Texas Tech University

Head of Modern Day 'Monuments Men' Division to Speak at Texas Tech Museum

Glenys Young glenys.young@ttu.edu

April 12, 2023

Texas Tech alumnus Col. Andrew Scott DeJesse will present during a special event Thursday (April 13).

Col. Andrew Scott DeJesse

WHAT:  The Museum of Texas Tech University will host a special evening with Col. Andrew Scott DeJesse, a Texas Tech alumnus and now a senior heritage and preservation officer for the U.S. Department of Defense, as he discusses “Rebuilding of the Monuments Men and Women for the 21st Century.”

WHEN:  6 p.m. Thursday (April 13)

WHERE:  Helen DeVitt Jones Auditorium, Museum of Texas Tech, 3301 Fourth St.

EVENT:  At the height of World War II, approximately 350 uniformed so-called Monuments Men and Women participated in the Museum Fine Arts and Archives (MFAA) mission. Most of these service members had special expertise in the museum curation, conservation, art history, the arts, archeology and the archival sciences. They assisted in the protection of heritage sites and the recovery of major art works looted by the Nazis. Their actions have been heralded in numerous books, documentaries, and a major motion picture, the star-studded 2014 film “The Monuments Men,” starring George Clooney, Matt Damon and more. 

While these stories represent a significant success in U.S. military history, the capability and expertise of cultural property protection virtually vanished from Army formations after 1947. It was not until 65 years after World War II and 55 years after the signing of the 1954 Hague Convention treaty that the U.S. government began to revisit the need for and its role in protecting cultural property. In 2015, the U.S. Army established the Heritage and Preservation Officer position within the 38G Military Government Specialist program. While this position closely matches the role of the Monuments Officers of World War II, the operational environments and Army mission sets have changed. This presentation will explore the legacy of the MFAA and the Army's recent activities to recruit and rebuild the Monuments Men and Women of the 21st century in the context of today's operational environments, current threats to cultural heritage and military mission requirements.

Following three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, DeJesse is assigned to the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command's Strategic Initiatives Group. As the director for the Army's Monuments Officer program, DeJesse formed a partnership with the Smithsonian to design cultural property protection capabilities and conduct the Army Monuments Officer Training Course.

DeJesse teaches provenance research in Texas Tech's heritage management and museum sciences graduate program and is a realist artist. He received a master's degree in heritage management and museum sciences from Texas Tech, as well as a master's degree in strategic studies from the Army War College, two graduate certificates from the Naval Postgraduate School, and a bachelor's degree in fine arts from the University of the Arts, Philadelphia.

This event is free and open to the public. To learn more, click here. 


CONTACT:  Laura Ray
Manager, Communications & Marketing, Museum of Texas Tech University
(806) 834-3328
(806) 535-0957