Lieutenant, Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), Deputy Director, Enemy Communications, Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA) Officer
An esteemed art curator, administrator, and collector, Heinrich served in the U.S. Army from 1943 until 1950. He had previously trained with the Air Forces Technical Training School, the 770th Technical School Squadron, and in Field Artillery School. Due to his intelligence and background in art history, Heinrich was recommended for further training with the Military Intelligence Training Centre/Officer’s Candidate School at Camp Ritchie, Maryland. In 1943, upon completion of his training, he began working with the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, known as SHAEF, as first a junior officer on the intelligence staff of General Eisenhower, and later as the Deputy Chief, Enemy Communications Section of G-2. During this time he administered intelligence operations dealing with the German railway system. After the Allied victory in 1945, Heinrich began work with the MFAA, serving as the Chief of the MFAA Branch of Military Government for Hesse and the Cultural Property Advisor to the Wiesbaden Collecting Point. He also was involved with the Marburg and Munich Collecting Points, and served as the director of the Offenbach Archival Depot from 1946 to 1947. While many MFAA officers returned to the U.S. in 1946, Heinrich remained in Germany until 1950, assisting local officials with the rebuilding of their museums, libraries, and archives. For his service with SHAEF, he was awarded the Bronze Star, and in 1946 was bestowed the Belgian Croix de Guerre, 1940 avec Palme, for his restitution work.
Heinrich grew up in Berkeley, California, where he attended the University of California, graduating in 1932 with a degree in philosophy. He received his masters in art and architectural history from Kings College at Cambridge University in 1936. His masters thesis, “Apostles of the Picturesque” was resubmitted as a Ph.D. dissertation, but refused by the University. Upon his return from Germany, Heinrich was Curator of Art Collections at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California from 1951 to 1952. From 1953 until 1955, he was the Associate Curator of Paintings and Curator of Drawings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He then moved to Toronto, where he was the Director of the Royal Ontario Museum until 1962. Heinrich spent the following year in Pakistan as Cultural Advisor to the Asia Foundation. From 1966 until his death, Heinrich was a professor at York University. A member of several museum boards and cultural and professional associations, he also worked with the International Council on Museums for most of his career. Heinrich remained involved in the arts until he passed away in 1981. In an obituary in Artscanada, Franz, Prince Sayn-Wittgenstein wrote: “Everybody in Germany who knew Theodore A. Heinrich will mourn him. He arrived as enemy and parted as friend. His work as Director of the Central Collecting Points in Wiesbaden and Munich is well known, but what he did for Germany herself was even more and should not be forgotten. Whenever he could help, be it privately or publicly, he did his best, and he did it with a warm heart and quite inconspicuously. He was a real and true friend.”