The Monuments Men

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Roderick Eustace Enthoven ( 1900-1985 )

British architect and illustrator Roderick Eustace Enthoven was born in Seal, Kent, England on May 30, 1900. He studied at Clifton College and then at the Architectural Association School, London from 1919-1924. He became an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1925 and later Fellow in 1932. In 1926, he began teaching at the Architectural Association School. That year, he also became a partner in Pakington, Enthoven and Gray. He remained in partnership with Humphrey Pakington until war broke out in 1939.

In 1940, Enthoven began serving as a Civil Camouflage Officer at the Air Ministry and in August 1944 was commissioned to serve as a British MFAA officer in Italy. He first worked in Florence serving as Monuments Officer for the Tuscany region, but was later transferred to the Piemonte and Venezia regions over the course of 1945. In Florence, he helped Florentine officials select an architect to replace the Ponte della Vittoria and supervised the return of Giambologna’s sixteenth-century bronze equestrian statue of Cosimo II alongside fellow Monuments Man Deane Keller. The massive statue made its way to its former position in the Piazza della Signoria by way of rollers, levers and ropes while local Florentines, joyous at the prospect of peace, heralded the statue’s return in the streets.

In May 1946, Enthoven presented a lecture detailing his personal experiences saving artwork and monuments in Italy to the Architectural Association. The Association published it in their journal as “Architectural Journey in War-Time Italy” soon after.

In late 1946, Enthoven returned home and was appointed Librarian at the Royal Institute of British Architects before opening his own firm in 1948. His practice oversaw major building projects such as the extensions at City of London College, Goldsmiths’ College and Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford. He also served as the President of the Architectural Association in 1948. Vice-President of the Royal Institute of British Architects from 1951-1953, and Chairman of the Education Board from 1956-1958. He died on November 24, 1985.