Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Meet Rose Valland...

Although I'm only half way through Robert Edsel's, Monuments Men, I felt compelled to introduce you to someone. Meet Rose Valland. A french woman who could be considered a hero to the art world.  As a volunteer at the Paris museum, Jeu de Paume, she loved being around art and as her job description suggests, she worked for free. When the Nazi's occupied Paris they used Jeu de Paume as a repository for all their stolen artwork. Jacques Jaujard, director of French National Museums, asked Rose to stay on. Stay on and spy!  The artwork flooded in so rapidly that Rose couldn't keep up. To see masterpieces stacked, torn and damaged and tossed about was difficult for her to stomach. She began cataloging, copying, taking files home to document all the art that the Nazi's pillaged. Hundreds of works.  On the first day alone, over four hundred cases were unloaded. Hermann Goring visited Jeu de Paume twenty one times gloating over all the art that was stolen.  Rose's clandestine activities and passion for art was instrumental in saving some of the worlds most treasured pieces. She was the key to understanding the Germans looting operations.  It's mind boggling to think what the art world would be like if it weren't for Rose Valland.

No comments:

Post a Comment