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Nicolaas Rudolph Alexander Vroom ( 1915 - 1995 )

Nicolaas Rudolph Alexander Vroom was a prominent Dutch historian. Born on July 12, 1915, he became an expert on Dutch art. During World War II he worked as the assistant to Dr. J. E. van Gelder, Director of the Jijks-Bureau Voor Kumsthistorische Documentatie (State Office of the Documentation of Art History) at The Hague. In this position, Vroom participated in the centralization of documentation regarding works of art and other cultural objects known to have been looted from the Netherlands by the Nazis. By their estimates, at least 20,000 paintings alone were missing.

Following the end of hostilities, Vroom served as a Representative of the Stichting Nederlandish Kunstbezit (the Foundation for Netherlands Artistic Property), the organization tasked by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Fine Arts, and Science to recover looted Dutch cultural property. He visited the various collecting points for looted art, examining Dutch-owned objects and coordinating shipments of looted works of art to the Netherlands. In February 1946 he accepted on behalf of the Dutch Government sixteen paintings stolen from Amsterdam and hidden in Bremen by the Nazis.

Following his return to the Netherlands, Vroom became State-Secretary of The Hague. He also remained a devoted scholar of many genres of art, publishing several articles, books, and exhibition catalogues, including 28 Contemporary American Graphic Artists (1968) and A Modest Message as Intimated by the Painters of the Monochrome Banketje (1980). Vroom received several prestigious international honors, including Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion, Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau (the Netherlands), Commander of the Order of Merit (Italy), Order of the Polar Star (Sweden), Officer of the Order of the Crown (Belgium), and Chevalier of the Legion of Honor (France).

N. R. A. Vroom died in Baarn, Utrecht on August 11, 1995. He was buried in Eemnes RK, Eemnes, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

The Foundation is very interested in learning more about N.R.A. Vroom’s life. If you have any information, please contact abottinelli@monumentsmenfoundation.org.