 1946: Subject- Restitution Principles for the Far East, March 27, 1946, File: Far East-Restitution, ibid.;  [Ardelia R. Hall?], Supplement to Memo on Principles of Restitution of Cultural Property in the Far East, June 10, 1946, File: ADO Drafts of Far Eastern Policy, Records Maintained Ardelia Hall, 1945-1961 (NAID 2524542)

[29] Memo, Ardelia R. Hall, consultant, Department of State to Lamont Moore, Assistant Secretary of the American Commission, Subject: Report of work completed and being continued by the Consultant on Far Eastern art and cultural property, under ADO of OIC of the Department of State, between December 4, 1945 and March 22, 1946, March 22, 1946, File: Far East-Maps and Lists, Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 12, M-1944

[30] Letter, Lamont Moore to Lt. Cmdr. George L. Stout, USNR, GHQ, SCAP, CI & E Section, March 20, 1946, File: Far East-Stout, George L. (Corresp), Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 13, M-1944

[31] Letter, Lamont Moore to Charles H. Sawyer, Director, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts, March 21, 1946, File: Sawyer, Charles H., Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 16, M-1944

[32] [Ardelia R. Hall?], Supplement to Memo on Principles of Restitution of Cultural Property in the Far East, June 10, 1946, File: ADO Drafts of Far Eastern Policy, Records Maintained Ardelia Hall, 1945-1961 (NAID 2524542). Finally on July 18, 1946, the Far Eastern Commission approved a policy decision regarding the restitution of looted property.  It deferred, however, consideration of a policy regarding a policy for replacing cultural objects looted by the Japanese from occupied areas and subsequently lost or destroyed. Activities of the Far Eastern Commission: Report by the Secretary General: February 26, 1946-July 10, 1947, Department of State Publication 2888, Far Eastern Series 24 (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1947), pp. 21, 80-82.

[33] Letter, Gordon T. Bowles, Tokyo to Ardelia Hall, March 31, 1946, File: Far East-Maps and Lists, Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 12, M-1944

[34] Letter, David E. Finley, Vice Chairman to James F. Byrnes, Secretary of State, April 12, 1946, File: State Department, Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 17, M-1944

[35] Letter, Lamont Moore to Lt. Cmdr. George L. Stout, USNR, GHQ, SCAP, CI & E Section, April 15, 1946, File: Far East-Stout, George L. (Corresp), Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 13, M-1944

[36] Memo, Lamont Moore to Huntington Cairns, Subject: International Commission for Far Eastern Fine Arts Administration, April 17, 1946, File: Far East-Restitution, Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 12, M-1944

[37] Letter, Lamont Moore to Lt. Cmdr. George L. Stout, USNR, GHQ, SCAP, CI & E Section, May 3, 1946, File: Far East-Stout, George L. (Corresp), Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 13, M-1944

[38] Letter, Lamont Moore to Lt. Cmdr. George L. Stout, USNR, GHQ, SCAP, CI & E Section, May 27, 1946, File: Far East-Stout, George L. (Corresp), Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 13, M-1944

[39] Lockwood was born in Shanghai on February 24, 1906 and received his M.A. in economics at Harvard in 1929. He joined the OSS R&A Branch (Far East Division) in August 1943. From February 8, 1944 to September 1, 1945, he was with the R&A Branch in the China Theater, providing special target intelligence to the 14th Air Force. Lockwood, William W., Maj – [Serial Number] 0925570 (NAID 2179133), RG 226.

[40] [Ardelia R. Hall?], Supplement to Memo on Principles of Restitution of Cultural Property in the Far East, June 10, 1946, File: ADO Drafts of Far Eastern Policy, Records Maintained Ardelia Hall, 1945-1961 (NAID 2524542); [Ardelia R. Hall?], Minutes of Meeting on May 29th, State Department, Room 279, n.d., ibid.

[41] Letter, Huntington Cairns to Gordon T. Bowles, June 10, 1946, File: B-Miscellaneous, Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 10, M-1944

[42] File: Minutes of Final Meeting, June 20, 1946, Minutes of Meetings, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518791), Roll 6, M-1944, RG 239.

[43] Quoted in letter from Huntington Cairns to John L. Keddy, Executive Offices of the President, Bureau of the Budget, June 27, 1946, File: 1945 Budget-Estimate as Submitted to Bureau of Budget, and Budget Negotiations, Budget Records, 1943-1946 (NAID 1488989), Roll 3, M-1944, RG 239.

[44] Letter, Lamont Moore to Lt. Cmdr, George L. Stout, General Headquarters, SCAP, CI&E Section , June 27, 1946, File: “S” Correspondence, Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518800), Roll 17, M-1944

[45] Letter, Lamont Moore, Curator in Charge of Education to Nora Levin, Holiday, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 16, 1946, File: Correspondence July-December 1946, General Correspondence, 1943–1946 (NAID 1518803), Roll 19, M-1944, RG 239; Department of State Press Release, No. 575, The Conservation of Cultural Property, August 16, 1946,  File: ADO Drafts of Far Eastern Policy, Records Maintained Ardelia Hall, 1945-1961 (NAID 2524542)


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