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Course Description

Taught by Judge Arthur Tompkins, this one hour overview illustrated lecture tells the story of Rose Antonia Maria Valland, a French art historian, member of the French Resistance, and one of the most decorated women in French history who did so much to document National French and private Jewish-owned art from France stolen by the Nazis during World War II

Key concepts covered include:

  • The life and extraordinary work of Rose Valland, from her days as a volunteer curator at the Louvre before World War II.
  • Rose Valland’s strategic role as the overseer of the Jeu de Paume Museum at the time of the German occupation of France.
  • Valland’s life risking work providing information to the French Resistance while embedded in the heart of the Nazi art theft machine.

Participants will come away with an introductory understanding of this unassuming heroine’s tireless work to save thousands of paintings and artwork during the siege of Paris. 

What You’ll Learn


How the Nazis used the Jeu de Paume to store plundered art.


Rose Valland efforts, under threatening conditions, to preserve data related to the Nazi's confiscation of much of the art which Western Civilization considers the basis of our culture.


How Valland spied on the Nazis, who did not realize that she spoke German


When we think of the heroes of World War II often we conjure up images of larger-than-life men like Eisenhower, Patton, and Churchill, yet, Rose Valland was one of the greatest heroines, an ordinary French citizen whose actions were extraordinary.

How People Are Reacting

I took this online course as an introduction to the topic when the COVID pandemic prevented me from attending ARCA’s PG Cert program in Italy. The course gave me an exciting baseline introduction and I look forward to taking their summer professional training program next year.

Sarah Scott

As a university student taking courses in organized crime and terrorism, I wanted to understand better how art intersects with these more well known types of criminal behaviors. Professor Tijhuis and Professor Albertson gave me an excellent overview and I look forward to seeing what other courses on the subject ARCA develops.

Luis Rodriguez