All The Brilliants

Rose Valland Ornella Iannuzzi

Rose Valland (1898 - 1980) was underestimated for her “mousey” demeanor, but her courage and cleverness minted her as a World War II art hero whose saved countless art treasures that we all enjoy today. She was one of the few “Monuments Women” among the 345 “Monuments Men” of the MFAA. And she was an art spy!

Meet Rose Valland
Rose Valland


Underestimated for her quiet “mousey” demeanor, Rose Valland (1898 - 1980) is a Power Woman for her courage and cleverness as a World War II art hero whose saved countless art treasures that we all enjoy today. She was one of the few “Monuments Women” among the 345 “Monuments Men” from various nations who served in the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA). And she was an art spy!

For years, Rose risked her life in meticulously thwarting the Nazi's massive art looting scheme that passed through the @JeudePaumeParis. Through eavesdropping (she was secretly fluent in German) and memorizing the inventory of paintings, sculptures, furniture, jewelry, gemstones and beyond, she passed information to the French Resistance and was critical to James Rorimer's success in recovering looted treasures hidden in multiple repositories (castles to salt mines).

Following the war, she spent the rest of her life advocating for the restitution of artworks and objects to the rightful owners and received many honors including: the Legion of Honor, the Medal of the Résistance, the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government, and the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1948. In 1953 she received the long overdue and much-deserved title of “curator”.

Thank you to @RobertEdsel for writing the incredible book “Monuments Men”, and “introducing” us to this extraordinary woman!

La Poste stamp of Rose Valland


In honor of Rose Valland, The French postal service, @LeGroupeLaPoste, recently released a lovely stamp of her superimposed “in her element” at the @JeudePaumeParis. For much of her life, she was denied the title of “curator”, in spite of her credentials and commitment to art because of her humble origin.

We owe so much gratitude to Rose for saving so many cultural treasures.

She is an inspiration reminding us to remain courageous and that we, as women, are more than capable of creating good in the world - even during very dark times.

Ornella Iannuzzi - Fleur de Cristal black opal ring in rose gold


Contrary to what many people believed about Rose Valland, she was NOT a wallflower. She was a brave, bold and brilliant art spy for the French resistance during World War II - and obviously a Power Woman!

Much like Rose’s unexpected qualities, @OrnellaIannuzzi’s work is focused on the character of stones, as well as on the details of their crystallization or inclusions. If there was ever a jewel meant to celebrate how awesome Rose Valland was, Ornella’s Fleur de Cristal black opal ring is it. Not only does it combine unexpected forces of nature (the mineral and the vegetal), but it is made of rose gold!