Iowa’s ‘Monument Man’ topic of library program May 8

An Iowan, George Stout of Winterset, was one of the World War Two ‘Monuments Men,’ made famous by the 2009 book by Robert M. Edsel, “The Monuments Men,” and the 2014 movie of the same title.

“George Stout: Iowa’s Own Monuments Man” is the title of a program about Stout Tuesday, May 8, at 2 pm at the First United Methodist Church in Jefferson. The program will be presented by Nancy Trask, MLS, and hosted by the Jefferson public library.

Stout was a member of the U.S. Army’s monuments, fine arts, and archives project devoted to recovering art and other items of cultural importance that had been stolen by Nazis or hidden for safekeeping. Frank Stokes, the character played by George Clooney in the movie, was based on Stout.

Presenter Nancy Trask grew up in Winterset and recently retired from the Winterset public library, where she was director from 2004 to 2016. Her interest in World War Two was enhanced by conversations with her father, a World War Two Purple Heart veteran of Normandy.

Her expertise in the history of George Stout and the Monuments Men had led to her involvement in a documentary being made about Stout, a public artwork in his memory which is nearly completed in Winterset, and founding the George Stout Fellowship for Art in the Public Sphere.

The Tuesday afternoon program is open to the public and is free. The program was made possible by a grant from the Jefferson Rotary Club.

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