Rose Valland lors d'une exposition au musée du Jeu de Paume - 02

Rose Valland during an exhibition at the Jeu de Paume museum - 02, anonymous, 1934, black and white photograph, Saint Etienne de Saint Geoirs, Association 'La Mémoire de Rose Valland', © Association 'La Mémoire de Rose Valland'.

Rose Valland lors d'une exposition au musée du Jeu de Paume

Rose Valland during an exhibition at the Jeu de Paume museum - anonymous, 1934, black and white photograph, Saint Etienne de Saint Geoirs, Association 'La Mémoire de Rose Valland', © Association 'La Mémoire de Rose Valland'.

Rose consigned an account of her social ascent to a curriculum vitae. Having gained an Isère scholarship in 1912, she showed up in Paris in 1922. After attending Lyon’s École des beaux-arts, she came 6th out of 300 in the limited entrance exam for the teacher training drawing course at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in Paris. At the same time, she furthered her studies at the École du Louvres. In 1931, she sustained a thesis on the evolution of movement in Italian art until Giotto.

After a meeting with Professeur Gillet, she fully committed to art history studying at the École des hautes études d'archéologie chrétienne et byzantine at the Collège de France. She prepared a second thesis on the frescoes of a 12th century crypt in the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta, in Aquileia, Friuli-Venezia (published in 1936). During these rich years, Rose Valland travelled in Italy but also, it would seem, in Germany, a country whose language she spoke although she would not have studied it in the context of her education as she did not attend a Lycée. Unsurprisingly, she gravitated towards artistic circles. In 1932 she became an “unpaid assistant” at the museum of foreign paintings and sculptures at the Jeu de Paume.

She took part in the creation of over fifteen exhibition catalogues and introduced the public to some thirty different art schools and movements. Rose Valland was at one with her times’ artistic vanguard.

In spite of her many publications as an art chronicler and reviewer, it was not until 22 July 1941 that her unpaid assistant position was formalised, and she became a paid employee… There is no information to date as to her earlier sources of income.

Curriculum Vitae (photocopie)

Curriculum Vitae (photocopy), Rose Valland, 1935, printed paper, 27 x 21 (cm), Saint Etienne de Saint Geoirs, Association 'La Mémoire de Rose Valland', © Association 'La Mémoire de Rose Valland'.

At the heart of the Inter-Wars contemporary art scene

Hereunder is the list of catalogues achieved by or with Rose Galland at the Jeu de Paume before WWII (all kept at the École du Louvre library)

  • Exhibition of ancient and Modern Belgian Art, 1923
  • Exhibition of Romanian Art, ancient and Modern, 1925
  • Exhibition of Canadian Art, 1927
  • Exhibition at the jeu de Paume, 1929
  • Exhibition Poland 1830-1920, 1930
  • Exhibition Portuguese Art, 1931
  • Exhibition The Work of James Ensor, 1932
  • Exhibition Ivan Mestrovic, 1933
  • Exhibition La mostra d'arte italiana dell'800 e 900 al « Jeu de Paume » nelle stampe francese-Venezia, 1935 (missing)
  • Exhibition Three Centuries of United States Art, 1938
  • Exhibition of Swedish Art (date unknown)