Rose Valland, on “the Art Front”

Coordination scientifique : Corinne Bouchoux


Translation: Françoise Pinteaux-Jones
Portrait de Rose Valland parmi les oeuvres de la « salle des martyrs » du Jeu de Paume

Portrait of Rose Valland amidst the works of the « salle des martyrs » du Jeu de Paume, MUSEA, 2004, digital editing 180 x 180 (pixels), © MUSEA, Université d'Angers

Rose Valland (1898-1980) went long unrecognised as a Resistance fighter. An art historian and later curator of the Musée du Louvre, she witnessed the shipping of 4,174 crates and 20,000 works of art from the Musée du Jeu de Paume to Germany.

Risking her life, she kept notes of the looting and spoliations, informing the Resistance of the movement of Nazi dignitaries, and helped prevent Allied bombings of the sites where art works were hidden. Thanks to Rose Valland it was possible, after the Liberation, to restitute these works, sell them or place them in French museums with the mention MNR (Musées nationaux récupération/National Museums Recuperation).

With thanks to Monique Constant and Marie Hamon (Direction des Archives du Ministère des Affaires Etrangères), to Didier Schulmann (Centre Pompidou), to Danielle Delaruelle-Depraz et to the association La mémoire de Rose Valland, whose 1999 exhibition at  Saint Etienne de Saint Geoirs inspired this research. And last but not least my special thanks to Christine Bard and Isabelle Lamy.