Lincoln Kirstein is most remembered for getting Balanchine to America in 1933 and later co-founding and running the New York City Ballet with him, but his influence extended throughout all the arts: literature, painting, sculpture, photography, theater, and film. Claudia Roth Pierpont’s said, "The sheer breadth of Kirstein's endeavor -- so unthinkable in the present age of specialization -- has made him appear to some people to be the last historical example of the Renaissance man." Often considered to have known everyone who mattered, Kirstein was a particularly powerful force in the thriving culture of gay artists, befriending among many others George Platt Lynes (who took this photo), Jean Cocteau, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Cecil Beaton, W.H. Auden, Glenway Wescott, Virgil Thomson, Philip Johnson, Pavel Tchelitchev, and Paul Cadmus, whose sister he married without pausing in his endless succession of affairs with young male dancers. He came out publicly in 1982; he died in 1996. Read his own Mosaic: Memoirs or Martin Duberman's The Worlds of Lincoln Kirstein.
Kirstein also played a significant role in the actual events that inspired The Monuments Men. At the time he was a tall, strapping 38 year-old, yet his character is played by a five-foot-five, 68 year-old weakling, lest any attention be diverted from the film's 52 year-old writer, director, producer, and star.