The Edwin Rae Collection


Professor Edwin Carter Rae (1911 - 2002) was Professor of the History of Art at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. From 1945 to 1947, Rae was Chief of Monuments, in the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives section of the United States Army of Occupation in Bavaria, Germany. His role in this undercover unit involved recovering artworks and objects that had been looted by Nazi forces during the war.

The subject of Rae's Harvard Ph.D dissertation was the Architecture of Medieval Ireland and in the later years of his career he published a number of important articles on the subject, all illustrated with photographs from this collection. In 2001 Prof. Rae donated his photographs to the History of Art Department at TCD. Since 2003 they have been administered by the Irish Art Research Centre (TRIARC) as part of their larger archive of Irish art.

The collection of photographs, which date to c.1930-1970 are focussed principally on Irish Later Medieval (c.1250-1600AD) tomb sculpture, wayside crosses, architecture and architectural detailing. Monuments from nearly all counties, including Northern Ireland are represented, and there is a small collection of comparative material from England and France. Holdings are particularly significant for counties Kilkenny and Dublin, areas which formed the focus of a number of Rae’s publications. The collection includes material in state-, church- and privately-owned monuments as well as some museum material.

Copy and paste these links for more information on the work of Rae and his fellow army officers with the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section of the Allied Forces :
Captain Edwin Carter Rae
The story of some of Rae's colleagues is told in the 2014 film 'The Monuments Men'


  • Professor Edwin C. Rae, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

My Gothic Past Login | Register

© 2024 Trinity College Dublin