Robert M. Edsel

Oh, the Humanities Medal! (For Dallas' Robert Edsel and His Foundation)

Robert Edsel sent us a nice note over the weekend, after we posted this item concerning his donating to the National Archives two albums of photographs documenting the art looted by the Nazis in France during World War II. At the end, he wrote, "They'll be more news this week. Stay tuned!" Only, Edsel didn't say what that news would be.

Turns out, it's rather big news: The man behind the Dallas-based Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art -- which honors the 345 men and women who've tracked down "more than 5 million artistic and cultural items stolen by Hitler and the Nazi" -- will today receive a National Humanities Medal, joining nine other esteemed recipients. President Bush and wife Laura, Second Lady Lynne Cheney and the chairs of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities will present the honors today at the White House. Edsel joins an eclectic group of winners that, over the past decade, has included children's book author Madeleine L'Engle, Kids Say the Darndest Things host and insurance pitchman Art Linkletter, New Journalist Tom Wolfe, filmmaker Steven Spielberg ... and Mark Twain channeler Hal Holbrook. --Robert Wilonsky

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